The hardworking FS Koopman is a crossbred workhorse which draws inspiration from Swiss and Germanic grotesks, American gothics and early British grotesques, but refuses to fit neatly into any of these categories. Its neither one nor the other, but all of the above. Fontsmith designers Andy Lethbridge and Stuart de Rozario decided to take the characteristics they admired from each category and distill them down into one functional family.
FS Koopman aims to swim against the tide of Helvetica-ish derivatives by bringing some personality and soul to a genre that all too often ends up feeling bland and sterile. FS Koopman subtly embraces the quirkiness and charm often seen in early twentieth century designs but pairs this with the functionality of later pioneers of the genre.
The term grotesque surfaced around the early 1800s and refers to the early sans serif designs that many initially believed were strange or ‘grotesque’ due to their lack of elegant serifs. Later variations became known as neo-grotesque‘s and this moniker stuck around even after they gained mass popularity. Some American variants became known as gothics. FS Koopman takes cues from all three categories and blends them into one cohesive design.