Lindemann Sans is an unusual but immediately inviting typeface with a pleasing distinct visual voice grounded by geometry and golden proportions. This project started in early 2008, when designer Chad Lindemann (an Associate Professor of Art at Wisconsin Lutheran College) was set out to create a geometric sans serif font with traditional ideals, but with a modern tech-savvy voice. Chad was inspired by the mathematical golden ratio and the Fibonacci spiral. This mathematical logarithm appears everywhere in nature from leafs, flowers, pinecones, and most commonly nautilus shells. He incorporated this natural spiral into his final versions of Lindemann Sans.
After choosing this spiral as the cornerstone of the design, the next step was to create a spiral matrix in Adobe Illustrator. This matrix was used in creating all 800 glyphs found within each font. It was the skeletal structure for many design decisions, such as, the x-height being three spirals high, most glyphs being two large spirals wide, and the dissection of multiple spiral intersections to form the angles for many of the curves found within the typeface. An unintended surprise was how clearly Latin glyph shapes could be housed within this matrix and how the spirals themselves became inspiration for the curves found within the finished typeface. Also, many of the lowercase terminals, spurs, and tails were derived from the Fibonacci spirals.
According to Chad Lindemann “it did not become immediately apparent, but all design solutions can make new challenges. When creating Lindemann Sans, this challenge was between balancing personal aesthetics and the mathematical spiral matrix. Thanks must be given to Professor Josh Cross’s perspective that designing a typeface is no different than any other artistic venture. In addition, thanks to Professor Paul Burmeister for his encouragement. Paul never stated the obvious challenges facing designing a geometric sans typeface, but always gave words of wisdom and shared his knowledge of how others solved issues of stem, stroke and crossbar weights within single glyphs. Next, the clear and confident direction, expertise, and advice from Panos Vassilliou was extremely helpful. His advice addressed the ink traps and black concentrations of joints within the lowercase glyphs, which were problems that could not be resolved with a spiral matrix, but only with creative artistic decision making”.
Some aspects of the final version of Lindemann Sans that are the most appealing in retrospect are the inventive open form counter of letter a, the tails found on the letters f, i, and t, the slanted bar of letter e. These special glyphs and many more work as a family to create the specific voice of Lindemann Sans. Each style and weight of Lindemann Sans adheres to the same geometric and golden proportions, however, each weight is innately noteworthy. For example, there is a charm that is found in the ultralight weight’s elegant geometry and lights impressive use as oversized headlines. It shines with true clarity of vision with the book weight and the versatility of the medium. One cannot overlook the power and pacing of the bold and extra bold weights with its clear counters and restrained letter forms. Within Lindemann Sans family each weight has a distinctive role to play but stays true to its purpose.
PF Lindemann Sans is available from Parachute.