Breaking the (typographic) rules the right way

The other day I was at the coffee bean, indulging in a luxuriously delicious black and white muffin, when the display at the register caught my eye.

What may be obvious is their choice of Archer, which we all know I super love, but why I’m writing about it is the use of two slab serifs simultaneously. A dangerous typographic no-no.

Here, however, it’s definitely not wrong. It looks crisp, eye-catching, and visually balanced. So how’d they do it?

They did it by following another rule: the rule of contrasts.

Even though it’s dual slabs going on, the choice of the face of the slab is what makes this a stellar rule-breaker. Giza (the big fatty “We’ll Donate $1”) is a deliciously bold slab serif that made its rounds as a design trend back in 2009. It was first designed in 1845, by Vincent Figgins.   The nine varying weights were created to give posters extra oomph- as posters often crave.

When you pair this mega fatty with Archer’s refined details the two just get along swimmingly. I’m also really digging the subtle use of bold, book, and italic typefaces within the different sentences typeset with Archer. Soak all that typographic goodery going on in here. Eye-popping boldness that’s softly rounded out with the subtlety of variation within the Archer face, delicious.

Hooray for you, Coffee Bean design team. It’s not often I get to snap an image of someone breaking the rules in one of the most awesome ways possible.

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