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Free Font Friday: Hanken Grotesk

by Taylor Slattery | January 12, 2023

Hanken Grotesk is a sans serif typeface designed by Alfredo Marco Pradil at Hanken Design Co. Pulling inspiration from a deep lineage of typefaces bursting with personality, Hanken Grotesk bears the same hallmark geometry of its spiritual predecessors while sporting some updates that make it a viable choice for modern use both on and off the screen. Like the classic grotesque typefaces with which it shares its name, Hanken Grotesk has fairly uniform strokes and soft, rounded geometry, giving it a clean, modern appearance. Additionally, the typeface is fairly versatile in application, with a wide range of weights spanning from thin to black with italics for each providing additional flexibility.

With one of its stated use cases being environmental signage, the combination of its simple, minimal appearance and great readability makes it a compelling option for a design systems across various scales. While Hanken Grotesk is certainly a typeface designed more so with practicality and functionality in mind, it isn’t completely devoid of personality, with quirks like a double-story g giving it a subtle, yet present distinctiveness that becomes more pronounced at larger display sizes and heavier weights. Hanken Grotesk’s quiet character and selection of weights make it an interesting option for designing systems with touch points of both large and small sizes, allowing for moments where the typeface’s quirkiness can shine through while maintaining readability.

Hanken Grotesk is available in 9 weights with accompanying italics and variable weight versions of both. You can find it for free here.


Taylor is the Managing Editor of Notes on Design. Taylor is a graphic designer, illustrator, and Design Lead at Weirdsleep.


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