Repurposing typography from a steam engine
Castor is a geometric, sans-serif typeface repurposed from several hand-painted characters taken from the side of a 1901 CNJ steam engine. Drawing inspiration from the mechanical curves and the rigidity of a locomotive, Castor's personality captures a distinctly urban aesthetic.
Type Design
2018
Collaborators: Alex Alspaugh, Claire Kanter, Eli Kahn, Eric Nakassa
↓ Castor Sans
Working from a reference
We were provided a type sample from the side of a 1901 CNJ steam engine as our sole reference for creating a typeface. From the glyphs, C, R, O, F, N, J, 5, 9, and 2, we derived the core proportions and character for our typeface, and began working with pencil and pen on vellum.
Digitalizing
Once we had a working version of all our characters drawn, we began the process of digitalizing them into the program Glyphs and refining. We unified all vertical and horizontal thicknesses, and created a reusable part for the distinctive notch that appears in our lowercase r and many other characters. I was personally responsible for the D, Q, J, g, h, u, n, m, r, a, s, 1, 2, and 7.