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Demos Next: A New Life at 40 «

Demos Next: A New Life at 40


Allan Haley in News on January 8, 2015

The Demos® typeface family was one of the first designs created expressly for digital typesetting. That makes it about 40 years old – and in need of a makeover. The Demos Next family is a rekindling of the original design for 21st century imaging devices and typographic needs.

Demos Next

The first digital typesetters were hulking machines that could fill a small room. They produced text content on a cathode ray tube (TV screen) from digital masters, and the text was exposed on to photosensitive paper at very high speeds. This technology was roughly akin to making type with a crayon and ruler.

The early digital typesetters also put huge demands on type designers who tried to create typefaces that would stand up to their brutal punishment. “Subtle” was not a word in this endeavor. The most successful typefaces were square-jawed designs with simple shapes and obvious details.

“The Demos Next family is a refined design that maintains high levels of legibility in a wide variety of imaging devices.”

The Demos family was such a design. Character stoke contrast was kept modest, serifs and stroke terminals were blunt, stroke stress was horizontal and joins were maintained at obtuse angles. The lowercase was also drawn large in relationship to the capitals. All this was to overcome the tendency of the digital typesetter to soften, distort and generally smudge the characters.

Demos Next

But at its core, the Demos design is handsome, space efficient and highly legible. The robust design was an ideal foundation for a high-powered, 21st century typeface family. Curved strokes were subtlety modified to be more pleasing shapes, cap and lowercase x-heights were reduced slightly to more contemporary proportions and blunt details were redrawn with subtle nuances. The end result is a more refined design that maintains high levels of legibility in a wide variety of imaging devices.

Demos Next

The new designs are available from as desktop fonts, as well as Web fonts through all Web Fonts paid subscription plans. In addition, the complete Demos Next family is available as both Web fonts and desktop fonts through Professional and Master subscription plans.

As a special introductory offer a sampling of the Demos Next family, the heavy weight is available at no charge. Simply load it into your shopping cart and check out. Learn more about—and license —the Demos Next family.