A Modern Matter

With its sophisticated, three-dimensional frame and extremely tight proportions, Modern Matter is a display typeface with a striking character and is a distinct fit for editorial design. An exhaustive set of ligature pairs also makes it a playful tool to produce quirky headlines.
Based on a design by the Swiss Master Herbert Matter (1907–1984), it was notably displayed on the cover of his seminal book, Giacometti. Modern Matter is fascinating since it somehow appears as a synthesis of many aspects of Matter’s graphic language; from his years working for Cassandre to the iconic symbols and logotypes he developed for US corporations. After lying in François Rappo’s drawers for many years, the project was revisited on the occasion of the 2018 Giacometti exhibition at the Guggenheim in New York, where it was used for the exhibition signage, and catalogue.

After a reappraisal of the original upper cases, lower cases were also drawn to expand this collection of glyphs into a complete contemporary character set. Modern Matter celebrates and reintroduces the work of a design icon.