About Schism Two Font Family
Schism is a modulated sans-serif, originally developed from our Alias Didot typeface, as a serif-less version of the same design. It was expanded to three sub-families, with the thin stroke getting progressively heavier from Schism One to Schism Three. The different versions explore how this change in contrast between thick and thin strokes changes the character of the letterforms. The shape is maintained, but the emphasis shifts from rounded to angular, elegant to incised.
Schism One has high contrast, and the same weight of thin stroke from Light to Black. Letter endings are at horizontal or vertical, giving a pinched, constricted shape for characters such as a, c, e and s. The h, m, n and u have a sharp connection between curve and vertical, and are high shouldered, giving a slightly square shape. The r and y have a thick stress at their horizontal endings, which makes them impactful and striking at bolder weights. Though derived from an elegant, classic form, Schism feels austere rather than flowery. It doesn’t have the flourishes of other modulated sans typefaces, its aesthetic more a kind of graphic-tinged utility.
While in Schism Two and Three the thin stroke gets progressively heavier, the connections between vertical and curves — in a, b, n etc — remain cut to an incised point throughout. The effect is that Schism looks chiselled and textural across all weights. Forms maintain a clear, defined shape even in Bold and Black, and don’t have the bloated, wide and heavy appearance heavy weights can have.
The change in the thickness of the thin stroke in different versions of the same weight of a typeface is called grading. This is often used when the types are to used in problematic print surfaces such as newsprint, or at small sizes — where thin strokes might bleed, and counters fill in and lose clarity, or detail might be lost or be too thin to register. The different gradings are incremental and can be quite subtle. In Schism it is extreme, and used as a design device, giving three connected but separate styles, from Sans-Didot to almost-Grotesk.
The name Schism suggests the differences in shape and style in Schism One, Two and Three. Three styles with distinct differences, from the same start point.
Alias was formed in 1996 by Gareth Hague and David James initially to develop into typefaces the bespoke lettering designs produced for their record cover and book projects.
As well as typeface design, Alias has produced logotype designs for clients including Ghost, L.K.Bennett, MCQ, Jennifer Lopez for Kohl's, Lane Crawford, Calvin Klein Beauty fragrance and Prada Candy fragrance. For Prada Candy this included the development of the Prada logo into a full typeface.
Typeface designs include headline typefaces for the 2012 Olympic Games and Sunday Times Magazine, and typeface and layout design for Another and Another Man magazines. Alias also works with design agencies and advertising agencies on typefaces for corporate clients and advertising campaigns. Graphic design includes music and arts related projects and book design for clients including Phaidon, Jake and Dinos Chapman and Tate Modern.