Few things have shaped our world more than the ocean—transport, commerce, even the clothes on our backs have been molded by its waves. I designed and developed this special feature for menswear site Epochs that takes a deep-dive into the everyday clothes that originated from a life at sea.
We began by collaging all the pieces of nautical culture we wanted to touch on from Aran island fishermen to James Bond’s favourite swim trunks. We were covering such a large period of time—from the 18th century to modern day—that it was difficult to find a type and graphic treatment that felt at home with all of the subject matter.
We started looking at container ships and the massive three-story type on their hulls. This type conveyed the sense of scale, industry and authenticity we were striving for. Trying to find a typeface to impart this led us to Matt Willey’s MFred, an arresting display face ideal for the massive size we wanted to work in.
We used the article’s six subheadings as opportunities to showcase the type. Conveying scale wasn’t as simple as just making the text large however, we needed contrast. As the article unfolds the headings loom large over people, ships, caverns and submarines making the headings feel momentous.