Standing in an antique shop in Wisconsin, something caught type designer Jim Ford’s eye – a rusty tobacco can, decked out in punchy Wild West type. “I thought it looked pretty gangster,” says the designer, who quickly set about creating his own rendition of the flared serif.
Named for its outlaw undertones, Hideout offers bags of character. “I describe it as a little bit Victorian, but it’s Victorian futuristic,” says Ford. “I like to think of it as kind of a steampunk design. Putting it together is almost like pipe fitting. Everything snaps together and you can use different parts to create other letters – the way I drew it is really consistent.”
Hideout celebrates quirkiness, blending aspects of a typical flared serif style with a square sans serif. Definitely not a typeface that’s destined for body copy, its expressive angles demand to be used at large sizes, which reveal some of the details that lend it such charm. For example the subtle nick in the R and K – one of Ford’s favorite elements of the design – and the Art Deco-esque bar of the alternate A. Although Ford has lavished attention on the intricacies of Hideout, it’s still satisfyingly robust. “I kept telling myself every letter should work as a bottle opener, as if it was an actual object,” says the designer.
Hideout is also impressively adaptable, with 14 weights including a set of decorative alternates that help soften some of its swagger, if needed, and ghost versions that could have been taken straight from faded “Wanted” posters. There’s even a few brick patterns and antique printers fists hidden in the font, for designers that really want to make the most of Hideout’s quirks.
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