The Development of Good News Sans

Good News is the name of a wedge serif family I designed in May 2013. Good News Sans is what it became over the course of 13 months. The whole lengthy and emotional process would not be fun to summarize, so I’mma try to keep this simple.

Its inspiration is rooted in early twentieth century titling, gothic woodtype, geometrics like Futura Display, poster fonts of that era, and strong lowercase sets like Din.

Like most things, I wasn’t initially inspired by a complex mixture of ideas but by a single piece of lettering. In this case pharmacy labels at a antique store in NE Portland. The lettering in these samplings has magnificent character and charm.

As I designed Good News, I recreated those labels to see how well the two matched up.

For External Use Pharmacy Label

Shake Well Pharmacy Label

The /O/ in “PLYMOUTH” below, and the /C/ in “DICE” really set Good News Sans on the right track. From there I had a pretty good idea of what I wanted, and it was just a manner of fine tunin’ them beziers.

Plymouth Mayflower Postcard

Good News Inspiration

Revision Process

    Eventually Discarded

  • Ridiculously large serifs
  • Dense /W/
  • Uncharactaristic curves in /S/ and other characters
    Tried to Keep

  • Strong uppercase set that can stand on its own
  • Chopped/geometric verticals and stems, like old headline type or wood type
  • Rounds only on tops and bottoms

Good News Font Progress from Start to Finish