Holy Sans Serif, Batman!
We recently completed a training manual for Nokia in which we mimicked the look and feel of a GQ magazine cover (ours was dubbed “NQ”). It was an interesting typographic exercise in dissecting a multitude of covers and determining the various fonts used, and one that led me to the discovery of a great font; Gotham.
A brief history goes something like this…in 2000, GQ commissioned type designers Jonathan Hoefler and Tobias Frere-Jones to design a signature sans serif for their magazine. Gotham was the result. Although the digital version hasn’t been around too long, the signage that inspired the font has been around since the 30′s. The aluminum signage at the Port Authority Bus Terminal in NYC was one of the major inspirations for the font. A more in depth history of the font can be found here.
The clip below, from the movie Helvetica, features the designers themselves talking about the inspiration behind the font. Warning: strong nerd content.