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New Reason tunes in to the right frequency

Miles Newlyn turns his eye to history, transforming century-old grotesque letterforms into a contemporary, uniquely British sans-serif family.

New Reason has personality in spades. Newlyn’s new sans-serif family taps disparate historical sources: from nineteenth-century carved capitals like the ones found on the Political Martyrs’ Monument and the John Playfair Monument to the early-twentieth-century grotesques printed in Stephenson Blake specimen books. New Reason reminds us that type families were not always designed as one consistent suite. Often, lots of time elapsed between the releases of the different weights and sizes, since each had to be drawn and manufactured separately. The result was type styles that, though related, had distinct identities.

Overview of New Reason’s weights.
From the lightest, nearly monoline styles to the contrast-rich, heavier weights, New Reason displays a wide expressive range.

Newlyn managed to combine the best of both worlds by balancing the modern with the old. New Reason’s letterforms are warm and organic without being stuck in the past; they’re pragmatic without becoming impersonal. Generous capitals are paired with a crisp lowercase. As the weight increases, the contrast—almost imperceptible in the Lighter and Regular styles—becomes more pronounced, imbuing the heavier styles with a slightly vintage air.

Demonstration of Stylistic Set 1.
The key letters that give New Reason its personality can be toned down by activating their alternates with Stylistic Set 1.

New Reason can be tailored according to your personal preference. Keeping potential users first and foremost in mind, Newlyn added toned-down versions of certain letters. The typical curly tail of the capital Q gets straightened; the c curls into itself a little less; the ankh-shaped f is swapped out for a more conventional version; and the curly finials on the j, r, and t get reined in. Furthermore, two sets of arrows in eight directions can be found under Stylistic Sets 4 and 5. This makes New Reason a viable candidate for wayfinding systems and environmental graphics.

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New Reason gives body copy a pleasant texture. And using it for titles and other display settings is a refreshing change from what we usually see in such contexts.

If you prefer a chorus to a one-line melody, New Reason is the typeface for you. Its design, markedly different from most staple sans serifs, gives communication a distinctive look. The five weights offer enough range without becoming unwieldy, allowing users to typeset diverse materials in sizes big or small. With stylistic alternates making it possible to dial its idiosyncrasies up or down, New Reason will add some bite to your editorial design in print and on screen, and will lend a strong, recognizable voice to your message.

Like all Newlyn fonts, New Reason is available for print, web, applications, and ePub licensing. Webfonts may be tested free for thirty days; desktop trials are available upon request. To stay current on all things Newlyn, subscribe to Type Network News, our occasional newsletter featuring font releases, foundry happenings, type and design events, and more.