Based in Amsterdam, Novo Typo is a new type foundry from the design studio of Mark van Wageningen. The designer has turned his fascination with Russian history into an unusual font family that strays from the typical definition of what constitutes a family. The Gagarin line includes both serif and sans serif fonts, as well as heavily ornamented variations. Read the story of the family in the description of the matriarch face Anna. You can try the family for free with the free font Petrov.
He had long been playing with the idea of a typeface family structured in an unusual way. In an article presenting the Gagarin family, he wrote: “Compared to a real family, a typographic family is usually a rather dull show. Where is the criminal nephew? Where is the uncle who knows all kinds of tricks? A type family usually goes from roman to italic and from thin to thick. These boring series allow very limited space to the individual freedom of their members. The Gagarin family is a real family, like life itself, in good times and bad times.”
As his font names indicate, Van Wageningen is fascinated by Russian culture, especially by Futurism and Constructivism. Gagarin is the first typeface for which he has actually taken clues from that period: it is partly based on the geometric principles apparent in the lettering of Rodchenko and the Stenberg brothers and copied in a lot of vernacular lettering from the Soviet era. Each variant is drawn on the same simple grid. The basic fonts are rectangular, with rounded angles; some are roughened or blurred. The structure of the family is an open system, allowing for foreign influences.