The design for Founders Grotesk was inspired by a 1912 series of Grotesques by Miller & Richards Typefounders. The designers were attracted to the rudimentary geometric of the typeface, and for their contemporary interpretation used an amalgamation of inspirations from several typefaces, rather than reviving or strictly reinterpreting the Miller & Richards model.
The first widely used sans-serif typeface, Akzidenz Grotesk, was designed in Germany in 1896. The German word Grotesk translates to sans-serif, and Akzidenz to commercial, thus Akzidenz Grotesk, to commercial sans-serif. William Thorowgood, who was incidentally also the first person to produce sans-serif lower case type in 1832, coined the English term Grotesque. From this bit of history the link between Grotesks and the beginning of sans-serifs and their usage for commercial type is quite clear.
Founders Grotesk is classified as both sans-serif and monoline, with relatively narrow kerning, which the designers felt complimented display work at all points. I was drawn to it because of its very graphic, austere, and symmetrical properties. Upon first examination, Founders Grotesk reminded me of Constructivist type, Franz Kline, Bauhaus curvature, and Richard Serra. In terms of its associations, but prominent sans-serif logos such as Apple and Volkswagon come to mind.
In examining the typeface and creating the letter croppings, I noticed Founders Grotesk’s sleek, architectural lines, and the versatility within its multiple weights. Founders Grotesk is incredibly versatile because of its clarity, modernity, and strong graphic presence; it would work especially well in signage, headings, advertisement, and print.