Connecting with Gautreaux
Introduced by Victoria Rushton at Typographics 2016, Gautreaux is a new script typeface that achieves complexity through masterful simplicity.
Victoria Rushton came to type design via script lettering; although the two disciplines overlap, they remain fundamentally different. Following Marcia and Embury Text, her two serif families, Rushton returns to her first typographic love with Gautreaux, inspired by a lettering style from Tommy Thompson’s The Script Letter called “free style lettering.” Creating a typeface that convincingly approximates hand lettering or calligraphy is no easy task. When we write, we make connections between letters, or we alter their shapes to better combine with the preceding or succeeding letter(s). Replicating every single one of these automatic, almost unconscious decisions made during the act of writing long proved challenging—that is, until the advent of OpenType increased the capabilities of digital fonts. The OpenType font format uses intelligent features to analyze the characters we type and—where necessary—replaces them with contextual alternates or ligatures for a better fit and a more harmonious, natural flow. While she was gradually expanding a lettering project and turning it into the typeface that would eventually become Gautreaux, Rushton asked herself if all of those font acrobatics were really necessary. Instead of adding the usual whistles and bells, she decided to go in the opposite direction and tone down her design. By tirelessly drawing and redrawing character shapes and carefully considering connections in every single letter combination, Rushton managed to develop a connecting script that only needs four alternates. Gautreaux may be informed by hand lettering, but it doesn’t try to disguise itself as anything but a font. Gautreaux radiates a jovial attitude with a soupçon of vintage charm. The script is not a showboat; there’s a carefree honesty and generosity in its round shapes. It combines wonderfully with both serif and sans text faces, and lends itself well to setting short texts and pull quotes. Gautreaux will inject a friendly elegance into anything from editorial design to packaging and cards. More on Gautreaux
- The name Gautreaux
- An interview with Victoria Rushton
- Transcript of Victoria Rushton’s 2016 Typographics talk