The Prospectus type specimen site in action.

Prospectus type specimen site

To promote and demonstrate Dave Bailey’s new, comprehensive, serif typeface Prospectus, I worked with Dave and the Lost Type team to re-imagine their early specimen designs for the web, and develop a custom type specimen site.

Optical Sizes

One of the main considerations of the typeface we wanted to highlight was Prospectus’ range of optical sizes.

In addition to showing Prospectus in type specimens, it’s also used in practical ways throughout the site:

  • Prospectus Small is used for the smallest article for the site.
  • Prospectus Medium is used on the type specimen site for subheadings, and the larger introductory paragraphs in the article.
  • Prospectus Large is used for the main editable heading on the site, and for the occasional pull quote in the article.
  • Prospectus Xtra Large is intended for such large sizes, it’s only used in a practical way in the headings if your screen size is very, very large.
A screenshot of the article about the Prospectus typeface, using Prospectus.
The process article, using the Prospectus optical size intended for small sizes for text, and the display optical sizes for pull quotes.

Dave wrote more about the specifics of optical sizes in the article on the site: prospectus.losttype.com.

A screenshot of the footer of the website
The footer makes practical use of the smallest optical size of Prospectus, while showing you all the others one last time.

We wanted to make it easy for people to see these in action, and not make assumptions about whether or not they would be familiar with the concept of optical sizes or size-specific type.

By default, the type tester chooses the correct optical size for you based on your current type size. It’s only if you want to start changing the font style to a specific optical size (Small, Medium, Large, Xtra Large) that you’ll need to control it manually. We also put together a section that pairs the optical size with a corresponding linocut illustration from Marisol Ortega:

An animation showing the four sizes of the Prospectus “a,” and an illustration of an hourglass with corresponding detail.
Shown here, one part of this type tester that pairs Marisol’s hour glass illustrations with an optical size of Prospectus, showing how the level of detail changes in another medium the audience might be more familiar with.

This plays as you scroll, but can also be controlled manually or edited to include your own text.

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