Telas is a sans-serif that walks a line between the geometric and grotesk sub-genres. It was initially inspired by a redrawing of a particular book weight of Mergenthaler Linotype Spartan, most probably known as Spartan “Classified”.
Spartan is emblematic of a particular attitude within type design. It is essentially a copy of Futura, with very little discernible differences. The only novelty being its engineered compatibility with Linotype’s machines and access to the extensive North American market. It was widely successful, and a lot of examples of “Futura” from the past are, in fact, Spartan.
This journey was interesting to consider when beginning the design of Telas, in today’s context ownership, influence, and evidence of irrefutable originality are incredibly important to most designers – not so back in 1939.