Designing the Soho Gothic font.

Monotype designer Sebastian Lester explains the thinking behind Soho Gothic, a typeface intended to perform as well being the backbone of a global brand as it would in an edgy fashion magazine.

The Soho typeface project has been a huge personal undertaking: 54 fonts; over 3,500 hours of work over four years; and 43,924 individual characters. That's obviously a lot of thinking, planning, drawing, spacing, kerning and Python coding.

At times, I thought I'd never finish and really wondered what on earth possessed me to start a project like this in the first place. It's a major commitment by any standard, especially given that it was developed entirely outside of work hours.

I obviously had to have a lot of faith in the type design to invest this amount of time and effort in developing it. I wouldn't have started unless I believed I was designing something that would be extremely versatile and enduring. Over the following pages, you'll get an insight into this long and labour-intensive process.

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