The Gibbs typeface was developed for the non-profit SS United States Conservancy, owner and steward of the historic SS United States, a former transatlantic ocean liner that has been virtually abandoned since 1969. The group wishes to restore the ship as a vibrant waterfront development and museum for future generations to enjoy for decades to come.
The distinctive caps of Gibbs (named for the ship’s designer, William Francis Gibbs) were based on the mid-century cast aluminum signs found on board the ship in its heyday. The result is a tough, sophisticated, and transatlantic sans with a little bit of quirk, in between industrial American vernacular lettering and the English humanist styles of Gill or Johnston.
The typeface was intended for the Conservancy to use in marketing materials and other branded collateral, with the future potential to also be used for restored architectural signage on the ship. Gibbs was awarded the Type Directors Club Certificate for Typographic Excellence in 2015.