PRINT’s New Typeface: Matthew Carter & Morisawa’s Role

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Thumbnail for PRINT’s New Typeface: Matthew Carter & Morisawa’s Role

You’ve probably noticed that PRINT has a fresh look—and a fresh typeface to accompany it, one forged by legends of the field spanning continents.

For our new site, we chose the authoritative yet approachable—and highly readable—Role.

The family, consisting of 200 styles, marks Morisawa’s first standalone Latin typeface since its launch in Osaka, Japan, in 1924, with the invention of the countrys first phototypesetting machine.

Matthew Carters relationship with Morisawa dates back to 1993, and he was approached to collaborate on Role in 2014. After drawing its preliminary letterforms in 2015, Morisawa designers Sakura Taruno and Shotaro Nakano, along with Shotype Design’s Kunihiko Okano, moved to Cambridge to spend six months collaborating with Carter on the final designs. They were later supported by Morisawa’s Yuya Kobari and Ai Handa.

The sum toll of the groups efforts is a vast offering, one capable of a wide range of expressions. The family is available in four classes and three optical sizes across 98 languages—with a script currently in the works.

To bring the typeface to life, MGMT Design in Brooklyn developed a delightful campaign for the specimen books in which they married a character to each class of the family.

The concept extends to Fontelier’s Role landing page, which pairs a quotation to each. See them in action below (with some additional text specimens)—and find much more about Role at Fontelier, which was created to distribute the face.