The Goodness of...Brothers Font

| Posted in , | Posted on


I have a confession. I love typography. In a big way. Like "take it behind the middle school and get it pregnant" kind of love it. I realize that makes me a huge nerd. But as a graphic designer, I spend a lot of time looking at and thinking about typography, and contemplating all the subtle and unconscious messages typography has the power to convey. And I'm not proud of it, but I may have even lusted after a font or two in my time. 

Today, I wanted to extol the virtues of one of my all-time favorite fonts...Brothers. Unless you're a design nerd like me, you probably haven't heard of Brothers, since it doesn't come pre-installed on computers like Times New Roman or Comic Sans. But there's a good chance you've seen it before on packaging or a billboard and subconsciously thought to yourself, "What a great old-timey looking font!"
Brothers was designed by the well-known sign-painter John Downer in 1999. Its inspiration came from a hand-drawn letterhead designed around the turn-of-the-century for the COLE BROTHERS traveling shows, an extravaganza of acrobatic and circus acts that included trained horses with bareback riders. I think there's a quality of boldness and daring in the blocky, square-cut letters that really seems to accurately reflect the bravado and quirkiness of circus performers. 

What I love about the character of Brothers is the sense of nostalgia it seems to create, like an old country store, moonshine, vintage cars, or horse-racing. It's a very bold, strong typeface but not at all boring or utilitarian. Of course, it wouldn't be appropriate if "modern and sleek" is what you're going for, but for conveying a sense of "rough and tumble" history, I think it's perfect. 

A few samples of Brothers in action:

If you like what you see, Brothers font is available for purchase from Emigre.

Comments (0)

Post a Comment