Responses by Daniel Perraudin, type and graphic designer, Capitale Vienna/Berlin.
Background: Whether in branding, editorial design or wayfinding, West’s exceptionally open, “uncompact” finish makes it recommended for display use as well as smaller text and more comprehensive typographic systems.
Design thinking: Contemporary geometric sans serifs are either all alike or strenuously “new.” West combines both: it’s timeless enough to work in a plethora of surroundings yet is compellingly contemporary. West should act like the go-to typeface to use when you look for a straightforward sans serif with a little extra that many other geometric sans serif typefaces are lagging.
Visual influences: Classic fonts such as Kabel, Erbar Grotesk or—of course—Futura, but also contemporary designs like FF Mark or Platform.
Challenges: Even though West may seem pretty straightforward, a multitude of contrasting design decisions had to be made to appear as light as possible and timelessly modern. West has some pretty distinct proportions that stand out more and more the lighter the typeface gets. If you compare the narrow a or s with the rather wide g, you’ll see that these details are very prominent in the hairline weight but disappear in the black. Getting these proportions to work harmoniously throughout the whole range of weights was probably the most challenging part of the design.
Favorite details: Getting the aforementioned proportions between narrower and wider letters to work evenly across all weights—or rather, regressing with weight—was tricky. I’m happy with how this—as well as the mix between traditional and contemporary shapes—makes West stand out from the vast majority of geometric sans serifs typefaces.