Hubsch typeface pays homage to the marker pen, with convex curves and a hand drawn touch

Today, the marker pen has something of a humble place in the stationary cupboard. Often found half dried up, with mis-matched lids, and solely used for ideas sessions, its creative potential has been somewhat sidelined – something The Northern Block’s Hubsch typeface is looking to change. A sans serif font designed by Jonathan Hill, one of the Newcastle-based foundry’s founders and designers, its convex curves and blend of thick and thin lines emulates the unique touch of a marker pen, while reinforcing the joy and fundamentals of handwriting in a hyper-digital design market.

Not only celebrating the visual effect of the marker pen, the typeface is rich with references to its history – especially in the world of street art and graffiti – with the work of Keith Haring and Banksy both inspiring its creation. On a more personal level, Jonathan’s childhood memories of marker pens influenced the project. Their smell and the sound of them on paper, but also watching Tony Hart – from the 1970s BBC children’s art programme Take Hart – drawing with a chisel tip marker pen. What’s more, the sans serif takes its name from a 14th century printmaker Martin Schongeaur, who gained the nickname Hübsch Martin (which translates to ‘Pretty Martin’) for how well the letters in his prints fit visually with their straight and curved sides.

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