FS Erskine was designed in collaboration with illustrator Jimmy Turrell and inspired by his hometown of Newcastle, specifically the Byker Wall council estate where he grew up. Designed by architect Ralph Erskine, the development was built from 1969-1982 and contrasted with the grey, brutalist architecture of the time with its primary colours and geometric shapes. It was Erskine’s progressive, socially minded ethos — and his rejection of the dominant architectural model — that directly informed Turrell’s playful, colourful designs for FS Erskine.
Turrell’s typeface uses all capitals and boasts at least five different designs for each letterform, which are randomised. The characters form the first layer and can be used on their own, or with a second layer of coloured geometric shapes overlaid. Texture added to the characters makes them look like they were cut or torn from paper, rather than digitally drawn, and gives a handmade feel.
Each purchase of FS Erskine comes with a limited-edition screen-printed poster designed by Turrell. The poster represents the Byker Wall, while showing a full character set of the typeface.
Designers are free to choose the colours for the shapes — we have used primary colours for our images, in-keeping with the Byker Wall itself, but any colours could be used.
The poster and a one user studio licence for the typeface costs £80, including postage and packaging. Fonts will be licensed to the purchaser and are non-transferrable. For any other licence enquiries please get in touch.