Font Friday

Elevator & Escalator

“Elevator & Escalator level up the Geometric Sans“ written in the headline of a mobile phone in the geometric sans Elevator. The body text is set in the softer geometric sans Escalator, while a quote is set in a light italic style of Escalator, that says: “No one really needs another geometric sans, but …“

Sans-serif typeface

designed by Jesse Ragan, at XYZ Type

160 styles

Elevator & Escalator, each in
10 weights and 4 optical sizes
with matching italics

Variable font

2 axes: weight, optical sizing

Licenses from

Single: $ 40 (web or print), $ 48 (app)
Family: $ 295 (web or print), $ 354 (app)

Best for

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

Specialty

A geometric sans super family that follow its own aesthetics. With a pinch of nostalgia in two different styles, letting you choose how cool or approachable your project should feel.

My thoughts on Elevator & Escalator

“No one really needs another geometric sans”. I love this part of the specimen of Elevator and Escalator. And yes, this genre of typefaces is vastly too crowded with way too similar designs. However, these typefaces by XYZ Type really seem to follow their own aesthetics. They grew from a client commission to replicate existing signage from the 50ies for the renovation of a landmark New York City skyscraper. So you can still feel that historic vibe, with some interesting idiosyncrasies.

This is Elevator Coming with a different mix of letter shapes Beautiful caps with a more restrained & formal feeling to it
Elevator is confident yet with a bit of history sprinkled in

Elevator and Escalator apparently have the same base, which makes it easy to combine them (more on that later). But they are executed differently, which creates a very different feel for each. I find this so fascinating, since in type design, all these tiny decisions and details add up and eventually shift the mood of a design in another direction. So let’s compare them.

This is Escalator Coming with an unusual mix of letter shapes Beautiful caps with a warm & friendly, even organic feeling
Escalator is … wait? That’s not the same typeface as before? No,read on!

At first glance, they seem rather similar, especially in the samples above. But when you look at them side by side in body text, you will see the differences. Elevator is more restrained, more constructed and stiffer. I think it would perform better in large text, since it’s also a bit tighter. Escalator seems more organic, softer, friendlier and more suited for long reading formats due to the more unique letter shapes.

A little body text set in Elevator Regular at 18 px font size. Compare the feeling of this text to the other typeface. Is it softer or harder, warmer or colder? Many details add up, that eventually makes a certain impression on the reader. Elevator seems stiffer, more constructed
A little body text set in Escalator Regular at 18 px font size. Compare the feeling of this text to the other typeface. Is it softer or harder, warmer or colder? Many details add up, that eventually makes a certain impression on the reader. Escalator seems softer, more organic

Zooming in a bit, you can see even better how the different families are constructed. How this feelings are evoked.

Elevator is more squarish, has cut off terminals, open and simpler shapes (t, a). Escalator is more rounded (t, u), the stroke terminals angled.
Comparing the details makes it obvious why the typefaces feel different.

Elevator and Escalator are both variable fonts, equipped with the power of optical sizing, so the letter spacing will always be ideal for the specific size you set it in. I would looooove to see them in a UI design. Maybe Elevator for big text (the numbers are gorgeous) and Escalator for the tiny functional text. They would perform very well while still giving the application a unique feeling.


What do you think? Are Elevator or Escalator something for an upcoming project, or do you have a font recommendation? Tell me in the comments below!

Typographic power to your inbox!

  • FontFriday: I personally recommend one typeface per week and for what application it’s best. Every second week, it’s a free font.
  • Pimp my Type: Articles or a videos from the YouTube channel that help you improve the design of your website, app or digital product.
  • No Comic Sans, Open Sans 😅 or any other BS, like annoying ads. Your email will only be used for the newsletters, unsubscribe anytime.

4 Comments

  1. My vote goes to Elevator, 51% over 49% but both are greatly functional, born to be used in this decade.
    Did you notice that customers and users are becoming coddled? They expect something stellar in everything.

    Why not be just of service, like Elevator and Escalator? These guys are 🎯serving the purpose of long reading text, UI, and headlines. You name it, they do it!
    Escalator could be used in print books while Elevator is more for paragraph-like web pages.

    One thing that I don’t love in these geometric generic typefaces, regardless of E&E is they never work in Italic mode.🤔 Why bother Oliver?

    Anyway, I didn’t come to write a long boring comment. Congratulations on your growth! Very well-deserved🙌🏻
    I’ll do my best to contribute to a higher number, sharing, recommending, etc. ⭐

    1. Yeah, in italic they are mostly slanted and that then is a bit too little contrast for body text. And in this case the kerning seems to be off as well slightly, as another subscriber rightfully pointed out.

      Thank you for your continuous support, Jana ☺️! I really appreciate it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.