Sykes Font

Posters and Prints / July 2018

The Sykes Font is really a Christmas story, or at least begins that way.

Gift giving is a minefield. It is a sign of living too long in Germany when the act of choosing a present comes over as fundamentally inefficient. Why should we have to guess what might make someone happy opposed to just allowing them to choose? And the receiver should then have to keep whatever we may have bought them for a minimum amount of time deemed socially acceptable should we ever ask?

Perhaps it is for this reason that Jon Sykes’ gifts have always been, to put it kindly, creative—the ‘Jonny Voucher’ is still a long-standing family joke. Although a coupon for washing-up may seem thoughtful, even if not always so easily redeemable, past the age of nine the charm starts to wear thin. Christmas 2015 the Sykes family’s expectations were appropriately low given that Us_ was just ten months old. To make the most of such expectations Jon decided to subvert them with a new age of gift giving.

The Sykes Font was a gift to the entire family, celebrating new additions and arrivals, and showing some slightly confused relatives what the output of a creative agency could be. The posters are the initials of each family member, they make a quiet connection between homes which are geographically far apart and the typeface continues to grow with each birth and wedding. Each letter is based on three lines connected by bold strokes, representing the joining of three families: Sykeses, Westlakes and McHughs. Together the prints illustrate the family tree, from Grandparents all the way down to the little ones.

It is fair to say that the posters were a success. So much so that the home/agency made gifts have become their own tradition—from Christmas jumpers, 2016, and an illustrated storybook in 2017, ‘Lost in Berlin’ about an Uncle Jon.

Because gifts do not just concern Jon’s family we also wanted to give back. Prints of the font can be found in our online store.