Neutraface is a geometric sans-serif typeface designed by Christian Schwartz for House Industries, an American type foundry. It was influenced by Richard Neutra's design principles and was developed with the assistance of Neutra's son and former partner, Dion Neutra.
The general purpose versions of Neutraface are Neutraface Display and Neutraface Text, and since its initial release the Neutraface family has expanded with the variants Neutraface Condensed, Neutraface Slab and Neutraface No. 2. The Neutraface family is widely used and is even the subject of a parody of Lady Gaga's song "Poker Face".
Neutraface was designed by Christian Schwartz over the period of a year with assistance in art direction from Ken Barber and Andy Cruz. It was the result of a project started by Schwartz to design "the most typographically complete geometric sans serif family ever", based on Richard Neutra's principles of architecture and design. The Neutraface alphabet was developed through consultation with Neutra's son and former partner, Dion Neutra, and with reference to the signs on the buildings designed by Neutra. Since there were limited samples of Neutra's signage, much of Schwartz's work was interpretation, including an entire lowercase alphabet which Neutra had never used and thus was based on Futura, Nobel and Tempo.
Although Neutraface was conceived as a display and headline typeface, Neutraface Text was created to complement Neutraface Display. Neutraface Text has a larger x-height than its display counterpart and increased stroke contrast.
- Neutraface Condensed is an adaptation of Neutraface with a condensed width that Schwartz began to develop as soon as he and his colleagues realized how popular the original series was. It was released by House Industries in 2004.
- Neutraface No. 2 is a revision of Neutraface made by Schwartz in response to what he perceived to be a demand for a "more 'normal' Neutraface". It is described by Schwartz as a "director's cut" of the original typeface, with the main change being its raised crossbars. Neutraface No. 2 was released by House Industries in 2007.
- Neutraface Slab is a combination of Neutraface No. 2 with a slab serif style. The concept originated as joke but when Schwartz proposed the idea to House Industries, they convinced him to follow through with the concept. The development of Neutraface Slab by Schwartz, Kai Bernau and Susana Carvalho began in 2005 and it was released by House Industries in 2009 in both text and display weights.
Neutraface is very widely used, and Schwartz has commented, "I can't leave my apartment without running into an ad for a new condo development using it, or a restaurant, or a new cookbook." Some examples of the usage of Neutraface are in the signage for the New York City Shake Shack chain, book covers for Taschen's Movie Icons series, advertising material for Wendy's fast food restaurants, and posters for the 2008 film Quantum of Solace.
- Schwartz, Christian. "Neutraface". www.christianschwartz.com. Retrieved October 2, 2011.
- "The Neutra Legacy". House Industries. Retrieved October 2, 2011.
- Schwartz, Christian. "Neutraface Condensed". www.christianschwartz.com. Retrieved October 2, 2011.
- Schwartz, Christian. "Neutraface No. 2". www.christianschwartz.com. Retrieved October 2, 2011.
- Schwartz, Christian. "Neutraface Slab". www.christianschwartz.com. Retrieved October 2, 2011.
- "Neutraface Slab". House Industries. Retrieved October 2, 2011.
- "Sightings: Shake Shack". House Industries. Retrieved October 2, 2011.
- "Sightings: McQueen". House Industries. Retrieved October 2, 2011.
- Korwin, Josh (March 25, 2009). "Neutraface is the new Helvetica". threestepsahead.com. Retrieved October 2, 2011.
- Abramson, Dan (December 9, 2009). "Neutra Face: Font Fanatics Do "Poker Face"". The Huffington Post. Retrieved October 2, 2011.