Neutral is the attempt to create a typeface that is free of all connotations or associations that could distract a reader from the text, a font that delivers the character of the written material untouched by the character of the typeface design. The whole project started with a discussion about why certain typefaces seemed to ‘age better’, or indeed age less than others: there seemed to be something about some of the big milestones of 20th century type design that kept them fresh for more than fifty years.

The process drew from ideas such as the Platonic form theory, Conceptual Art, Taoism and tea ceremonies. Part of the project was to develop a design methodology of comparisons and measurements of typefaces and typeface genres to come up with rules for the design of the typeface.

Aware that there is no such thing as total neutrality, this typeface explores how the absence of stylistic associations can help the reader to engage with the content of a text.

Self-initiated. Part of Kai’s graduation work (BA) from the Royal Academy of Art, The Hague, 2005.

Between 2010 and 2014, Neutral has been completely redrawn, extended, and manually hinted for the screen. Existing users of Neutral will receive a free upgrade to this new version. Contact us for details.

Available from Typotheque