The German book Die DNA der Stadt. Ein Atlas urbaner Strukturen in Deutschland —The DNA of the City. An Atlas of Urban Structures in Germany, published by Verlag Hermann Schmidt Mainz — shows figure-ground diagrams, a sort of x-ray of cities. Architects Inga Mueller-Haagen, Jörn Simonsen and Lothar Többen analysed one hundred German cities by standardising their scale and portrayal. The figure-ground diagrams become a readable way to discover the genetic make-up of the cities.
Book designer Tom Mrazauskas used Soleil, the geometric sans designed by Wolfgang Homola, to set texts and diagrams within the book: “the so-called figure-ground diagrams are created through reduction — maps show just buildings in black. Reduction is the strategy behind geometric typefaces as well, so Soleil matched instantly the black geometric shapes of the maps.”
This fascinating book was set in Soleil Book and Extrabold, and matching italics, using proportional and lining figures, and the stylistic alternate for the capital M.
Copies of the book can be ordered from the publisher.