Last Updated on January 21, 2022
Knockout was seen to be a cry of rebellion against the norm, at the same time being one of the typefaces that helped establish the American sans-serif in the history of typography. See what makes this font perform at its best.
How Knockout Began
Another “function over form typeface” published by Hoefler and Co., this family of typefaces was seen as an expansion of Jonathan Hoefler’s first typeface – Champion Gothic (1990). Knockout’s range of weights allowed some of its fonts to be used in sizes too small for many typefaces to stay readable.
This typeface was inspired by the letters seen in 19th Century circus posters. Between the late 19th and the early 20th Century was the time when old approaches to type founding were set against newly-emerging ones. Modernism was the dominant type school of the times, where it set the standards on how proper typefaces should be. Type design was confined to roman, italic, bold, and bold italic, which was seen as a restriction on creativity.
Knockout was begun in 1994 for the New York Times Magazine and completed in 1998 for the redesign of Sports Illustrated. It was fully released in 1999 and became a favorite among editorial designers. It presently has become a standard of a growing range of magazines and newspapers across 37 countries.
Knockout Uses and Pairings
Knockout boasts a kind of utility that deemed impossible to achieve with most Modernist sans-serifs. A nine-width, four-weight family that quickly adapted to the demand of a design project, regardless of text length or size, its visual appeal that seem individually-designed did not make it less-organized.
Because it looks strong, well-defined, and bold, you can get away by pairing this font with classics such as Avenir, Apercu, Sina Nova, and Chronicle Display. Purchase Knockout from Hoefler&Co or Creative Market. For the free versions, check out Free Fonts Family or A-ZFonts.