Surveying our Typographic Heroes


Ryan Arruda in News on May 18, 2016

Our friends at Happy Cog originally pitched the idea of utilizing an expressive, typography-driven hero image to act as our masthead during our 2012 site redesign. Since then, we’ve evolved the concept with our talented in-house design crew, and we’ve been lucky to work with an amazing contingent of designers and illustrators who keep our homepage looking typographically enchanting each month.

Over the last four years, we’ve commissioned design dignitaries and up-and-comers alike to craft big, expressive typographic images for us. Whether you’re a design veteran, or somebody fresh on the scene, all are welcome to apply to design a hero image. Since then, our hero program has really taken on a life of its own—this May we wanted to take a closer look at the fantastic designs we’ve recently set live.

Of Insects & Demos Next

Demos Next

North Carolina designer Dan Draper dropped us a line asking to contribute to our collection. Having a versatile design voice, we were happy to bring Dan on board and thought we’d give him a challenge—create a compelling hero image for the newly expanded Demos® Next typeface. This Linotype release has recently been expanded with a brand new set of 12 condensed styles, which you can read all about it in our prior post.

Inspired by vintage encyclopedia entries, Dan put together a stunning hero image featuring the habitually slumbering cicada as a focus of his efforts. The image nicely conveys the dignified, stately air of this serif typeface. To coincide with their next reemergence, we’ll be asking Dan to contribute another hero in 17 years—the next time 2016’s cicadas come around again. Just kidding, we’ll have this talented designer back real soon.

ITC Lubalin Graph: A Sturdy Workhorse

ITC Lubalin Graph

Aaron Draplin, the thick-lines graphic arts master of the mighty Pacific Northwest, is back for his second hero image here on Draplin’s image—flooded in his trademark orange—is an unabashed ode to one of his favorite typefaces, ITC Lubalin Graph®. As he opines, the typeface features: “Beautiful geometry with a crisp, stubborn elegance. Sturdy and cemented in, for the long haul.”

As an additional cool fact, ITC Lubalin Graph makes makes an extensive appearance in Draplin’s much-anticipated monograph Pretty Much Everything, which has finally hit the street. Be sure to check it out!

The Future is Eurostile


San Francisco’s Ryan Bosse has tackled a typographic giant—Eurostile®, the classic sans serif face designed by Aldo Novarese.

Utilizing a restrained palette, Bosse’s image captures the sans serif’s strong, futuristic air. Seeing the menagerie of machinery paired with the sleek Eurostile design, one can almost hear the warm, vintage whirring of circuitboard fans, modulating oscilloscopes, hissing vacuum tubes, clacking reel-to-reel tape, screeching dot matrix printers, and the cacophonous chorus of beeping electronic tones.

Ciutadella Slab: No Party Fowl Here

Cuitadella Slab

Have you ever desired for a hero image to broaden your horizons of poultry knowledge? Go awanting no more!

Thanks to veteran hero designer Elisabeth Weber of ELLIJOT, we have an image that provides you with a myriad of factoids about, that’s right, chickens! Utilizing EmType foundry’s Ciutadella Slab typeface, this image displays a nice hierarchy, and shows off the type family’s versatile styles, which happens to be a companion to the previous Ciutadella and Ciutadella Rounded collections. Be sure to check them all out.

Until Next Time

See you next month with another new roundup of our hero images! Are you an enterprising designer unabashedly enamored by typography? Have you ever been interested in designing a hero image? If so, head on over to our Hero Image Archive to get in touch and say hello!

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