Slightly rounded rectangle term?

Ehague's picture

What's the term for when you have a rectangle with slightly curved sides (e.g., Eurostile)? I know there's a specialized geometry term for the shape you get when you take a bezier ellipse and pull the handles out as far as they'll go, as if you're trying to turn the ellipse into a square.

It's not "ellipsoid," but it's something like that. Any ideas?

Ehague's picture

Superellipse was the word I was thinking of—though it looks like squircle is the more accurate one. The whole point of figuring out the word, though, was to sound more technical and intelligent, and "squircle" doesn't really help me much there...

William Berkson's picture

Or more generally Superellipse. Scroll down to the "history" part for info on design uses.

Nick Shinn's picture


Philco TV, 1950
Microgramma: Aldo Novarese, 1952
Novarese's concept is more a rounding of Bank Gothic than a riff on the CRT shape.


Frutiger's original sketches for Univers (1954 or earlier) have more of the superellipse than the finished design.


Hermann Zapf's Melior (1952)

Only in the late 1950s did Piet Hien identify the mathematical basis of this shape, and begin to use it in various design applications, especially furniture.

http://typophile.com/node/33301

Ehague's picture

I'd always mentally connected Bank Gothic and Microgramma/Eurostile, but I didn't realize there was a typo-geneological connection.

Nick Shinn's picture

It's probably not that simple.
I had always thought Microgramma was CRT-tube inspired, but it seems to be much squarer than the tubes of that time.
Who knows, it may even have some De Stijl in it.
Whatever, it was very carefully and subtly drawn, and that seems to be a hallmark of the types of the immediate post WW2 era.
No doubt the designers were aware that their types would be on display at large sizes, reproduced by phototypositor.

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