Important Stories (aka IStories, or Важные Истории) is a small independent media that specializes in investigative journalism. The guys wanted something beautiful and distinctive, and gave us full freedom — that is, no clear criteria. A number of references that we were still provided with were foreign media, different both in terms of their topics and visually. It was mostly newspaper layouts, with no explicit references to investigative journalism.
And then we thought — why not put a slight emphasis on detective aesthetics, the atmosphere of a classified archive. We looked through plenty of spy movies posters and covers of spy novels of the 1960s, 1970s — we wanted to make the Web have this analogue feeling, faded colours, nearly tangible textures. So, we needed a monospaced font for small details, referring to a typewriter, a reading-friendly typeface — and something eye-catching, display, not over-exposed in the Russian market.
And that’s how we run into Proto Grotesk.
It has a strong personality. It’s not as if it’s incorrect — though it has eye-catching details that create something unusual. It seemed reminiscent of old newspapers, with slurred letter edges — very disciplined, but giving this feeling of having been printed a long time ago. It fit perfectly well our headlines, cards, and in general supplemented our design wonderfully. Proto could really be used to set the title of an old spy movie — slightly wear it out, making it look old, and it would be exactly as if it was made back then.