In 2011 and 2012, I had the pleasure to work with Gerard Unger on the Demos® Next project for Linotype. My involvement was strictly limited to assistance on the upright parts of the family. Afterwards, Linda Hintz took over. There is certainly much more of her work here than of my own.
Demos was one of the first digital font designs; Gerard Unger created it in 1975 for the Hell Digiset digital typesetting machine. His design has great consideration for the digital film output. Through extensive studies, Unger determined the shapes and curves that could be best produced in the production process. The characteristic, slightly rounded shapes of Demos and the absence of any sharp corners are the result of this process. When used as a newspaper face, the space-saving letters demonstrated extremely good legibility, and the distinctive font has won many fans over the years. Among these fans was the German government, which used Demos along with its sans serif counterpart, Praxis, as its corporate typeface.
In the new Demos Next, the shapes of the letters remain largely untouched; the small changes are only visible at a second glance. The x-height and size of the lowercase letters has been reduced very slightly. Moreover, the lowercase “e”, for example, shows a slightly more rounded line end, the foot of the small “k” takes up a little more space and some curves are rounded in a more pleasing manner, such as in the “a”. The points above “i” and “j” are designed to be slightly more oval in shape. In addition, freed from the single, rigid grid of the Digiset machine, the weights are more detailed. All the changes have been carefully designed so that the fundamental character of the font does not change, but is emphasized further.
A great deal has changed in terms of the fonts’ features, however. All styles have uppercase and old-style figures, aligned for the tabular or proportional setting. Additionally, you have the option of small caps in the upright styles. Demos Next’s character set of the new Demos Next was also expanded a great deal. In OpenType Pro format, most of the Central and numerous Eastern European languages are available. Pinyin marks have also been included for the transcription of Chinese characters into the Latin alphabet.
Demos is a trademark of Monotype Imaging Inc. registered in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and may be registered in certain other jurisdictions.