Proxima Nova Font Specimen | Visual Art and Design | Tiffany Zink
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About the Project

Proxima Nova has grown in popularity, originally created in 2005 to “bridge the gap between Futura and Akzidenz Grotesk. This gap resulted in a hybrid that combines modern proportions with a geometric appearance. As a derivative of the 1994 Proxima Sans version, this type family has grown to offer maximum versatility for sans-serif usage. Recently, Proxima Nova has become one of the most popular web fonts around the globe. The project is a type specimen created in 2011 for a Typography Course offered at Sullivan College of Technology and Design (SCTD). The guidelines were to choose a font family and design a font specimen. When I took this Typography course at SCTD, I didn’t have a lot of software training. At that point, I had only taken Photoshop. This helped, but I had to learn Illustrator and InDesign both in 11 weeks, in order to truly use type and display my concepts accurately for the Typography course. We could choose any typeface we wanted, so I started with a type study and researched different font specimens for inspiration. I wanted to brainstorm font families for both serif and sans-serif possibilities. Somehow, I came across Proxima Nova. For this project’s solution, it was important to find a typeface that was legible like Helvetica, but not overplayed. Designing and developing the type specimen was exciting. I was new to studying typography and the artist in me was screaming to use type in an unnatural way. However, I wanted to portray the versatility of the font family. Proxima Nova offers numerous styles, providing versatility for using this typeface in context. From form to function, this typeface does it all. It’s a “jack of all trades” which is why it is so popular today. It can compliment almost any typeface and can also be a vehicle for artistic representations of form and space. The geometric appearance and modern proportions inspired me to play with composition and the letterform shapes. That is how the background graphics and abstract forms were created. The information needed for the type specimen was intended to be legible, with a clean layout and geometric alignment. This project was showcased in my Computer Graphic Design A.A.S. Portfolio. My instructor and potential employers were my intended viewing audience at the time. I still use it today to showcase how developed my critical-thinking and technical skills at the point of graduating from the Graphic Design department in 2012. Currently, I’m using this work in my portfolio to showcase the evolution of my skills. The guidelines were to redesign a type specimen for a font family of our choosing. I chose to find a family with variety that would offer me layout versatility. I demonstrated the versatility through different applications of the duality between decorative form and legible function. Including this project in my portfolio is meant to display my understanding of type specimen, typography’s use of phase and mapping with a testament to this font family’s popularity today.

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About This Project