A “situational” approach to type design allows for more varied and interesting fonts — and more useful ones, too.
Think local, act local too.
A font’s weight or width can only be pushed so far before the design snaps. Because Knockout was inspired by ninteenth-century typefaces that predate the idea of the uniform type family, its design has a natural flexibility built in. Each corner of Knockout’s family is allowed to depart from the others, in order to do what it does best.
Flexible Stroke Weights
In Knockout’s boldest quarters — its Series F and G — weight wins out over consistency. Thinning down these hairlines not only helps preserve the letterforms’ white space, but helps create a contrast between thin and thick strokes that heightens the illusion of weight. Pushing this contrast helps to create especially clear letterforms, and an unusually far-reaching suite of weights.
A similarly flexible approach to the design of the font’s “branches” allows Knockout’s heavier weights to get very condensed. In Knockout’s condensed faces — its Series A, C and E — these deeply driven notches help reinforce the verticality of each design, and make for letterforms that can resist the effects of ink at even the smallest sizes.
By pointing its terminals inward, a condensed face becomes more compact, and its letterforms more recognizable. A wide font uses the opposite approach, gesturing outward in order to create bigger counters and prevent strokes from overlapping. Knockout’s nine widths gradually move from one position to the other.
Prominent descenders can help a narrow face look narrower, and a bold face look bolder. Where they’re unwanted is in between, where more restrained forms promote good balance and invite modest leading. In each of Knockout’s 32 fonts, we’ve subtly tweaked all the dimensions of the lowercase in order to accent each font’s most important qualities.