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13th June 2017

Monotype launches the SST typeface

“Carelessly embellish a typeface with trendy styling, and in two or three years it will look outdated.” 

Akira Kobayashi is not interested in fleeting trends. As a Monotype type director, Akira puts his energy into designing typefaces that stand the test of time. Under Akira’s watchful eye, Monotype creates typefaces that will be as relevant and accessible in decades to come as they are today. 

The SST typeface, Monotype’s latest launch, perfectly embodies this approach. It's sharp, precise and frill-free; blending the organic legibility of the Frutiger typeface with the sharp geometrics of the Helvetica typeface. The vertical and horizontal line width of each character has been designed with intricate precision, appearing consistent, even when it isn’t. Optical illusion is hard at work here. 
The SST typeface has a compelling backstory. It was initially designed in collaboration with Hiroshige Fukuhara, chief art director for the Sony Creative Centre, for use by Sony around the world. Now it’s available for any company wishing to extend its branding with a uniform and consistent typographical presence, regardless of the country or language in which it was being used. SST is therefore about as accessible as typefaces come and can be applied to 93 different languages. With just 23 languages accounting for more than half of the world’s population, this gives the SST typeface one hell of a reach. 
Unsurprisingly, the research process that informed the design of the SST typeface was lengthy. Akira enlisted multiple local typeface designers, each with linguistic expertise, to focus on specific languages, taking into account cultural sensitivities as well as stylistic requirements. Their findings were then used to inform the design, making sure it was uniform no matter where in the world it was used. The result is a multilingual, accessible and consistent design that can be used for years and years.
Monotype is a leader in empowering expression, branding and engagement through a combination of type, technology and expertise. Its team of type specialists and industry experts consider every application of type and the very specific roles that type plays in communications, branding, storytelling and society as a working mechanism.
For more on Monotype, visit our Client page. 

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