About FS Lucas Font Family
Pure and not-so-simple
Maybe it’s the air of purity, openness and transparency that they transmit, but geometric typefaces are more popular than ever among leading brands. Based on near-perfect circles, triangles and squares, geometric letterforms look uncomplicated, even though making them readable is anything but – something the designers of the first wave of geometric fonts discovered nearly a century ago. Many of the world’s most recognisable brands in technology, retail, travel, food, manufacturing and other industries continue to be drawn to the straightforward, honest character that geometric fonts convey.
Fontsmith set out in 2015 to develop a typeface in the same tradition, but optimised for the demands of modern brands – online and offline usage, readability and accessibility. And, of course, with the all-important Fontsmith x-factor built in. FS Lucas is the bold and deceptively simple result.
Handle with care
The letterforms of FS Lucas are round and generous, along the lines of Trajan Column lettering stripped of its serifs. But beware their thorns. Their designer, Stuart de Rozario, who also crafted the award-winning FS Millbank, wanted a contrast between spiky and soft, giving sharp apexes to the more angular letterforms, such as A, M, N, v, w and z.
Among his inspirations were the colourful, geometric compositions of Frank Stella, the 1920s art deco poster designs of AM Cassandre, and the triangular cosmic element symbol, which led him to tackle the capital A first, instead of the usual H. The proportions and angles of the triangular form would set the template for many of the other characters. It was this form, and the light-scattering effects of triangular prisms, that lit the path to a name for the typeface: Lucas is derived from lux, the Latin word for light.
Early geometric typefaces were accused of putting mathematical integrity before readability. FS Lucas achieves the trick of appearing geometric, while taking the edge off elements that make reading difficult.
Perfectly circlular shapes don’t read well. The way around that is to slightly thicken the vertical strokes, and pull out the curves at the corners to compensate; the O and o of FS Lucas are optical illusions. Pointed apexes aren’t as sharp as they look; the flattened tips are an essential design feature. And distinctive details such as the open terminals of the c, e, f, g, j, r and s, and the x-height bar on the i and j, aid legibility, especially on-screen.
These and many other features, the product of sketching the letterforms in the first instance by hand rather than mapping them out mechanically by computer, give FS Lucas the built-in humanity and character that make it a better, easier read all-round.
Marks of distinction
Unlike some of its more buttoned-up geometric bedfellows, FS Lucas can’t contain its natural personality and quirks: the flick of the foot of the l, for example, and the flattish tail on the g and j. The unusual bar on the J improves character recognition, and the G is circular, without a straight stem. There’s a touch of Fontsmith about the t, too, with the curve across the left cross section in the lighter weights, and the ampersand is one of a kind.
There’s a lot to like about Lucas. With its 9 weights, perfect proportions and soft but spiky take on the classic geometric font, it’s a typeface that could light up any brand.
is a registered trademark of FontSmith.
Fontsmith is a London based type design studio founded in 1999 by Jason Smith. The studio consists of a team dedicated to designing and developing high quality typefaces for both independent release as well as bespoke fonts for international clients. Fontsmith is a London based type design studio founded in 1999 by Jason Smith. The studio consists of a team dedicated to designing and developing high quality typefaces for both independent release as well as bespoke fonts for international clients.The Premium foundry page can be viewed at: https://www.myfonts.com/a/font/premium-font-collections/fontsmith%20-