The three-metre neon letters at the top of Centre Point must constitute one of the most frequently read pieces of text in London, visible day and night for miles around.
We asked typographer Bruno Maag of Dalton Maag to examine the lettering from a professional point of view. Here, he gives us his thinking on the choice of type and what it adds to the building.
The lettering on the Centre Point tower appears to be directly derived from Optima, but the concave stroke terminals are removed, for aesthetic reasons and probably for technical ones too.
The high contrast, flare serifs and generally soft forms provide a nice counter to the strongly angular architectural features of this landmark building.
As is normal with Latin type, the emphasis of the stroke is on the vertical. The bold weight of Optima creates a strong contrast between vertical and horizontal strokes that is beautifully juxtaposed against the strong horizontality of the building grid.
In all, the features in the type provide a welcome femininity, nicely offsetting the testosterone-fuelled architecture.