Initially an exploration into a vertically limited design space after a visit to Japan and subsequent research into Japanese typography, System85's design takes a crude approach to the re-interpretation and / or / maybe mis-interpretation of Latin type in Japan.
Its namesake, an abbreviation of its total height (850), System85 is designed to be both awkward and comfortable in its setting and placement. With an unusually small descender length and unconventional width, the type replicates its parentage in tight vertical line spacing as well as playing homage to the early system default Grotesks found on Windows 3.1, 95–XP, with particular attention paid to the pan-asian variants, of which the default System fonts are used extensively in Japan.
Spanning two master families, Proportional and Mono, System85’s core design is shared across a consistent weighting and styling, with juxtaposed combinations of serifs and straight forms, alongside grade-spaced corresponding Italics. The Mono family contains an extensive set of box drawing tools and stylistically associated arrows. By combining two unicode blocks into a singular entity, this allows the integration of both blocks to be exchanged, interchanged and connected together.
System85 is available in three weights — Regular, Medium and Bold, all with corresponding Italics — over both Proportional and Monospaced variants. It is available to license in both Standard (‘STD’) and Professional (‘PRO’) versions, the latter containing a variety of Opentype features, extended support for Latin scripts and Cyrillic and Greek script support.
A full rationale of System85's development can be read here.