Font Friday

Big Shoulders (free font)

The condensed sans-serif display typeface Big Shoulders set in the Heading of a mobile Phone saying: ”Big Shoulders is striking and space-saving“ and in a pull qute saying: “Typefaces are to the written word what different dialects 
are to different languages.” by Steven Heller

Sans-serif Display superfamily

by Patric King, available on Google Fonts

Variable Font

1 axis (weight)

54 styles

Big Shoulders, Inline, and Stencil
each in Display and Text
from Thin to Black

License for web & app usage

Free

Best for

  • Headings (display text)
  • Long reading text (body text)
  • User Interfaces (functional text)

Specialty

A space-saving American grotesque with a cool inline and stencil style for interesting headings or super large titles.

My thoughts on Big Shoulders

Big Shoulders is a free sans-serif display superfamily, consisting of 54 fonts. It was designed by Patric King for the Chicago Design System, is available as variable fonts, and also hosted on Google Fonts. What an interesting energy of this typeface – it is somewhat restrained, but still expressive. Big Shoulder is super narrow, almost squarish, and has very short ascenders and descenders. This makes it ideal for large, attention grabbing headings.

Do you want to dance? ALL THE WAV FROM CHICAGO Stencil with interesting breaks Coming with small caps as well and in lower case letters too
Big Shoulder, Big Shoulder Inline, and Big Shoulder Stencil. Adorable figures, very interesting breaks at the stencil style.

Plenty of quirks contribute to its uniqueness. I like the interesting positions of the breaks in the stencil style, and the engaging feeling of the inline style. To me, it looks best in all caps.

Big Shoulders Display vs. Text Big Shoulders Display is narrower and thinner, Big Shoulders Text is wider and sturdier. Big Shoulders Text set at 30 px font size. You should not go below that. Anything below 30px will hurt you. I said you should not set it smaller than 30 px! Come one, what a mess. This is not cool, 20 px font size! It might b called Big Shoulders Text, but it is not a text typeface. Seriously.
Big Shoulders Text should have been called Big Shoulders Subheading. It is not made for running text.

There are two styles, Display and Text, but the text style is really not intended for text sizes. In direct comparison, you can see how it is sturdier and wider, so it would work for font size between 30 and 50 px, but anything below that, forget it. So, there obviously is a reason why Big Shoulders has the word “big” in its name. Use it for posters, signs, large titles, the bigger, the better.


What do you think? Is Big Shoulders something for an upcoming project? Tell me in the comments below!

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