“Poster Compressed is a display font made specifically for editorial and posters. This font has a super-compressed character set and tight kerning that give you the ability to create large headlines and copy for typographic posters. This font packs a punch when it comes to large copy lines, and you're going to want it in your font arsenal.”—Andrew Footit
See more of Poster Compressed on Behance, and read our profile of its creator, Andrew Footit, below.
Andrew Footit creates impactful and experimental fonts. His work has been published in prestige magazines and newspapers including Barron’s, Fortune, and the Washington Post, while his advertising clients include Ogilvy, GBH London, and Hogarth Worldwide. He has won Gold and Silver at the Promax Awards for outstanding achievement in entertainment marketing and design, and Craft Gold at the Loeries, a prestigious award in the brand communications industry.
What’s remarkable is that the South African designer is self-taught.
Everything Footit knows about type design he learned during late-night sessions in front of his computer. “It’s trial and error,” he explains, speaking from his studio in West London.
“It all kicked off in 2002, when I left school. I had an idea I wanted to do graphic design. I was an unpaid intern at a marketing agency in my little hometown, Margate, on the south coast of South Africa.” That led to bigger appointments at agencies in Johannesburg. “My first job was in post, 3D, and animation. That’s where I got my taste for the 3D work I do. I got an interest in type design and fonts.”
By 2016, he was freelancing in London, splitting his time between client work and starting an independent foundry, Arkitype. “I made my first font, called Modulus, which was quite fun and interesting. People and agencies started asking for it, licensing it.”
“The name Arkitype is taken from archetype, which can be a statement, pattern of behavior, or prototype that other statements, patterns of behavior, and objects copy or emulate,” explains Footit, on his website.
“This is my approach to what I create: Design that is beautiful in its context and does not follow examples, but sets them,” he explains.
Footit’s design process is entirely digital, with no hand-drawn sketches. “Most of the work that I do in 3D is actually created in Illustrator, Indesign, and Photoshop,” he says. “I get more joy out of just creating something in vector and then kind of finessing it in Photoshop. It’s a greater satisfaction. It has a more graphic look to it. Then it’s just a matter of pumping out all the different letters, characters, and numbers, until you have the full font to work with.”
As a traditional graphic designer, Footit understands what designers are looking for in a high-quality font. “Keeping the designer in mind, I try to create high-quality fonts that are functional and attractive,” he says. “The end result is a typeface that is functional and has solid design thinking behind it.”
Brands and publishers soon took notice. “I’d followed a few art directors on Instagram, and a relationship started with ESPN,” he says. The cable sports giant coveted Hudson, a baseball-infused font that looks fit to adorn the jerseys of a professional team.
ESPN contacted Footit when their cover story franchise needed a stand-alone logotype that could work seamlessly across all platforms—TV, online, and social media. He created a custom font. “I added stylistic alternates to the display font to create a customized look,” Footit explains. “An extended C, D, and O were created to incorporate the ESPN logo.” One day he noticed his font on the cover of ESPN magazine, beneath Damian Lillard of the NBA’s Portland Trail Blazers.
“This is my approach to what I create: Design that is beautiful in its context and does not follow examples, but sets them.”
“Because I’m self-taught, it all comes from me, just trying to figure things out on my own. So I think that when you see [magazine covers] it means more,” concludes Footit. “It gives you a sense of achievement.”