Nestled in the historic city of Newcastle upon Tyne, England, The Northern Block is a design studio whose work is known for its innovation, functionality, and far-reaching appeal in the world of graphic design. Much of their work, although certainly not all of it, is centered around the most common themes of our modern world, particularly those surrounding technology. When working on a project related to computers, mobile technology, electronics, and video gaming, designers should make a point of checking out The Northern Block’s portfolio during the planning stages. The range of products in their inventory is designed to suit those needs to the letter (quite literally), offering a fresh and modern variety of fonts to work with.
Established by Jonathan Hill in 2006, The Northern Block regularly collaborates with other typographers and graphic designers, earning a solid reputation for being a creative haven of sorts, one dedicated to supporting visual artistry and individuality. Jonathan himself was greatly influenced by The Designers Republic, specifically by the way they chose to use irony and wit to stand apart from the rest of the London design scene. Known for their use of the phrase, “North Of Nowhere,” Jonathan paired that inspiration with his own variation of “the Eastern Bloc,” and just like that, “The Northern Block” was born.
Jonathan’s approach to both design and life in general might be viewed by some as rather unorthodox, a characteristic he fully and willingly embraces. He got his initial start as a painter and decorator, soon realizing that his skill set could be put to better use somewhere else. He enrolled at the Batley School of Art in West Yorkshire, eventually studying at the Newcastle College of Art & Design.
At first, fonts were something he only used as a part of his interior or graphic design work but in the mid-90s recession, he turned his attention toward graphic design for advertising. Jonathan found freelance contracts in the music scene of Sheffield, his hometown, before being hired by Mainartery, a studio with a focus on the music industry. There, he was able to hone his typographical skill set, taking a much deeper interest in fonts than he’d previously had.
The rest is history. Jonathan paired the skills he’d gained creating logotypes, along with his expertise in business, and boldly set out into uncharted territory when he founded The Northern Block. He has a particular fondness of modernist, geometric sans serifs, much like the studio’s recent release, Typold.
Designed by Jonathan Hill, Typold is a finely balanced, neutral sans serif. Crafted from the desire to improve upon classic geometric forms, Typold’s construction was mathematically-engineered to excel beyond those previous achievements in a way that meets the current needs of typographers and graphic designers.
Typold is a superfamily of 55 fonts, featuring a series of weights that range from Extra Thin to Black with corresponding italics for each, along with three separate widths (Regular, Condensed, and Extended) to suit an incredible array of design projects. This family offers clean legibility even in very small point, making it a perfect choice for just about anything: business cards, fine print, mobile applications, web content and design, e-publishing, presentations, corporate communications, headlines, editorials, magazines, and product packaging.
Typold is loaded with additional functionality through its case sensitive forms, capitals to small caps, numerators, denominators, slashed zero, ordinals, standard ligatures, oldstyle figures, tabular figures, small caps, and stylistic alternates. Multilingual support extends to Basic Latin, Western European, Euro, Catalan, Baltic, Turkish, Central European, Romanian, Vietnamese, Pan African Latin, Dutch, Pinyin, Venda, and Igbo Onwu for exceptionally far-reaching accessibility.
The Northern Block offers more than 100 products through YouWorkForThem, providing designers with an unbelievable range of font choices to choose from. Visit their portfolio to view the rest of their work and bookmark it to keep an eye on their future additions.