Brauer Neue

(image philippe desarzens)

At last week’s CreativeMornings I had the pleasure to meet Martina Salisbury of TwoSeven who handed me one of her business cards. I noticed the amazing font on the card and was told it is Brauer Neue. It is similar to Trade Gothic Condensed just a little softer with the rounded corners. Instant new favorite.

Brauer was originally designed by Pierre Miedinger for the Zurich based brewery Braueri Huerlimann as part of the company’s corporate design in 1974. The typeface was extensively used on anything from beer bottles and beer mats to pub signs and promotional material, from letterheads to the company’s signage system, until the brewery was bought by Carlsberg in the early 1990s.

Elektrosmog extended the basic characters of Miedinger’s original ink drawings to a full character set, adding all special glyphs and symbols to make up a complete typeface – including a bonus font offering the brewery’s cherished brand logos.

I can’t remember when I was last so excited about a typeface. (And I can’t remember when I was last as annoyed by browsing a site looking for a font like I just did on lineto.com. While I do appreciate the playfullnes with that pop-up navigation system it is simply not intiutive intuitive and I don’t feel I got to get a real glance at the typeface, hence keeping me from buying it.)

31 Comments leave a comment below

  1. Thanks! Lovely discovery. And agree with you about that pop up nav system on lineto.com. Really pointless.

  2. So simple, so beautiful this font.

    Re: Lineto.com – wow, that is a truly annoying user experience. How did that one make it through to production. So difficult to view or buy.

  3. Just for the record:
    Brauer Neue is not exactly new (3 years, respectively 10 years as the original Brauer on the old lineto.com site). So it’s nice you are excited about it but it’s not exactly new news.
    And i would say describing the website as annoying or pointless is not exactly very constructive criticism is it?
    Sure, it hasn’t been updated very often, but has been doing it’s stuff for years now (at least 6 i think). At that time this sort of stuff people thought could only have been done in flash and was pretty cutting edge.
    So Perhaps those who criticise would care to mention what kind of foundry site they think works perfectly?
    Maybe the makers of lineto would care to respond?

  4. Very Nice and also one of my all time favourites. It is the corporate font of the “Thater Basel” by the way!

  5. That typeface is so beautiful! Thank you for sharing. I went on the Lineto site and find it pretty interesting, don’t mind the navigation. Discovered a number of interesting fonts, too – I especially like the lighter weights of Brauer, it’s simple yet elegant.

  6. Re: James – I think any trained eye would understand why the lineto.com ux is annoying. Remember you’re commenting on a design blog. One would assume that most users have a vested interest in design and would inherently understand the ux issues associated with the current design.

    Maybe 6 years ago it was cutting edge ux, but a lot has changed since then and in the current environment to be frank the ux is out of date. It’s playful, but difficult to use. It’s not intuitive, requires slight learning curve to work out the nav flow. Purchase calls to action are misplaced, misguided and too small. A tiny red link that says “proceed” is the final call to action to purchase a font. When adding a font to the cart, my preview of the font changes to an arbitrary word that is neither the font name, nor what I originally typed. On a larger screen the nav is stretched right down to the bottom right corner while the puchase options are right over in the top right corner. I guess screens got a little biger in those 6 years. I could go on… do you want more? Or is it a little too much for a passing comment? Yes, so the ux is “annoying”, now you know partly why.

    Here’s an example of a foundry sight that works:
    http://www.myfonts.com

    Do I need to explain why? No, just use it and you will see.

  7. I want to buy this typeface, but can anyone tell me the cost in US dollars? the site is HORRIBLE. Not mention I don’t feel safe giving them my CC number for purchasing. Ideas?

  8. It’s like Aksidenz Grotesk Condensed and Stratum had a baby. Love!

  9. Hmm, it’s got some similarities with YouWorkForThem’s Ultramagnetic Light, which I have used in some projects: http://www.youworkforthem.com/product.php?sku=T0020

  10. In defense of Lineto.com:

    The site is as “simply not intuitive”† as the OSX platform that you interact with daily, likely without a second thought.

    On top of a clever and option-packed!!!‡ user design, the site both was and is a feat of programming brilliance. Both in the navigation (how refreshing to invoke the familiar column view menu and be able to hop the site with so few clicks) and in the options and flexibility of the TypeWriter (if you’ve ever tried to program one, you’d understand).

    To Bill– please check your notes. Myfonts isn’t a foundry, it’s an aggregator and a reseller. And, yes, it works just as cleanly and squeakily as Domino’s Pizza Delivery.

    Love,
    A semi-anonymous usability designer.

    † Spelling correction for “intiutive”
    ‡ My terminology.

  11. God, you lot are so boring!
    It’s a fun site. Loosen up.

  12. Looking closer, the Brauer font seems formally a lot more refined than Ultramagnetic. Brauer is a real find and a great font, I’ll be using it for my next project. Just in time, thank you Swiss Miss!

  13. Christ, the secret is out. And we were trying to keep the font just for ourselves at PhotoIreland Festival

  14. Tina, love what you’re trying to do here, but you’ve totally missed the boat on Lineto.com.

    Lineto was ((and is)) the absolute hotness when it comes to intuitive and unique designs on the web. I mean, for God’s sake, they’re using Miller Columns – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Miller_Columns – and implemented them in the dark ages of the Internet.

    Which, if you think about it, really weren’t that dark. Perhaps a moment of silence for the good ol’ days of the Internet when good design was actually good design, and not this generic’fied Web 2.0 snooze-fest to end all snooze-fests that _everyone_ cookie cuts from one site to another.

    And, Bill, if I had your “trained” eyes I’d gouge them out of my head with a wooden spoon. Your grasp of UX design is about as on-point as former United States Senator Ted Stevens’ understanding of how the Internet works. Look it up, junior.

    I mean, not to get completely off on a tangent here, but did you seriously just link to myfonts.com as your closing point? And then rhetorically ask whether or not you needed to explain?

    Remember, you’re commenting on a site about pretty shiny consumerism.

  15. Interesting. Apparently someone can’t take criticism of either the “in passing” or the “constructive” variety. Have to say I found lineto.com rather annoying myself. It is playful, but also somewhat confusing. It’s technically quite nifty – I would love to see a more coherent UX employed on the site, however, as the nifty coding is adrift in a sea of confusion.

    Very interesting to read the comments after seeing some articles on constructive criticism on design recently. It would seem that constructive criticism is only helpful if we’re open to it.

  16. Strange, I love this site and find it to be super intuitive!

  17. I have to agree with all the comments. Yes the site is innovative and intuitive. But this is not a site for those particular purposes. It’s a “store” so to speak. If the customer has to guess how to purchase, then the actuality of the customer purchasing any font is reduced. If this was a portfolio site this would be great. But for an online retail, it’s over designed and thus hurts itself. All of this is IMHO. Remember “good design is as little design as possible.” -Objectified.

  18. Chris hits the important point, but imho interprets it the wrong way: most people who buy Lineto fonts will buy them anyway, no matter how the site is designed. Lineto stands for a certain point of view on design in general, and the website reflects this POV very well.

    The mix of high-tech and low-tech are often an important topic of Lineto typefaces, like nearly all their typefaces created in the early 90ies originating from old, analog sources transferred into digital space (airport landing tables, car number sign, typewriter fonts, and so on).

    There are quite a few details that probably could be made better (like a bigger proceed button to buy a certain typeface), but overall the design shows their unique POV and does that quite successfully.

  19. “We can’t all live in a world of Helvetica… For it’d be a boring, boring world after all.” – Vito Corleone.

  20. I’ll have to agree with “Tina Roth Eisenberg” and “Bill” on this one. There is quite a bit of a learning curve. They aren’t making it very easy to search for a specific font, or to purchase a font.

    It took me awhile (30 seconds) to locate the main navigation of the website. You should be able to locate the navigation immediately upon viewing and digesting the website.

    The “Typewriter” function also took me awhile to figure out. I was typing in the input area, but nothing was showing up. So then I realized, maybe I need to select a font from the drop down menu. So I did that, and still nothing was showing up. IT took me quite a bit of time to realize there was a small button that looked like all the other little buttons around it that said, “write.” To me http://www.fontshop.com/ does a much better job at allowing you to test a font out in the browser.

    I think for the most part the web has reached an age where you don’t really need to reinvent the wheel on some aspects of it. I believe their have been plenty of testing already done by various groups to support the arguments of how to make a smooth and easy shopping experience. So since http://www.myfonts.com DOES sale fonts just as linto.com sales fonts it is pretty easy to see how that is a pretty decent comparison and a pretty good example to use when looking for who is doing it RIGHT.

    I love how people search for little things like gramatical/spelling errors or minute details like, MyFonts.com isn’t a “Type Foundry” instead of what the original focus should of been, which is the fact that lineto.com doesn’t have an intuitive UX.

    I also would like to argue that you don’t HAVE to be a UX genius to be able to say that a website DOESN’T have a good UX experience. All you need to be is a consumer. Because a UX isn’t built for UX designers instead it is built for the USER, which in this case could be ANYONE.

    So do your best to NOT focus on how well of a web designer I am, and how well I write the english language. Last I checked that wasn’t one of the requirements when posting a comment on this blog.

    But I do have an example of a foundry that is “fun”, “creative” but still has an intuitive shopping experience: http://www.houseind.com/

  21. I appreciate the artistic design that went into this site, its beautiful. However, I’m confident that it could have been accomplished without sacrificing usability.

    What most people don’t understand is that the “True Experience” of a site is not only in the “Aesthetics” but also in the “Interaction”. No one likes going to a great looking restaurant with bad service? Or eating a meal that looks great but tastes lousy. The overall experience would not be satisfying. Wed Design is similar.

    Web Design is combination of “User interaction design” and “Aesthetic Design”. Both are very different but extremely important to making a successful site. It’s why a cool poster might not make the best website.

    The lineto.com has some problems in the User Interaction Design side. This is not a criticism, just a fact. I still think the site is beautiful and very creative, no doubt. But it’s true that the overall user experience (for anyone, even the people who absolutely love it) could be improved by making changes to the User Interaction Design.

    The truth is that this is not a case of either/or. Lineto can easily accomplish both goals of Usability and Beauty, in fact they go very well together. Besides, happy customers feel appreciated and are more likely to buy. And on the other hand, no one appreciates feeling stupid because they can figure out the navigation. Food for thought…

  22. Typo in my previous post. Should be:
    - web design (not wed design)
    - can’t figure out the navigation (not can).

  23. I like the site (and the font, but we’re done with that clearly). It seemed pretty easy to me, aimed at designers and not the general public. I think some elements could be refined a bit (the red proceed was a little hidden, but still pretty clear) and the typewriter thing was a little odd, but I don’t know, I think it’s a fun experience. I did like the font sorter piece at the bottom. It’s an easy way to go through all their offerings and there’s a fair amount of functionality there.

  24. Astonishing how crucial this little details are to make a font fresh.

  25. This is the typeface used for Visual Editions (http://www.visual-editions.com), really nice.

  26. Very interesting to read the exchanges, where opposing views are clashing, resulting in a lively debate. The typeface BRAUER is just wonderful, it is exciting to see something so normal which still looks so distinctive. And classy, too! Great find.
    Regarding the website that offers BRAUER, as others have pointed out, it may not make sense to compare Lineto.com to myfonts.com or fontshop.com. Lineto seems to be a small foundry with a small roster of fonts by a handful of designers, while the latter are shopfronts offering literally thousands of fonts by dozens of foundries and hundreds of designers. In my opinion, it is clear that this fundamental difference requires a fundamentally different approach in design, and it seems that the Lineto website exactly does that, to brilliant effect. But true enough, if you’re in a hurry for a quick font fix, you’re better of at myfonts.com.

  27. tube – Handmade Unicums are also using this beautiful font since 2007 :-)

    -> check: http://www.tube.ch

  28. The BRAUER font is hardly big news, it has been around for more than 10 years (as has Lineto.com). It has enjoyed quite a bit of exposure, and not only here in Switzerland (e.g. http://www.theater-basel.ch). But I agree, it’s still a great font!

  29. Over the years, both the LIneto foundry and the Brauer font have gained quite a following all across Europe. Same goes for their Akkurat, their more recent Replica, and a few other quirky and cool typefaces. Regarding their website, maybe it is too hard for most Americans to understand that even in the marketplace, there can be room for a take-it-or-leave-it attitude. I guess it’s a European thing.

  30. EXCELLENT POST IT WAS VERY INFORMATIVE FOR ME THANK FOR SHARING.

  31. Terrible UX oe that site, no quetion, shocking! Now back to the font, beautiful! Thanks.

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