Ilya Ruderman: Stratos is a typeface by the French designer Yoann Minet who then worked at Production Type. The typeface unexpectedly combines two fundamentally different styles. On the one hand, its lowercase letters are an interesting reinterpretation of classic geometric sans serifs such as Futura or Avenir, where all round lowercase symbols are round to the greatest possible extent, while symbols like е or с are equipped with fancy horizontal terminals that you can also see in neo-grotesques such as Helvetica. On the other hand, uppercase symbols are solved in a different manner: they are narrow and rather reminiscent of DIN typefaces. These fonts are structured on a different principle: for example, their О is not a circular О, but consists of two elements with vertical segments.
Stratos brilliantly combines narrow uppercase symbols with wide and round setting in the lowercase. Intuitively, you’d want uppercase symbols to be as tall as can be, but at the same time consume as little space horizontally as possible, for setting larger long words. While when it comes to lowercases, you want them to be as wide as possible, because legibility depends on width. Wider typefaces easily adapt to small sizes. This combination of two seemingly obvious solutions in one typeface — which is also seasoned with a great deal of design tricks and details added by Yoann — all this creates the world of Stratos.
The great thing about Stratos is that you see a very contemporary typeface. Clearly contemporary, clearly from the 21th century — but with interesting quotes from the great typefaces of the 20th century. It seems like a designer took (and combined in one typeface) the best from three groups — DIN-ish, neo-grotesques and geometric sans serifs.
Today the Cyrillic version of Stratos is being used increasingly — for example, by the Gogol Center that made Stratos its main typeface, or at SkyEng, the online education platform, that carried out their rebranding based on it. It is used both for identities and as one of the basic fonts at Readymag. Stratos is versatile and distinctive at the same time: on the one hand, it is very expressive and friendly, while on the other, it can be unexpectedly neutral which makes it incredibly helpful in many situations.
Yury Ostromentsky: We are sometimes asked what was the most difficult in cyrillising Stratos. The answer is: the letter б. If there is a place where our authorship of the Cyrillic version is concentrated, that would perhaps be the lowercase б which is probably one of the most distinctive and complicated symbols in Cyrillic.