In 2013, we were approached by Wolff Olins to design a new type family in conjunction with Mike Abbink for their client General Electric. GE has already been using a custom headline typeface since 2002 — GE Inspira, also co-designed by Mike Abbink. This earlier typeface served as a starting point for the new family, which is tailored to the use in small body copy and on screen.
The new GE type series is comprised of eight styles: four serif and four sans-serif fonts. While the sans and serif families are clearly designed to complement each other, they hold their ground just as well on their own.
The sans-serif is a contemporary design with open apertures, subtle curved details, and slightly rounded corners and terminals. All four styles (Regular, Italic, Bold, Bold Italic) are optimized for use in the smallest sizes — e.g. in labels, listings or tabels — as well as clear rendering on low-resolution screens.
The serif family follows the structure of the sans-serif but, furthermore, takes inspiration from the Clarendons of the 19th century — a nod to the time when GE was founded. It features a moderate stroke contrast, sturdy slab serifs, and prominent ball terminals. The slightly rounded corners help tie the series together and underline its handsome appearance.
General Electric Company, Fairfield
Wolff Olins, New York
Type Directors Club
Certificate of Typographic Excellence 2014 winner