Goldman Sachs is Sans a lot of things, if you ask me
June 24, 2020 8:15 AM   Subscribe

"Goldman Sans is a clean, modern typeface designed for the needs of digital finance."

Goldman Sans is available for download.

Highlights from the "Goldman Sachs Restricted Font License":
  • The User may not use the Licensed Font Software to disparage or suggest any affiliation with or endorsement by Goldman Sachs.
  • Goldman Sachs may terminate this License, without notice to the User, for any reason or no reason at all and at any time, completely at Goldman Sachs’s sole discretion.
  • This License may be amended at any time by Goldman Sachs without notice.
posted by jedicus (75 comments total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
 
My favourite part is how I can't view the page on my phone because they are telling my their website is too modern for me.
posted by robotmachine at 8:17 AM on June 24 [5 favorites]


File under "unnecessary"
posted by sacrifix at 8:21 AM on June 24


I find it kind of hard to read on the page, is it designed to be used for investment disclosures?
posted by Dr. Twist at 8:22 AM on June 24 [8 favorites]


Seems we live in a world where it's acceptable to use the phrase "chamfered spurs" on the website of a respectable finance company.
How have we fallen so far?
posted by thatwhichfalls at 8:30 AM on June 24 [12 favorites]


I hate it already - Why does the S look tilted, is it suggesting the precarious nature of the global financial system about to topple over?
posted by each day we work at 8:31 AM on June 24 [11 favorites]


How does this differ from Open Sans? I don't get it.
posted by JoeZydeco at 8:36 AM on June 24


This font looks like it should be monospaced but it isn't.
posted by Faint of Butt at 8:40 AM on June 24 [5 favorites]


Obvious question: If the font was called, like, Cleania, Bullfrog, Sandia, Pillbox, Neatli, or some other innocuous dumb name, and had no branding or attachment to a financial institution... Would it still be so easy to hate? One can hate a typeface?
posted by Chickenring at 8:41 AM on June 24 [8 favorites]


This font looks like it should be monospaced but it isn't.

Oh man if you think this is a monospace fake out you should check out IBM Plex.
posted by JoeZydeco at 8:42 AM on June 24 [7 favorites]


Chickenring: " One can hate a typeface?"

One hasn't heard of Comic Sans? Or Arial? Or Hobo? Or Mistral? Or Papyrus?
posted by adamrice at 8:45 AM on June 24 [8 favorites]


Comic Sachs would have been a catchier name for it.
posted by chavenet at 8:46 AM on June 24 [37 favorites]


"One can hate a typeface?"

Ah. I see you're new to Metafilter.
posted by mikeand1 at 8:51 AM on June 24 [109 favorites]


JoeZydeco, there are a few differences. Most prominently, the "l" is bent in Goldman Sans, but not in Open Sans. The "d" is also different in how narrows on the top half. A typographer might say that these two fonts are rooted in the same style, but they are strictly different.

I'm not arguing that any of this matters. Honestly it's amazing how much money you pay a designer for a font that looks 95% like another font, but has 5% difference that represents your brand energy.
posted by sixohsix at 8:51 AM on June 24 [10 favorites]


oh no. oh... no.

i clicked on this expecting a parody and was not psychologically prepared for it to be an actual thing.
posted by Reclusive Novelist Thomas Pynchon at 8:51 AM on June 24 [54 favorites]


> I'm not arguing that any of this matters. Honestly it's amazing how much money you pay a designer for a font that looks 95% like another font, but has 5% difference that represents your brand energy.

i have nothing but respect for the people who took goldman sachs’s money and provided them with minimal work. if there were a hall of fame for passive-aggressive designers, they’d deserve to be in it.

their plaque can go right next to the one for the folks who took h&r block’s money and gave them a green square in return.
posted by Reclusive Novelist Thomas Pynchon at 8:54 AM on June 24 [34 favorites]


there are a few differences

Yeah, on further experimentation I see some other substitutions like the lower case g. It's like a mash of open sans with something else but I can't place it. Really bizarre that this needed that much work and thought but I'm with RNTP here.
posted by JoeZydeco at 8:57 AM on June 24


What is going on with that lowercase a? The longer I stare at it the uglier it gets.
posted by flabdablet at 8:57 AM on June 24


if there were a hall of fame for passive-aggressive designers, they’d deserve to be in it

It is indeed the Trump Toilet Paper Shoe of typefaces.
posted by flabdablet at 8:58 AM on June 24 [3 favorites]


MetaFilter: i clicked on this expecting a parody and was not psychologically prepared for it to be an actual thing.
posted by chavenet at 8:59 AM on June 24 [31 favorites]


Would it still be so easy to hate? One can hate a typeface?

I can definitely hate a typeface with a non-disparagement clause in its license, whose terms can be changed at a whim by an oligarch-services firm.

I am doing so as we speak, it's as easy as breathing.
posted by mhoye at 9:04 AM on June 24 [12 favorites]


I am gloriously proud that MeFites are able to take this idiotic overlord bullshit and mock the typography rather than turning into anti-Semitic conspiracist nutjobs. (I fucking see you, Twitter.)
posted by prismatic7 at 9:07 AM on June 24 [11 favorites]


Neutral, with a wink

Jfc no thank you
posted by Kitchen Witch at 9:07 AM on June 24 [5 favorites]


hang on brb updating the list of demands for the revolution to add “force goldman sachs executives to use nothing but comic sans for the rest of their lives”

and if they complain about comic sans? well then have fun writing in wingdings, you bourgeois scum!
posted by Reclusive Novelist Thomas Pynchon at 9:07 AM on June 24 [11 favorites]


Can't we just steal it? That would be the Goldman Sachs move, esp after 1MDB
posted by scruss at 9:08 AM on June 24 [3 favorites]




Can't we just steal it?

They've cunningly guarded against that eventuality by making it so fugly that nobody would want to.
posted by flabdablet at 9:18 AM on June 24 [4 favorites]


was not psychologically prepared for it to be an actual thing

You're clearly in need of nine degrees more whimsy.

Here you go: !

Carry it with you at all times.
posted by flabdablet at 9:26 AM on June 24 [5 favorites]


"Clear, Contemporary, Credible," it says.

They say the grand old marble lobbies that used to be so common in brick-and-mortar banks were an attempt to convey stability and trustworthiness to customers.

Isn't it interesting that the financial business overall has so long been so intent on presenting the appearance of stability and trustworthiness? Isn't it interesting that it's apparently worked on us schlubs well enough to be worth doing all this time?
posted by Western Infidels at 9:32 AM on June 24 [5 favorites]


I can't tell one font from the other, but I'm baffled that people created a whole site? subsite? extended series of pages? to their new company font!

Who cares if it's got open apertures! What makes typography credible? How does typography meet modern financing needs??
posted by Omnomnom at 9:38 AM on June 24 [5 favorites]


> Isn't it interesting that the financial business overall has so long been so intent on presenting the appearance of stability and trustworthiness? Isn't it interesting that it's apparently worked on us schlubs well enough to be worth doing all this time?

it makes sense once you accept that money is fake and that the finance industry is a non-consensual mass hallucination
posted by Reclusive Novelist Thomas Pynchon at 9:41 AM on June 24 [15 favorites]


This dystopia fucking sucks! I was told there would be electric guitar punks standing on fire-breathing monster trucks, and instead it is this shit?

2020: Goldman Sachs invents a font whose license lets them censor anything written in that font

2021: Goldman Sachs typography license V2 introduces clause wherein use of the font grants Goldman Sachs unlimited rights to everything belonging to the user.

2022: “We reserve the right to unilaterally modify this license at any time” used to insert mindvirus. Anyone who has seen anything written in Goldman Sans is now compelled to climb to the top of the nearest tall plant, whereupon the spores of fungal fruiting bodies erupt from their gnarled heads.
posted by qxntpqbbbqxl at 10:07 AM on June 24 [21 favorites]


Might I propose a new font for use in the C-suites of the finance industry?

I call it Sans Culottes.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 10:08 AM on June 24 [20 favorites]


how well does it render if you set the text color to Hamlindigo Blue?
posted by COBRA! at 10:12 AM on June 24 [1 favorite]


That feeling when you're clicking through a site waiting for the punchline... and it never comes. Because the joke is on us.
posted by hilberseimer at 10:32 AM on June 24 [3 favorites]


their plaque can go right next to the one for the folks who took h&r block’s money and gave them a green square in return.

Unfortunately, H&R Block's green square is the equivalent of a three-letter Twitter handle. Simplicity doesn't mean a small sphere of influence.
posted by dialMforMara at 10:38 AM on June 24


i have nothing but respect for the people who took goldman sachs’s money and provided them with minimal work. if there were a hall of fame for passive-aggressive designers, they’d deserve to be in it.

Ages ago I worked for a cellphone company that "merged" with Sprint (it was really bought out). They paid huge amounts of money to a very prestigious design firm for a new, combined logo. The design firm delivered in the most literal way possible -- it was just the two logos side by side. That this "new design" was nevertheless revealed with much fanfare within the company was my first major confirmation that Sprint was as utterly incompetent as it seemed. Needless to say, many more confirmations followed.
posted by treepour at 10:45 AM on June 24 [9 favorites]


I am glad this thread has not been rendered in house style.

I am choosing to believe that the existence of Goldman Sans is parody, but parody coming from inside the house. Somebody there must have a sense of humor...
posted by nat at 10:52 AM on June 24 [4 favorites]


MetaFilter: Somebody there must have a sense of humor...
posted by ricochet biscuit at 10:59 AM on June 24 [3 favorites]


Oh man if you think this is a monospace fake out you should check out IBM Plex.

The amusing part is that IBM's suite of house typefaces also contains an actual monospaced font, IBM Plex Mono. (Which is actually pretty nice, IMO. I use it in my terminals now.)
posted by Kadin2048 at 11:04 AM on June 24 [4 favorites]


> Unfortunately, H&R Block's green square is the equivalent of a three-letter Twitter handle. Simplicity doesn't mean a small sphere of influence.

i think i was thinking of their a-few-years-back logo redesign where they replaced the original green square with a very slightly different shade of green square.
posted by Reclusive Novelist Thomas Pynchon at 11:17 AM on June 24 [4 favorites]


> How does this differ from Open Sans? I don't get it.

Is that a serious question? They look completely different to me. (Which is a wholly different matter than the worthiness of this project.)
posted by ardgedee at 11:23 AM on June 24 [1 favorite]


thrilled to learn that predatorycapitalism.ttf has finally gotten released
posted by sidesh0w at 11:25 AM on June 24 [5 favorites]


not gonna lie i would reflexively shit all over a goldman sachs font even if it were the second coming of helvetica

wait no third coming. that thing they used in charles de gaulle airport was the second coming of helvetica, right?
posted by Reclusive Novelist Thomas Pynchon at 11:27 AM on June 24


Like comic sans, but for the tragic farce that is global finance.
posted by evidenceofabsence at 11:28 AM on June 24 [5 favorites]


The User may not use the Licensed Font Software to disparage or suggest any affiliation with or endorsement by Goldman Sucks.

It doesn't say anything about using the font license itself to disparage Goddamn Sacks.
posted by Foosnark at 11:43 AM on June 24 [2 favorites]


evidenceofabsence: "Like comic sans, but for the tragic farce that is global finance"

Tragic $ans
posted by chavenet at 11:47 AM on June 24 [6 favorites]


Maybe it'd be useful for names knitted into scarves though?
posted by mhoye at 12:16 PM on June 24


Warning: Pregnant women, the elderly, and children under 10 should avoid prolonged exposure to Goldman Sans.

Do not taunt Goldman Sans.
posted by They sucked his brains out! at 12:18 PM on June 24 [10 favorites]


I love that everything on the site uses the font - except the Goldman Sachs logo at the top. Redesigned from the ground up, just not all the way up!
posted by nickmark at 12:43 PM on June 24 [6 favorites]


It was 30-freaking-years ago I was employed by a Financial Firm involved a little too closely with the Junk Bond Crash, and I was involved in designing forms for my department and I NEVER would have chosen to use that font, not even if it was called Michael Milken Monospaced.

It's supposed to be designed for financial firms and the website's Powerpoint presentation doesn't show ANY of the font's number forms until the last 4 screens? SHOW ME THE NUMBERS.
posted by oneswellfoop at 1:03 PM on June 24 [5 favorites]


Is it just ASCII, or will it support their global operations?
posted by clawsoon at 1:26 PM on June 24 [1 favorite]


Is it just ASCII, or will it support their global operations?

It's pretty much just Latin characters and the most common symbols. No coverage of Greek letters, for example. Surprisingly it also doesn't cover several major currency symbols, including:

₪ (Israeli new shekel)
₹ (Indian rupee)
₩ (South Korean won)
฿ (Thai baht)

It does have the pound, dollar, yen / yuan, and euro.
posted by jedicus at 1:46 PM on June 24 [4 favorites]


wait are you telling me that the new goldman sachs font is culturally imperialist? i am shocked, shocked that there’s any of that coming from goldman sachs!
posted by Reclusive Novelist Thomas Pynchon at 2:09 PM on June 24 [5 favorites]


Goldman Sachs will be terminating those currencies per the User Agreement signed when one looks into the code points.
posted by They sucked his brains out! at 2:21 PM on June 24 [5 favorites]


It's pretty similar to another bank's custom typeface.
posted by emelenjr at 2:34 PM on June 24


I tip my hat to the designers - Bianca Berning and Rob Pratley at @ Dalton Maag in London.

This is a fantastic piece of design there are so many well considerd great details in this font, I think they really understood the client and the communication is great. I'm really impressed.

The numbers are interesting, Individually I find the "1,4,5,6 and 9" a bit ugly, BUT the legibility of the columns of numbers even at small sizes is just great and easilly compensates for it.
posted by Dr Ew at 2:38 PM on June 24 [4 favorites]


This design company also created Wiener Melange.

It sounds like more fun than it is.
posted by chavenet at 2:44 PM on June 24 [2 favorites]


My roommate in college was a DJ at the college radio station; he played a lot of Wiener Melange.
posted by nickmark at 3:19 PM on June 24 [1 favorite]


Gah! The bad kerning and near ligature between the f and i in 'finance' is almost criminal.

misappropriation of assets?
posted by iamkimiam at 3:25 PM on June 24 [3 favorites]


What font did the guillotine artisan use for her shop sign?

Goldman Sans Têtes
posted by sugar and confetti at 3:38 PM on June 24 [3 favorites]


I have no strong opinions about the typeface, but man do I Iove this thread.
posted by STFUDonnie at 3:43 PM on June 24 [3 favorites]


Small bit of trivia:

In what famous video game about the 2008 financial collapse were Goldman Sachs executives finally brought to justice?

Sans Sans Revolution
posted by They sucked his brains out! at 4:08 PM on June 24 [3 favorites]


I'm sure there's a Yakety Sachs joke to be had here too, but it's beyond me at the moment.

Feel free to come up with your own…
posted by Pinback at 4:53 PM on June 24 [1 favorite]


do you wanna have a bad time?
cause if you take another step forward...
you are REALLY not going to like what happens next.
posted by Your Childhood Pet Rock at 5:07 PM on June 24


It looks ok I guess?

I'm really a philistine when it comes to type.

I installed a new font in my TeX install a while ago, and then I rendered a PDF to try it out. ... I just stared and stared at the thing and I couldn't tell whether I was using the new font or the old one.
posted by grobstein at 5:49 PM on June 24 [2 favorites]


Did you know that US copyright law explicitly carves out an exception for typefaces [pdf link]? That is, the actual shapes of the letters in a typeface cannot by coprighted, although a .ttf font file, as a computer program, can be. The 'Goldman Sans' EULA does not prevent you from printing out a page of every glyph in the font. If you were to then hand that page to someone else, that person never agreed to the EULA and wouldn't be bound by it. Then because copyright does not cover typefaces, nothing would stop that person from scanning back in that page and turning the resulting scan into a completely new, totally unencumbered font file.

In unrelated news, I'm working on a new font which I call "Terminal Finance Brut Mono". (What you might call "terrible kerning" is what I call "Brutalist character").
posted by Pyry at 7:11 PM on June 24 [12 favorites]


What is going on with that lowercase a? The longer I stare at it the uglier it gets.

Yeah, I was puzzling over that "a" trying to figure out what it reminded me of. There was something vaguely cutesy about it, a sense of "oh, who would ever call little old me a vampire squid?" Then I realized it was reminding me of those cute cartoon cheeks one sees a lot of these days, like Mabel's in Gravity Falls. The very slight tweaks to the Open Sans "a" seem to make it both more clunky and more cutesy.

But I suppose perceiving sinister disingenuousness in microscopic variations of stroke and terminal angles is a sign of capitalist derangement syndrome.
posted by chortly at 9:35 PM on June 24 [3 favorites]


Can you use extremely unique typefaces as tracking beacons of a sort?
posted by benzenedream at 11:11 PM on June 24 [1 favorite]


The amusing part is that IBM's suite of house typefaces also contains an actual monospaced font, IBM Plex Mono. (Which is actually pretty nice, IMO. I use it in my terminals now.)
posted by Kadin2048 at 11:04 AM on June 24


That is interesting — it is an attractive font. I was struck by what happens with the base of the 'l' and the 'f' when they transition to the italic forms.

Also, Google Fonts . . . I didn't know that was a thing (I was going to link to a google search for Google Fonts, but the link appeared to be tailored to fit my browser).
posted by rochrobbb at 4:18 AM on June 25 [1 favorite]


I'm now 100% convinced that chamfered spurs are the fabled rich, Corinthian leathers of typography.
posted by They sucked his brains out! at 9:43 AM on June 25 [4 favorites]


Rain Noe at Core77 lists some other brands with their own fonts
posted by cheshyre at 4:38 PM on June 25 [1 favorite]


> I can definitely hate a typeface with a non-disparagement clause in its license

Yes but there are so many other things (nsfw) you are contractually permitted to use Goldman Sachs' proprietary font to say.
posted by ardgedee at 5:50 PM on June 26 [1 favorite]


...for the time being.

"This License may be amended at any time by Goldman Sachs without notice."
posted by flabdablet at 10:12 PM on June 26


"Gold Mansacks"
posted by Pronoiac at 12:50 PM on June 27 [2 favorites]


It's okay I guess, but it's no German Bold Italic.
posted by Unicorn on the cob at 12:52 PM on June 30


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