Surface magazine is emblematic in the field of cultural printed press: for thirty years, the magazine has explored architecture, art, design, fashion, and travel and how contemporary culture influenced and shaped each of these fields. Surface advocates high-quality photo-journalism, as much in its digital contents as in print: known for its sophisticated photography and sober aesthetics, Surface is ambitious on all sides.
Javas Lehn Studio is in charge of the identity and progressively tried to push the boundaries of its initial principles, in order to introduce a new identity for number 155. This included the design of a custom font, used for the logotype and to set titles: Surface Sans, made in collaboration with Amsterdam-based type foundry Bold Decisions. This wide, bold, geometric sans with a strong character is impactful and elegant at the same time, becoming discreet once set in the generous white margins of the spread pages. Some peculiarities such as the rectangular top of the A bring an architectural feeling to this font. The texts are set in FGrotesk designed by Radim Peško: we find the same kind of aesthetics in both fonts, with an optimization for long texts in F Grotesk, and its famous rotated italics, which also aim at displaying the letters as design objects. The attention of the reader is solicited by the letters, and makes them consider that not only the content of the magazine deals with creation, but also its very shape. Finally, Javas Lehn Studio decided to keep Sainte Colombe from Production Type, which they already had introduced in the previous issue: the delicacy and the absence of systematization in Yoann Minet’s design make for an interesting contrast with the two other typefaces. Short texts and quotations are set with Sainte Colombe and punctuate the magazine with subtle touches.