As a bespectacled type nerd, I am going absolutely gaga over Type’s new Garamond and Helvetica inspired glasses. Maybe I am geeking out a little too much but I just love this idea. The best part is that, not only did the Japanese based company create a style of glasses for each typeface, they also have three different weights for each. Cleverly you can buy both the Garamond and Helvetica glasses in light, regular and bold in your choice of black, clear or tortoiseshell. Shade is also available.
The Garamond line, which I find to be reminiscent of those on Dr. TJ Eckleburg’s looming sign in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby, definitely make a statement. Type gives very a very obvious nod to old-style serif typeface’s lowercase G. The frames flair out on the sides like the G’s ear and they point in under the bridge just like the Gs neck. These glasses really reflect the typefaces much more so than the Helvetica pair. However, I don’t think even the most knowledgeable typography expert would look at the glasses and know to make the association to type, on either pair, without some prior insight.
The Helvetica inspired frames play more at subtlety. The likeness is seen mostly in the arm and ear pieces of the glasses from Helvetica’s capital. H’s ascenders and legs. Valentina Palladino of The Verge described them excellently, “The Helvetica frames look like they’ll blend into your face — much like the typeface has blended into our world, becoming a presence that’s legible, accessible, and somewhat boring.” I don’t think they are boring per se but they definitely say less than the Garamonds. They are more wearable for the every day person, are better suited for a variety of facial structures and require less confidence. Helvetica is widely accepted choice of typeface. It’s safe and the frames are safe too in comparison.
These babies go on sale Jan. 30. at $231 a pop. Helvetica Regular in tortoise might have to be my nerd-splurge of the year. Guess I like to play it safe.