Floyd Gets an Updated Typeface and Plenty of Hidden Details

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Seven years ago, Floyd launched its ingenious Floyd Leg on Kickstarter. The kit quickly, easily, and reservable changes any flat surface, such as a door, into a table.

Today, the upstart furniture brand has moved beyond the successful crowdfunding project and expanded to an entire line of home goods, including modular bed frames, shelving and storage systems, and sofas, all modular, expandable, and adaptable. Sustainability has been integral to the Michigan-based brand, and they designed the Floyd legs to repurpose existing surfaces. The Floyd bed is also expandable and contractable to avoid having to throw out an otherwise functional frame.

That salvaging spirit is evident in Floyd’s new bespoke typeface, designed in partnership with studio Order NY and done as part of the firm’s seventh anniversary. Typography has deep roots in the Floyd identity, as the name found inspiration in the shape of the firm’s first product.

In 2017, Floyd and Order created the first custom type for the furnishing company, based on the hand-drawn signs found on abandoned buildings in Youngstown, Ohio. Order’s Jesse Reed and Hamish Smyth designed Floyd Gothic in the spirit of the brand’s furniture, serving as a type that can be evolved and changed without being totally thrown out, repurposing old signs in a way in the same way a flat surface is turned into a table by a set of Floyd’s legs.

The latest iteration, Floyd Gothic Inktrap, was designed by Order’s Reed and type designer Emily Klaebe.

It finds influence in the deep notches that were pragmatic design elements to compensate for ink swells common with traditional offset printing. Bell Centennial, for example, was commissioned in the late 70s for use in AT&T’s phonebooks, those large volumes folks used to look up phone numbers long before Google search existed.

The ink traps are cleverly evident in Floyd Gothic Inktrap, a delightful treat for those that that zoom in and pay attention to the finer details in the design. A nod to Floyd’s first success, the ink traps get formed by pushing the end of the legs into Floyd Gothic. The result artfully repurposes Floyd Gothic, giving the brand a new look by changing the typography and keeping the originally commissioned typeface alive.

By extending Floyd Gothic, the brand adds another instrument in its visual toolbox that is complimentary and closely tied to its heritage. It’s practical as well as economical, as it saves in font licensing fees. Floyd’s branding strategy echos the company’s product features rather than throw out everything in a rebrand—it’s a layered approach that builds upon what already exists.