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BioRegional Typography

June 9, 2011

The Center for Genomic Gastronomy has recently received an identity redesign by our campaign strategist.

She writes:

The new logo uses a typeface called Mercury. Although chosen for it’s clear gestures and subtle quirks, this typeface also has an interesting history. It was developed by the amazing foundry Hoefler & Frere-Jones for the New Times, an American newspaper that is sold nationally, but printed locally. In order to create a standardized publication throughout the country, varying versions were developed that had the same overall height and width, to account for different climactic printing conditions.

The foundry calls these variations ‘grades’: “sibling members of a type family that shared the same underlying geometry, but offered different degrees of darkness on the page. (Unlike the weights of a type family, which grow progressively wider as they get bolder, a font’s grades increase in color without affecting copyfit.)” Essentially, the newspaper can be printed in Miami where it is humid and hot, using less ink to create the same appearance as the heavier grade printed in a dryer region, such as Phoenix. The result is a regionally flexible type family.

The Mercury typeface is well suited for the Center for Genomic Gastronomy, a reminder that designing for resilience and biodiversity requires a thorough consideration of local and regional factors; climactic, cultural, political and economic. We’re keen to chart other examples of bioregional design, so let us know if you have any good examples!


November 18, 2021 - December 12, 2021
Grafill, risography exhibition, Oslo, NO
October 24 - November 21, 2019
ClimATE, Aalto University, Espoo, FI.
March 1, 2018
Climate Fiction PT
October 21 - 29, 2017
Dutch Design Week: Embassy of Food
October 19 - 21, 2017
Experiencing Food (Lisbon)
Nov. 5 - Apr. 2, 2016
2116: Forecast of the Next Century
Nov. 5th, 2016
KiKK Festival Workshop