OH no Type Company.

Ohno Type School: O


O is another control character, meaning it lays the foundation for the typefaces design and spacing. The first thing to notice about O is that it’s not really a circle.


Here’s an actual circle. Do you notice how it looks a bit pointy on the extremes? A bit like a diamond and a circle combined. A dircle. Nobody says “dircle.”


Even the most “geometric” typefaces do a little optical adjustment to get the O to appear more round.


For expansion, the O is thinnest at 12:00 and 6:00.


And for translation, you might think you could simply rotate the counter to get your thins in the right spot, right?


Not so fast! That strategy, while getting the thins in the correct place, ignores the way the broad-nib creates contrast.


But then you could say, “um, I’m seeing a lot of typefaces that contain elements of both expansion and translation! What are these jabronis doin?”


Here’s a typeface that contains elements of both contrast models. They are called “transitional” or “hybrid,” and really, it’s nbd.


O is not just a letter, it’s a building block that defines what all the round parts of your typeface will be, so take your time, and don’t (bl)O it! ✌


  • O is just a tiny bit more square than a circle.
  • In expansion, the thinnest parts are at 12:00 and 6:00. For translation the thin placement relates to the pen angle.
  • I was recently spooked by a rat that presumably lives in my garage, and is presumably, also a freelance designer.

Next up → P.

Covik Sans Regular
Covik Sans Regular Italic
Ohno Blazeface 18 Point
Covik Sans Bold Italic
Covik Sans Bold
Vulf Mono Bold Italic
Vulf Mono Light
Vulf Mono Light Italic