The initial inspiration for Tofino came from an old type specimen from a foundry in Madrid. This typeface from their catalogue, Grotesca Ideal, was a small squared sans serif used for the captions and extra information about each typeface.
Grotesca Ideal had some pretty quirky things going on in the design, but I was impressed at how well it was working at small sizes and thought it would be a good starting place for something that would work well on screens today.
West coast swiss
The letters have been refined to be more simplified and legible, but still retain some of their original flavour. Tofino takes the best part of Swiss style and adds warmth and character. I like to describe it as “West Coast Swiss”.
The thinnest weight of Tofino is the heart of the design, and because it performed better at display sizes, the rest of the weights began to follow suit. Examining contemporary web design solidified my idea that Tofino should be made for display. Websites of today often contain short, specific, bite-sized chunks of text to keep our ever-shrinking attention spans occupied. These are almost always set at larger sizes — 18px and above — to be eye-catching and easy to read. Tofino fulfils its destiny in these kinds of situations.
But all this doesn’t prevent Tofino from looking great in print as well (its origins were a print typeface after all). Typefaces of today often have to do double duty, as brands want to use a consistent typeface across all print and digital assets. Tofino happily bridges this gap and its selection of 8 weights allows the subtle control often needed in print.
We live in a global market place, so typefaces of today need to speak many languages. Tofino’s character set supports over 200 latin-based languages.
Tofino has been professionally hinted for use on the screen. If you would like to use Tofino in your web projects, you can get a copy of the WOFF files by purchasing a Commercial Licence and emailing me.
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