Steven Heller’s Font of the Month: Slag

Nobody doesn’t love slab serif fonts. They’ve been around for centuries in metal and wood, press-type, photo and digital, used in countless ways in antique and modern formats, for ads, posters, logos and more. They are an enduring workhorse type genre. Accordingly, type designers are never at a loss for finding distinct ways to keep slabs current and desirable, routinely adding spicy details to add character and soup them up. When Paul Rand added stripes to Georg Trump’s modernistic slab, City Bold, he not only raised the slab bar, he created an unforgettable mark that continues to excite the eye. I had a similar buzz upon using the type-tester to sample each of the four styles of Slag designed by Krzysztof Kochnowicz. It felt like I was test driving a killer typographic hot-rod.

From the moment I started the engine in first gear with Slag Black, then accelerated to Slag Inline, Two Line, Three Line, and finally slid into Five Line, I felt an exhilarating jolt. There is so much color and texture in Slag’s linear geometric variations – and in the combination of large and small caps (which replaces lowercase letters) – that I was satisfied that the Slag family WAS the winnes in this month’s type road race.

For anyone who likes more than an iota of quirkiness in their typography, virtually every letter in all the styles, has a customized and bespoke sensibility. Particularly unique (in order of my favorites) are the “R”, “G”, and “A”. The “Z”, with an extra protruding serif on the bottom left, is also engaging. The “K” is pretty kool too. And the ampersand, especially in the Inline style, is audacious and ballsy in a rectilinear way.

Only one minor disappointment: Kochnowicz could have included a light One Line to compliment the other styles (he already designed and embedded a One Line in the Inline). With that addition this hot-rod font would be running on all cylinders. Woooosh.

Fonts of the Month: Slag
Designer: Krzysztof Kochnowicz Foundry: Type & Roll

Steven Heller is nothing short of a legend in the design community. Award-winning graphic designer, author and editor of hundreds of books (yes, 100s!) and one of the world’s foremost authorities on graphic design history; and arguably its best design commentator. Follow Steven on the must-read The Daily Heller and read his latest book, Growing Up Underground: A Memoir of Counterculture New York.

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