As versatile as the plain white T-shirt, Sharp Type’s new font is perfectly ordinary

If something was described as ‘normal’ you probably wouldn’t think much of it. But then, what with the arrival of normcore a few years back and people increasingly turning to mediocre-ness on purpose, being a bit more bog standard has become quite the thing. Think plain white T-shirts and jeans, monochrome and denim shorts; anything that your average Joe will wear and do.
And now, there’s a new typeface – named Ghost – that’s joined the era of the ordinary. Designed by It’s Nice That regulars Sharp Type, the typeface is an ironic yet critical take on the trend. “Ghost is a back-to-the-roots take on the humanist sans genre and a meditation on the ephemeral nature of normalcy,” says Chantra Malee. Chantra is the co-founder of the foundry alongside Lucas Sharp, who work alongside two full-time members named Theodore Jahng and Zyanya Rodriguez. “We all felt strongly that so much of the driving force of this process was about nostalgia and, subsequently, a reaction against it.”
With this in mind, the team decided to address the humanist sans which, in their words, “is sort of a mess”. Characterised by structure, open strokes and a cursive appearance, the typefaces housed under the humanist sans canopy are usually inspired by older ones. Lucas adds: “We likened it to a floating signifier, where everyone sees something different in it.” The foundry’s plans to mix up the typeface involved pulling from a range of models and eras, “codifying them for the current moment”. This is how Ghost was formed. From a PlayStation 1 to a car that has a door which opens sideways, or those techy sandals that every dad and style-conscious person has in their wardrobe; there’s something for everyone in this 90s and early naughties-inspired typeface.

Posted by Contributor