ooper Black’s second coming to American design in the mid-sixties, after almost four decades of slumber, can arguably be credited with (or, depending on design ideology, blamed for) the domino effect that triggered the whole art nouveau pop poster jam of the 1960s and 1970s. By the early 1970s, though Cooper Black still held its popular status, countless so-called hippie and funk faces were competing for packaging and paper space. The American evolution of the genre would trip deeper into psychedelia, drawing on a rich history of flared, flourished and rounded design until it all dwindled and came to a halt a few years into the 1980s. But the European (particularly German) response to that whole display type trend remained for the most part cool and reserved, drawing more on traditional art nouveau and art deco sources rather than the bottomless jug of new ideas being poured on the other side of the pond. One of the humorous responses to the hamburgering of typography was Friedrich Poppl’s Poppl Heavy, done in 1972, when Cooper Black was celebrating its 50th anniversary. It is presented here in a fresh digitization under the name Gator (a tongue-in-cheek reference to Ray Kroc, the father of the fast food chain).
To borrow the title of a classic rock album, Gator is meaty, beaty, big and bouncy. It is one of the finest examples of how expressively animated a thick brush can be, and one of the better substitutes to the much overused Cooper Black.
Gator comes with over 415 glyphs, and sports an extended character set to cover the majority of Latin-based languages. Many alternates and ligatures are included in the font.
From $25 USD