Santiago, Chile is home to W Type Foundry, a foundry studio run by Diego Aravena, Patricio Truenos, and Bana Arasanz. Originally begun as Without Foundry in 2012, it was established by Diego Aravena and Felipe Sanzana after the two found one another while attending the University of Chile’s Lettering and Typography degree program.
One thing is for certain; the success of any business or endeavor is only as strong as the passion owned by those who are running it. Diego and Felipe were well matched in that respect, establishing a foundry that was destined to do great things. In 2016, Patricio and Bana joined W Type Foundry. Both are well-educated in the field of typography, with Patricio teaching at the university and Bana working in art direction.
The trio of Diego, Bana, and Patricio keep W Type Foundry running smoothly, and they’re dedicated to offering a range of type designs that include gothic, geometric, wavy, and display fonts. They have also had work selected for both the 2014 and 2016 editions of the Latin American Typography Biennale.
One of W Type Foundry’s more recent releases is Sonny Gothic, a geometric sans serif with inspiration that lies in Herb Lubalin’s work in the 1970s. Lubalin was one of the most prolific type designers to come out of the 20th century. Born in 1918, he would go on to craft some of the most memorable type designs the world has ever seen. ITC Avant Garde, for instance, is one of the most recognizable of all geometric sans serifs; it was developed in partnership with Tom Carnase, and the rest was history. It would go on to inspire a number of similar fonts, which has rather become a hallmark of Lubalin’s work – he lives on in infamy though his own designs, and in the designs he continues to inspire.
Sonny Gothic is one such font. When the members of W Type Foundry were students, they spent countless hours studying Lubalin’s work. With Sonny Gothic, they wanted to make a purely geometric typeface with modern caps proportion, and then combined those proportions with those from the traditional caps ligatures from the 1970s.
This homage to Herb Lubalin was a passion project for W Type Foundry, and they mastered it in spades. The complete family offers 36 fonts in Gothic and Condensed styles. With weights that include Thin, Ultra Light, Light, Regular, Book, Bold, Extra Bold, Black, and Ultra Black, with corresponding italics for each, Sonny Gothic provides graphic designers with an amazingly flexible workhorse geometric family. Its range of weights make it appropriate for a wide variety of projects, including displays, signage, headlines, editorials, web copy, corporate correspondence, white papers, presentations, infographics, posters, flyers, product packaging, logos, mobile apps, branding and identity.
OpenType features abound in Sonny Gothic, offering case sensitive forms, discretionary ligatures, standard ligatures, numerators, denominators, fractions, slashed zero, subscript, superscript, oldstyle figures, ordinals, tabular figures, and stylistic alternates for extensive design flexibility. Multilingual support is thorough, covering Basic Latin, Western European, Euro, Catalan, Baltic, Turkish, Central European, Romanian, Pan African Latin, and Dutch for global accessibility.