Montero is a typeface I designed from scratch with user interface designers in mind. Featuring a high x-height and intentional open kerning, it is the ideal body typeface for mobile and web design.

Typeface Design


In my final semester at Northeastern University, I took the highest level typography course where I was tasked with creating my own text typeface over the course of the semester. This was not a process I was familiar with, but because of my love for typography, I always knew I would take this course as a cumulation of my design studies. I believe typography is one of the most important parts of user-interface design and that this course would greatly benefit me in my career. Below are some of the most significant aspects of my process and learnings.

Planning + Research

Right off the bat, I knew I wanted to create a typeface designed for user-interface designers. In my past 3 years designing interfaces, I have noticed specific aspects of typefaces that I like or dislike in the context of digital products, so I was very excited to have the opportunity to design my own typeface exactly the way I wanted it.

In my research, I quickly narrowed my search down to only sans-serif typefaces since that is what I prefer to use for body text in my own designs. I benchmarked over 50 typefaces, sorting them into categories based on what I liked and didn't like about them. Some of my favorite typefaces which I referenced at the beginning of my process were Be Vietnam Pro, Hind, and Source Sans Pro.

Creating Montero

I began with uppercase perpendicular letterforms since their forms are simple and they would set the baseline and cap height for the rest of the typeface. Then, the letter O to establish bowl shape and curve behavior. From there, I designed the obliques, curves, lowercase, numbers, and lastly punctuation.

Each letterform began with a hand sketch in my notebook. Sketching constantly throughout this process helped me to maintain a fluid problem solving mindset before taking the letterforms into Adobe Illustrator. In Illustrator, I perfected each form with precise measurements and my custom grid system.

This process was so precise that each letter was modified almost every week. In weekly critiques, we printed our type at various scales to discuss as a class. One of my favorite parts about this process was seeing how different everyone's typefaces turned out to be. They each had their own unique character (pun intended) that truly brought them to life.

Naming Montero

I named Montero after my grandmother's 113 year old beach house which served as the gathering place of my extended family growing up. We won't have the house in our family for much longer, so I wanted this project to serve as an ode to the house for my grandmother.


This project changed my perception of typography forever. I am now able to see forms and counter forms in ways I was not able to before and I catch myself noticing typefaces everywhere I go and thinking about their forms and application.

The part of this process that surprised me the most was the kerning process. I had no idea the kerning of each letterform needed to be so precise and unique. Although it was extremely time consuming, I really enjoyed this aspect of the project. I found it fun to type out different letter combinations and phrases and modify the kerning individually in Glyphs. Kerning, especially, is something I will never see the same way again. I now find myself evaluating the kerning of specific letter pairings in typefaces and choosing typefaces based on the ones I think are kerned the best.

This was the most beneficial course I took at Northeastern and I am so glad I took this course as a cumulation of my design studies. My perception of typography has changed forever and I have no doubt that this course will improve my process as a user interface designer. I can't say I will be designing another typeface anytime soon due to how time consuming it is, but I would love to design a semibold weight for Montero to increase its versatility.