Presenting works of visual art in an editorial context is always a challenge. The typography for the accompanying text shouldn’t distract from the images, or compete against them. On the other hand, making the typographic part too austere and restrained might lead to boring results, and is a missed opportunity for expression.
That’s exactly the challenge that Landscape faced when Tom Claxton approached them to develop an identity for his Claxton Projects. The artist management company based in New York City represents a group of exceptional, international photo-based artists. According to the brief, the identity should offer
a distinct perspective that would captivate and provoke audiences in the commercial and art worlds alike. The visual language needed to be smart, sophisticated, and minimal – a canvas for a diverse roster and rich storytelling – allowing the quality of the artists’ work to take the forefront.
The design studio from San Francisco came up with a well-considered and lightweight approach. The only elements shown in addition to the photographic works are a logo-like symbol that hints at the C in Claxton as well as the shape of a lens, and a single typeface. The chosen typeface is Proto Grotesk by Production Type. It’s conventional and soft-spoken enough not to steal the show from the images. At the same time, it has plenty of character. With its strongly modulated joins, the elaborate double-story g and the edgy flat terminals in a, f or y, Proto Grotesk can lend an intriguing look to each line of text.
Proto Grotesk is almost exclusively used in its most gentle weight, the ExtraLight, in few contrasting sizes. The slightly sturdier Light is utilized for the smallest applications, like the menu on the website, basically applying it as an optical size of the ExtraLight and yielding the same perceived airiness.