Sharp Type

We care about your privacy. Sharp Type uses cookies to improve your experience on this website. Read about how we use cookies in our Terms of Use. If you continue to use this site, you consent to our use of cookies.

Tap to Edit
  • Left Align
  • Center Align
  • Scale Text
Breakfast Rosemary
  • Left Align
  • Center Align
  • Scale Text
Rumsteak Snow Peas
  • Left Align
  • Center Align
  • Scale Text
Margarine Chocolates
  • Left Align
  • Center Align
  • Scale Text
Asparagus Guacamole
  • Left Align
  • Center Align
  • Scale Text
Fettuccine Vinaigrette

About Doyle

Doyle is a period piece, a loving synthesis of 2 iconic styles that became the visual backdrop of a generation. The darkest master is Lucas Sharp’s ode to Cooper Black drawn from memory, and on the light end of the spectrum the chubby organic forms suck it in and take on a style reminiscent of ITC American Typewriter. While Doyle takes many cues from these 2 sources, their reinterpretation and amalgamation form something new entirely: a coherent family that is both structured and loose, with an inky wetness that is positively brimming with life. Doyle was designed by Lucas Sharp and Marc Rouault in 2019.

5 weights, 10 total fonts

Doyle Construction

Cooper Black, designed by Oswald Bruce Cooper in 1922, was an instant classic. Foregoing the harsh and pointed construction of the then-popular fat-face style, Cooper opted for soft and inky organic forms with the foundational structure of a low contrast old-style serif. Now a cult classic, the muddy, bulbous forms of Cooper Black came to represent a cultural movement away from rigid traditionalism.

Black Spec
Black ITalic

Cooper Fett and Cooper Fette Copra Kursiv, Schriftguss Brüder Butter Foundry (1923). C/o The Letterform Archive


After a great deal of initial popularity in print-advertising in the mid-1920s, Cooper Black fell dormant for some time following Cooper’s death in 1940. After The Beach Boys used it for their album "Pet Sounds", the typeface had a huge resurgence in the late ’60s and ‘70s. Juicy serif fonts like Copper Black, Souvenir, and American Typewriter became part of the aesthetic language of a generation.


While drawing Cooper Black from memory (one of his favorite styles) for early drafts of Doyle Black, type-designer Lucas Sharp leaned into the bulbous construction, with smoother serifs, a taller x-height, and more structured stems.

Doyle-Cooper compair

As we began fleshing out a methodology for how the design would behave throughout its weight spectrum, it became apparent that the foundational structure was going to have to play a larger role in the middle weights than it needed to in the black, where the abundance of gloppy form could bleed out and get away with a more abstract quality. We knew our medium weight had to emphasize the importance of this underlying structure.

final bitch

Doyle family construction proof-of-concept sketch, sent to Marc Rouault (October 2018)

roman spec
italic spec

Cooper Black is full of life, in fact, it is positively bursting at the seams. Part of that vitality has to do with the lumpy eccentricity resulting from its rational foundation, but mostly it's the plumpness, like it’s full of collagen. This sense greatly informed our approach to how we designed the weight spectrum of Doyle. While Doyle Black is almost busting at the seams, a healthy and rigid structure is revealed as weight is subtracted, with the lightest weight almost bowing inwards for want of filling.

Doyle Diagram Serifs - 2

The Doyle family, shown with American Typewriter, ITC Souvenir, and Cooper Black

Doyle Black is inflated with puffy round serifs. The Medium is structured with rounded-flat slab-serifs, and the light end of the spectrum is a lean typewriter vernacular style with concave curves reminiscent of ITC American Typewriter (Joel Kaden and Tony Stan, 1974), another iconic piece of 1970’s typographic style.


Throughout the family is a tension between a state of amorphousness and of rational typographic structure. This delicate dance of form achieves an unlikely cohesion in a family that transforms over the course of its weight spectrum so drastically, an aspect best illustrated by the short, nubby serifs of Doyle Black italic, and the oversized swooping serifs of Doyle Light Italic.


LEFT: I ❤ NY bumper sticker, Milton Glaser (1976). Right: Tootsie Roll wrapper, Tootsie Roll Industries (1966)

Light Weights
Dark Weights

Inherent in our approach was a feeling of the everyday banality of our constructed world. Perhaps it’s because these styles represent a time when our interactions with each other, and with the everyday objects around us were more tactile, when the letters of the articles we read bled into the newsprint they were printed on, and LP’s were physical objects with photo-type graphics on them. Doyle is a love letter to a bygone era, both nostalgic and forward facing.

Hanzi Prototype

As an experimental proof-of-concept, we collaborated with Hong Kong type designer Calvin Kwok to develop a (very) limited set of Hanzi characters included in all Doyle styles. The goal of this project was to provide sufficient characters for Chengyu (Chinese idioms) that communicate the proper Chinese cultural equivalent to the English word Solidarity.


Solidarity Tee

As a small reminder that we have to work together to succeed, and to raise some money for a good charity, we designed these shirts. They are made from eco-ink, and organic, trade-free cotton. 

All proceeds will be donated to the World Wildlife Fund.

Shirt Front Final
Shirt Back Final

Designed in 2019 by Lucas Sharp & Marc Rouault, with Connor Davenport, Calvin Kwok, My-Lan Thuong, Kia Tasbihgou, Roxane Gataud, and Wei Huang.

This typeface is dedicated in loving memory to Doyle McGowan.

Special Thanks to Rob Saunders and the Letterform Archive.

Version History
V.1. April 2019

By submitting your email you agree to receive updates about Sharp Type. You can unsubscribe at any time. View our full Privacy Policy.