By the late 1800s, the grotesque had matured from a display novelty into a no-nonsense style that could be used for a range of applications. The mid-20th century saw a reappraisal of these classic sans serif forms. Fueled by modernist ideas, they were rethought and redrawn, now with consistent details and even text color. Transferred into systematic families of numerous weights and widths, the neo-grotesque became an essential ingredient of the International Typographic Style. To this day, it remains the go-to option for designers who are after a self-evident, transparent vessel for communication.
Scto Grotesk is Schick Toikka’s very own take on this genre. Striving for the ultimate grotesque, the type designers brought together all the qualities that they like best, always opting for the least quirky, most rational option: Strokes are invariably cut off horizontally or vertically – across all weights. R has a straight leg, dots are square, ascenders and caps share the same height. Scto Grotesk avoids simplistic solutions in favor of animated, reader-friendly forms, see details like the lowered dots on i or the asymmetric bars in f/t. It is decidedly matter-of-fact, but not sterile. The all-purpose family comes in two flavors, A and B. While A is beaming with confidence, B is narrower, but not a condensed. It serves well when a more economical set width is in order. Italics slope just as much as necessary to work for inline emphasis, rendering them suitable also for longer texts. The extreme weights are perfect companions for bigger sizes, be it the airy, monolinear Thin or the stronger modulated Black with its immovable shapes.
The naming pays tribute to the tradition of typefaces that didn’t yet have names of their own, but were rather identified by the foundry or designer, complemented by a style descriptor. An extended latin character set and some handy extras like circled numbers make Scto Grotesk a versatile typographic tool.