Goddamn. I might have just flipped out there. As I sat in the cafeteria of our college, something bugged me about the typeface (Bebas Neue) used in the logo at my place of study (IIAD, Delhi).
I went closer only to realise that I was right all along. Even though the Bebas Neue typeface feels like a set of geometric elements carefully composed on a linear grid system, I was surprised to find out that it wasn't.
For example, in the uppercase "N" the stems are not completely straight. There is a slight curve in the stem as well as the stroke that joins the two stems together.
However, what remains interesting is that these seemingly organic adjustments have a consistency throughout the letter which means that these letterforms are digitally modified within a pre-defined system.
However, in the "G" these seemed more like mistakes on closer observation. If you look at the link in the "G", the curve seems to be a little disturbed.
These observations if looked at from a distance are completely nullified. This led me to think about whether all of this was done to optically balance each letter or if these were intentional mistakes.
I went on to digitally analyse the actual typeface.
If you look at these same characters on the Bebas Neue typeface, they are completely different. Yes, they are optically modified (as made evident by the spacing between each of the elements that make the letter); however, these adjustments seem a lot more intentional.
The width of strokes is definitely modified optically, for each character, as there cannot exist a pre-defined grid that fits all three characters. However, the stroke changes observed in the typography used in the logo cease to exist on the actual typeface. What is going on?
I still question why the institution uses this modified version of Bebas Neue. Is it to avoid issues related to the legal use of the typeface? Or is it actually done to make the typeface feel a little less rigid (considering that is very geometric & sharp in nature)? Or is this decision related to legibility from distance? Or is it just a printing issue that I'm wildly obsessing over?
I do not yet have these answers. It's annoying me.