Clear Sans is a… wait for it… rational geometric sans serif. It is intended to fill a niche… to provide an alternative to the somewhat based-on-vernacular signage, somewhat geometric sans. I hear the word vernacular thrown around too much and too loosely. If a typeface is based in the vernacular, based on hand-painted or hand-crafted signage, then it should be based on the movements of the hand, retain that warmth and not on a pretty geometric model. For me, clean, geometric and precise doesn’t have to be cold and expressionless.
The original skeleton was hand-painted in 2008 to help determine and inform my decisions going forward. The typeface was completed shortly afterwards at the behest of an old friend for their identity. As usual, I expanded it, but considered retiring it since there were so many things similar out there. Years later, I had a chance to rediscover it and came to the conclusion that it could be improved, expanded in a logical and useful way, and introduced.
I would be lying if I didn’t admit that the rise of webfonts and embedded type in applications influenced many of the decisions I made about reworking Clear Sans. Completely new Text and Screen fonts were developed that utitlize larger x-heights, space-saving widths, logical (and simplified) weight offerings… to name a few alterations. Even the pricing of each variant was considered to produce a more reasonable and simple solution for the developer, designer, professional and novice.
Clear Sans is a departure from my previous sans serifs, but the influences of Aaux Next, Akagi Pro and Halogen are evident.