Barlow Font

Barlow Font

About Barlow Font

Barlow is a sans-serif geometric typeface that has 3 families (regular, semi-condensed, and condensed) each with 9 weights and their corresponding italics, for a total of 54 styles. It was designed by Tribby, a custom typography, design, and engineering shop run by Jeremy Tribby. The typeface is rooted in the square-sans genre and its bold weight is great for titles.

Barlow Font is ideal for font pairing because of its wide variety of styles. Another fascinating aspect of Barlow Font is that is free and can be used for both personal and commercial needs. Although the font was initially influenced by the visual style of the California public, sharing quality with the state’s license plates, highway signs, buses, and trains, the end result was a very versatile and contemporary typeface with slightly soft edges.

The story Behind Barlow Font

Jeremy Tribby was working for a non-profit organization that was fighting for privacy and freedom in the digital world, called the Electronic Frontier Foundation. The artistic director of EFF Hugh D’Andrade and Jeremy share the same interest in fonts drawn from the DIN Engschrift grid, and they agreed back then that there was no good open-source option. At some point, Jeremy stumbled upon a good Engschrift photo in a comment that designer Paolo Silva had left somewhere on the internet. Inspired by its simplicity, he began to use hand tools for sketching and work.

Over the ensuing months, he helped organize a Crafting Type workshop with instructors Dave Crossland and Thomas Phinney, and then another, along with his colleague Soraya Okuda. Dave and Thomas were excited about variable fonts and Jeremy began to form ideas about Barlow with the new font technology in mind.

The font is named after John Perry Barlow, EFF co-founder, activist, songwriter, and rancher, to commemorate his lasting influence on the information superhighway.

Free for personal and commercial use.
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