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About Wayfarer

The typeface was originally commissioned for use with a new wayfinding system for the city of Sheffield in the UK. As Sheffield was the home to the type foundry, Stephenson. Blake & Co. it had been thought that their type, Granby Condensed would be suitable. The Granby family of types was developed during the 1930s as Stephenson, Blake's contribution to the general cashing in of other foundries on the popularity of Monotype's Gill Sans and the geometric sans serifs being introduced by the continental type foundries.

Sketches for Wayfarer
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Application of the original Granby Condensed type was, however, difficult practically. It was not available in digital form, and felt to be just too condensed, with the proportion of ascender to x-height, too uncomfortable for use on the signing project. So there arose an opportunity to design a new typeface and at the same time tailor it to the specific needs of the Sheffield project.

Granby Condensed
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Grotesque No.8
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It was also an opportunity to widen the typographic references for the new font. I was keen to look at other early sans serif types, especially those from Stephenson, Blake and most notably their Grotesque series. These most idiosyncratic of designs are full of warmth, have an informal rhythm and a vitality to their shapes, all of which help create interesting word patterns. The rhythm of Wayfarer is similar to that of Granby, but it is combined with an approach to character detailing which echoes the informal variety found in the Grotesques. There is an extensive character set and as a feature of Wayfarer, superior small capitals have been included. Examples of their use can typically be found in contractions on older street name lettering and in some business names.

Superior small capitals
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Information about this typeface

The PDF files show the character set together with a variety of language settings. Wayfarer is style-linked as follows; the italics are style-linked to the romans.

Wayfarer is licensed in weight packs. Each weight pack includes the roman and italic fonts of that weight.

Wayfarer™ is a trademark of JT Types Ltd