Cooper Union Typography
This morning, I noticed the typeface used on Cooper Union‘s original building. It looked similar to Foundry Gridnik, but not quite the same. I then remembered that their new building uses Gridnik extensively, so I realized that the designer must have gotten his idea from this original sign. Upon Googling it, I found that that is exactly what happened. Abbott Miller of Pentagram designed it.
When I first saw the new building, I immediately noticed the use of Gridnik and assumed that they used it because it’s somewhat trendy right now. Interesting that the trend had nothing to do with it. Since the original building was built, I’m sure this style has gone through many phases of falling in and out of trend. And, it’s back in trend again just in time for the new building.
Somewhat related is this factoid about the orginal building: Peter Cooper wanted a shaft for an elevator even though elevators haven’t yet been invented then.
By the way, someone should fix the kerning of the type under his statue. I’m not sure if that’s how it was created, or if it went out of whack over time. I have a feeling that Pete wouldn’t approve it.
—posted by Dyske