Instant, the typeface that shifts gears.
Since its origins, typography is closely related to handwriting from which it originates. The quicker we write, the more the writing is done without raising the hand: typographic shapes derived from it are the so-called cursive characters. Therefore, why not imagine that the shapes decomposed into several strokes match a slower execution speed? This is the fundamental path taken by Jérôme Knebusch at the beginning of the Instant creation.
Naturally, with speed comes thinness, and with slowness comes thickness. Thus was conceived Instant, a family in which each member is defined by a speed, which in return lends it both shape and weight: Instant Vivid, Instant Quick, Instant Regular, Instant Slow, Instant Heavy. Instant Vif is a fixation of handwriting, animated by a vivacious spirit, while Instant Heavy is a sans-serif, with robust and reassuring forms. Each weight is a intermediate step which allows the passage from one extreme to another.
Instant calls into question some established practices of typography. The linguistic part assigned to the Italic in relation with the Roman – usually highlighting a language element – is only possible by juxtaposing contrasted weights. On the other hand Instant allows to rediscover the first use of Italic, which was conceived as a design in itself, chosen for its own qualities. The wealth of expressiveness is at the heart of Instant which makes it possible for designers to stage a variety of connotations within a single text.
Typographic research project par excellence, Instant was designed by Jérôme Knebusch at Atelier national de recherche typographique, starting from 2005. It received the careful support of Hans-Jürg Hunziker. Matthieu Cortat provided the technical development.