Our limited edition monthly wall calendar is a celebration of some of the most awe-inspiring and influential examples of Brutalist architecture around the world. Featuring works by Le Corbusier, Breuer, Rudolph, and other heavyweight proponents of the style, captured by the leading photographers of Brutalism today.
The typeface chosen for the calendar is New Rail Alphabet (A2-TYPE, 2009). The original Rail Alphabet was designed by Margaret Calvert of Kinneir Calvert Associates in the 1960s. Drawn in two weights, it was intended for the use on signs; in stations by British Rail and in NHS hospitals. It also was used at BAA airports and by the Danish railway corporation, DSB (see the article in Eye). The digital revival and expansion was made by Henrik Kubel in close collaboration together with Calvert. New Rail Alphabet comes in six weights with italics. The cover of the Brutalist Calendar shows the heaviest style, Black.
Blue Crow Media used the same typeface already for the Brutalist Paris Map. Previous issues in their series of Brutalist and Concrete Maps featured other, related typefaces, namely Akzidenz-Grotesk and Helvetica, respectively. New Rail Alphabet shares Helvetica’s horizontal terminals in a or e, while other details like the belly of a or the narrow J are more like in AG. In an interview with John L. Walters, Kubel describes it as “a very female version of a sans, it’s warmer than Helvetica, it oozes Margaret in every detail.” I don’t think labeling it as a “brutalist” typeface would do it any justice, but it’s nevertheless a great choice here. New Rail Alphabet excels in referencing the no-nonsense aesthetics of calendars from the mid 20th century, with their big bold numerals in black and white, with red for the weekends.