In its characteristics Xtra Sans is a combination of modern grotesks and traditional calligraphy. Its upright and compact letterforms generate a sturdy effect as in the early 20th century grotesks Nobel, Kabel or Erbar. On the contrary, dynamic inside forms (counters) give the characters a fluent appearance. As a result, Xtra Sans stands out in larger sizes, while remaining highly legible in small and long text.
A closer look at the letters reveals a construction formed by calligraphic downward strokes. In writing this is called ‘interrupted construction’ which is common for upright letterforms. Junctions, which usually appear as smooth curves, are sometimes angular especially in Gothic styles. Xtra Sans borrows this feature from old writing styles. Extra corners are visible only in counter forms in order not to interrupt the flow of text too strongly. Unique corners become clearly visible in large size, helping headlines to stand out better. In small print they function like normal changes in the line thickness (line-contrast), which brings vividness to the text.
In 2007 Xtra Sans received a Certificate of Excellence in Type Design from Type Directors Club, New York. In 2002, still unpublished, it was awarded a bronze prize at the Morisawa Awards, Tokyo.
Designed by Jarno Lukkarila
Published in 2006
Xtra Sans type specimen