I love the beaches of New York City. Just about all of them are located in less-than-bougie neighborhoods, places that I find fascinating and intoxicating in their realness. And the sand and the sun is the icing on the cake. There's something about that juxtaposition of good-natured beach fun with outer-borough NY grime that is just so unique and so perfectly absurd.
I wanted to create a typeface that captures both of these feelings: NY street-tough grit, with a Latin flavor; and a fun, light-hearted day on the beach.
I was greatly inspired by Wayne Lawrence's photography of New Yorkers at Orchard Beach. These colorful New Yorkers may seem intimidating or unapproachable to some, but at the end of the day it doesn't matter how tough someone looks: we all just want a day at the beach. And whats more wholesome than that?
I drew inspiration from blackletter type, which is very macho and threatening-looking, but wanted to add some playfulness and fun to it. I also wanted to take out some of the drama associated with blackletter type. To achieve these goals, I rounded the points of the strokes, toned down the contrast in line weight, and set each vertical stroke on a laid-back wave. Without further ado, the typeface:
I also created a zine to show Bronx Riviera in use. "The Rocks" is an anarchist publication dealing with beach culture in outer boroughs.