The design of the Heron series started when Joe Heroun, Art Director of Men’s Health, commissioned a new headline face for the magazine. In response, Cyrus Highsmith drew a compact, straight-sided sans-serif with taught flattened curves inspired by industrial, machine-made letters.
To expand the scope and versatility of the design, Highsmith added an equally steadfast slab-serif and developed the two families into a full-fledged series of 40 styles: five weights, two widths, plus italics. Heron Sans and Heron Serif are fit for strong headlines as well as space-saving body copy down to 14px in the lighter weights. With its idiosyncratic, industrial atmosphere the series is a great alternative to typefaces like DIN, or geometric square serifs. Scout RE or Ibis RE would make good partners for small sized text.
Like many typefaces on Webtype, the Heron series is rife with OpenType features such as alternate characters and various sets of numerals: proportional and tabular figures, superscripts, subscripts and numerals for fractions. Read more on how to use OpenType features on the web in this post.
As with all fonts on Webtype, Heron Sans and Heron Serif can be tested free of charge for 30 days. For more details, see the respective webfont page.