Font Friday

NaN Holo

The narrow Neo-Grotesk sans-serif typeface NaN Holo shown on a mobile Phone in the Heading, copy, and a pull quote taken from the typeface’s specimen that reads: “If Holo does one thing, it’s delivering. It’s reliable, human, original but not loud.“

Sans-serif typeface

by Luke Prowse, Jean-Baptiste Morizot, Fátima Lázaro, at NaN

Variable font

2 axes: weight and width

35 styles

6 weights: Blond to Black
5 widths: xCompressed to Normal
+ Mono in 6 weights

Licenses for print/web/app:

Single: from € 60
Bundle: from € 550

Best for

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

Specialty

Looking for something like Roboto but with more personality? Try this interesting and flexible typeface that comes with plenty of options for UI and app design.

My thoughts on NaN Holo

For many applications, Roboto and San Francisco are okay. They are the defaults, and this Neo-Grotesk style is currently expected in UI design. But maybe you want to break out of that, while not going into a totally different direction? Add a bit more warmth and uniqueness to the visual voice of your project? This is where NaN Holo comes into play.

NaN Holo is an unsual & unexpected Neo-Grotesk with its rectangular counters and round curves. When used large, it stands out in smaller sizes, the inconsistent rounded and squared details blend in and don’t distract the reader. If you like the proportional typeface, the monospaced style is the fuel that runs the magic code behind it.

Nan Holo is an unusual interpretation of that Neo-Grotesk style. The typeface comes with rectangular counters and rounded curves. So you break out of that sameness in larger sizes, where more attention is drawn to them, while they blend in nicely when it comes to small text. Classic win-win situation 😉. When you compare it to the archetypical Neo-Grotesk Helvetica, you see the differences.

This looks Great set in Neue Helvetica Bold and NaN Holo Bold. Neue Helvetica Bold – narrow caps and straight endings. NaN Holo Bold – wider caps and rounded endings
Comparing NaN Holo to archetypical Neo-Grotesk Neue Helvetica

These tiny details add up, so your text creates an over all warmer impression, while still being related to that overall style. See how it looks compared to Roboto.

Roboto seems thoughtless and cold: A little body text in Roboto to compare it. This is very usual, nothing special. It simply fells like nobody ever thought of anything here. That can be good. But do you really want to miss out on a great opportunity to be recognizable and sacrifice your body text to the defaults?

Besides the possibility to make NaN Holo narrower, I see great potential for UI and app design in this typeface. Especially the stylistic alternates with mechanical forms improve legibility for smaller sizes or functional text. And there is also a simple alternative to the striking double-story g, if it is too much for you.

Stylistic alternates with mechanical forms.
Stylistic alternates make NaN Holo more legible in smaller sizes by adding serifs to specific letters

So next time a client demands you to use the overused defaults, sneak in NaN Holo and use all its greatness and subtle weirdness.


What do you think? Is NaN Holo something for an upcoming project, or do you have a font recommendation? Tell me in the comments below!

Typographic power to your inbox!

  • Font Friday: I personally recommend one typeface per week and for what use case it’s best. Every second week I recommend a free font.
  • Pimp my Type: Articles or videos from the YouTube channel that will help you to pimp up the type of your next design project.
  • No Comic Sans, Open Sans 😅 or any other BS, like annoying ads. Your email will only be used for the newsletters, unsubscribe anytime.

2 Comments

  1. The name is in the game 😉 Oliver, now we’re talkin’! 🤝🏻
    Compressed Bold and Condensed Medium yes, please.

    Nan Holo is all-inclusive 👏🏻 That’s its specialty.

    For the next 2 months, I’m going to do a whole verbal branding – project for my client. And besides (micro) & brand website copy, I’m immersing my fingers in creative direction as well. I can easily see NaN Holo there. So, if the concept and their budget permits, I’d recommend it to the designer.

    The best part of this font that makes it friendlier and non-generalist is ‘rectangular counters and rounded curves’. Thank you, O.!

    1. Very neat, Jana! If they use it, let me know and I’ll share it! Always eager to know what comes of my suggestions.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *