The simple but not easy to realize idea of ‘Graphit’ is to create a typeface with maximal black level. Solely thin white lines cut letters from a dark chunky text row.
Similar to thin gaps in a wall, within which every brick is perfectly tilted with its neighbour, the design of ‘Graphit’ is made of on the one hand always same sized and very thin counters and on the other hand equally small character spacing. The emphasised, unbracketed and likewise short serifs at the glyphs right top are interlocking with the serifs at the left bottom – as a result all glyphs are hooked to each other. To approximate the grey-scale of round shaped glyphs with ideal fitting glyphs, some edges are smoothed, some curves are distorted and some spaces are not parallel. Alternative letters and ligatures correct the remaining difficult glyph combinations. Hereby the typeface gets an organic and hand-crafted character.
Beside some ligatures the ‘Graphit’ typeface has alternative letters to ensure the optimal interlocking between the glyphs and display a maximum of black level. Through OpenType-features the substitute is implemented automatically:
We think typography is black and white. Typography is really white, it’s not even black. It is the space between the blacks that really makes it. In a sense it’s like music, it’s not the notes, it’s the space you put between the notes that makes the music. Massimo Vignelli