I drew Rollout because I wanted a blocky sanserif, like the type you see in ads for discount products. The kind of lettering you can kern close together without doing any real damage.

I added another characteristic which means that Rollout differs from most of the other typefaces of its kind. The letters are all formed from a single template shape – exemplified by the lower case o – and I tried to preserve this trademark shape throughout the face. It’s a logical (and lazy) way to build on the characteristic foursquare shape of heavy, condensed sanserif faces, and it’s a look which (unconsciously) I inherited from Chicago, one of the first fonts drawn for the Apple Mac operating system. Because not all the lowercase letters, let alone the full set of characters, can be built with the shapes found in a lower case o, there are letters which do not follow this squared-off shape. The general look of the typeface is, nonetheless, recognisably due to the squared-off style.

In Italy, I discovered that a face very similar to Rollout is available as transfers or stickers, and is widely used: you can find it on shop signs and on the trams and buses in Rome. Once, at a motorway service station, I came across a spanish truck with the operator’s name in orange capital letters four feet high on the side of the trailer. It was probably the same type as the Italians use: I had to stop and admire it.