Joe Stitzlein’s Hamster is a colorful playground for designers. Inspired by the pets of his childhood friends, the construction of the letterforms follows the tubular ‘habitrails’ in which the cute namesakes live.
It was not only the transparent, partly colored plastic tubes and terrariums that made an impression on the designer, but also the animals. Their two-tone fur inspired Joe to design his typeface as a Color Font. The rounded ends and bold font weights are reminiscent of the rodents’ distinctive chubby cheeks. The characteristics cuddly and chubby therefore apply equally to both animal and font. The lighter weights appear less playful and would make for a perfect logotype for young fashion brands, for example.
Capital Construction Kit
Hamster is a capital display typeface, if you select the lowercase letters they invert the colors for additional variation. The six fonts from Thin to ExtraBlack each contain five hamster characters drawn by illustrator Laurie Schmitt, as well as 19 decorative ornaments.
The designer gives this tip: “The dingbats that lock together to form patterns are elegant and fun, I could see these used as wallpapers or in architecture.”
Users can determine the coloring of the fonts individually, for example to reflect the special colors of a brand, an event or a TV series. “We wanted Hamster to be a celebration of joy and delight,” explains Joe Stitzlein.
Therefore, he had color expert Leslie Stitzlein define an additional eight fixed combinations, some colorful and playful, some subtle and elegant. A non-color font and thus traditionally usable variant rounds off the palette. In total, ten variable fonts and 60 static fonts are available, as a complete package for the price of three individual styles – so even the purchase is fun!
The fonts are based on COLR-V0 technology. In contrast to the newer V1 specification, it works perfectly in all relevant browsers at the time of its release. On our specially created microsite and with the help of the free trial fonts, you can see and have a play for yourself.
As is not unusual for a technology that is still in its infancy, implementation on the program side is proceeding at different speeds. While it has long been supported by applications such as Microsoft Word, the variable desktop font does not yet work as desired in Adobe’s Creative Suite. As a workaround, we equipped the static fonts with an additional SVG table. While we await full support of color fonts across all applications, everything still works in a familiar way.
Hamster is a refreshingly playful, fun font full of typographic possibilities. It’s the perfect addition to all designers’ type palettes, who like this namesake, are keen on collecting, fonts rather than nuts, of course ;) But unlike the cuddly role model, this hamster doesn’t even need to be fed … except with happy ideas.