CoType Foundry take their Aeonik sans serif in a new direction with the addition of Mono and Fono
London-based type foundry CoType have unveiled two additions to their renowned Aeonik family – Aeonik Mono and Aeonik Fono. The former is a classic fixed-width typeface, whereas the latter is a proportionally spaced ‘fake’ monospace crafted to look like one, without dealing with the irregular kerning and narrow forms they can create. Both, nonetheless, still champion the charm, construction and playful curvatures of the regular sans serif version; taking the family in an entirely new direction with their introduction. Rife with alternative characters, striking stylistic sets and a number of idiosyncratic glyph families, including circles, numerals and arrows – all ranging across the seven weights of the typefaces, from Air to Black.
With this being CoType’s first monospace release, Founder Mark Bloom tells us of the challenges he faced maintaining the original Aeonik’s DNA during the course of Mono’s design. “In some instances, it proved to be a challenge, since certain characters needed to be adjusted to fit within the monospace conventions,” Bloom explains, noting the extended serifs on the ‘i’s, ‘j’s and ‘l’s as examples, whereby the capital letters are left with less room and therefore become narrower. “Due to these differences, the end result looks different, yet related,” Bloom adds, “like a worthy cousin within the Aeonik family,” successfully accommodating not only the Aeonik spirit, but also technically achieving the variety of weights the family has. “Each character, ultra thin Air to Black, needed to fit in a ‘box’ of the same width across all styles,” he remarks, “characters like the lowercase ‘m’ have to be significantly narrower than their proportional counterparts,” explaining, “which proves to be particularly tricky in bolder weights where the counters begin to close up.”
Available for free when purchasing the full family, CoType have also produced a corresponding specimen book detailing the typeface’s architecture, typographic quirks, full character sets and, in true CoType fashion, its story. “As with all our type specimen books, our goal is to not only show off the features within the typefaces,” Bloom recalls, “but also to show interesting examples of the fonts in use,” this time around taking inspiration from not only the monospaced nature of the typeface, but also from 18th century type specimens. “Typically they show a waterfall of words at various sizes, from large to small,” he remarks, “the juxtaposition of 21st century type design and 18th century inspired specimen design gave this booklet a special vibe.”
Discussing further features within the specimen, Bloom tells us of the “obvious” choice to turn towards a monochromatic colour palette in the design of the book. “The challenge of showing two typefaces within one book was solved by predominantly showing Aeonik Mono on black pages and Aeonik Fono on white pages,” he explains, “which allows the reader to easily distinguish between the two,” wanting to make sure that the emphasis on the Fono’s description – due to its lesser known nature – was not lost. “Throughout the book you will see side-by-side comparisons of the two typefaces,” Bloom concludes, “that show the difference between line lengths, kerning and character widths.”