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Beyond the infamous oval box, the Shakers' intelligent approach to the creation of useful objects was one of simplicity and practicality. Their culture resulted not only in a now famous furniture style, but many other things that we take for granted. The metal pen nib, the flat broom, the circular saw and a method for waterproofing cloth are a few of their innovations. The Shaker typeface pays homage to the fullness of their vision.
The difficulty presented by a sans serif design is how to evenly distribute the detailing which will give the font its overall character or personality. No one letter should carry all the style, conversely too much style added throughout will result in a poor text type. Shaker began as a compliment to the Enigma typeface. As such it needed to carry enough visual reference to Enigma to convey a family likeness. Early stages of the design involved pursuing ideas tentatively explored in Enigma, such as the inclusion of definite cuts to the inside of several curved letterforms. However, some features of Enigma proved to be too overpowering for Shaker, such as the lead-in stroke of the n. Other letters also needed to be simplified, including the g and u.
The simplicity of the basic uppercase forms of a sans serif means that there is still less room for detailing. In Shaker cuts made along some of the horizontal strokes compliment the same detail found in the lowercase and help bind the whole typeface together.
In their simplicity, sans serif types are though able to withstand a huge degree of modulation. They can be compressed, stretched, made thin or heavy and still retain their basic styling. Throughout the development of Shaker, variations of width and weight were explored. From the start of the project it was always intended that Shaker should also have condensed and wide versions. This has resulted in a typeface that is more than simply a sans serif version of Enigma – rather it is one that offers a great deal of functionality across a wide range of possible uses.
Information about this typeface
The PDF files show the complete character set together with a variety of language settings. Shaker is style-linked as follows; the italic fonts are style-linked to the romans.
Shaker is licensed in weight packs as well as width family packs. The italics are included with their romans.
Shaker™ is a trademark of JT Types Ltd.