Around 1800 (one hundred years ahead of Helvetica and Univers) the very first Sans Serif typefaces to include things like lowercase letters applied to have pretty High Contrast (the distinction between thick and thin lines). Maybe because the had been derived from the additional traditional serif typefaces from the time.
But for exact same cause, as the genre evolved, the style was to create ‘monoline’ sans, of really tiny contrast. Now, contrasted Sans are extremely rare, and only a number of are profitable.
When digging in old specimens, we identified three that promptly caught our focus: Doric Italic and Taylor Gothic from American Kind Founders (1897), and Charter Oak from Keystone Variety Foundry of Philadelphia (1906).
Racing Sans is a existing high contrast sans, paying tribute to this forgotten genre.