New Additions: June 2017
11th July 2017
We add hundreds of fonts to the Identifont database every month. Most of these are recent releases, and some are simply new acquisitions from foundries who were not yet represented on our site. Stephen Coles gives his take on the most interesting recent additions.
If you want nostalgic food packaging, resplendent with Victorian, Art Nouveau, or Art Deco ornamentation, you call Louise Fili. Her studio’s designs frequently include custom lettering, but she’s not known as a type designer, and (apart from a contribution to the Hamilton Museum’s Wood Type Legacy Project) she’s never had a product on the retail font market, until now. Montecatini is Fili to a T: it’s antique and dainty and takes its cues from Italy, one of Fili’s favorite letter sources. The font lacks a lowercase, but makes up for it with over 200 ligatures. See an example of Montecatini in use on the Montecatini sample page.
Akkordeon takes its inspiration from turn-of-the-20th-century Grotesques which had looser concepts of family structure than we know today in the era of digital type design. Rather than execute systematic sets of weights and widths all at once, styles were added to the catalog as needed, resulting in individual fonts optimized for their own particular proportions more than the family as a whole. In Akkordeon, the weight/width progression is simultaneous, with each increment both bolder and wider. The well-known Champion Gothic (Hoefler Type Foundry, 1990) is a family that follows the same concept on a much smaller scale. Other multivariate poster grots informed by this era include Grotzec, Rama Gothic, Rhode, and Titling Gothic.
Like last year’s Spencerio, Estampa Script puts a age-old formal calligraphy model on a contemporary footing by increasing the x-height. The larger lowercase makes Estampa more legible in more situations. Deisgner Sofia Mohr also simplified the elaborate Spencarian uppercase, replacing the traditional loops and curls with ball terminals. Again, this makes Estampa more versatile than most copperplate scripts, and adds its own flair. I only wish more attention was paid to the spacing; there are too many unsightly gaps (e.g. left side of a in many situations) and collisions (e.g. fr in Bold). Also, some of the cap shapes are not quite resolved (A, Z). Still, there are so many nice ideas in Estampa worth pursuing I’d love to see a version two.
In the early 19th century, English type founders took Modern serifs to their blackest extremes, creating a genre later known as “fat face”. The vertical stress and thin hairlines of the Didone model were well suited to this treatment; just add more weight to the heavy strokes and you’ve got yourself eyecatching poster type! A fat-face rendition of type in the more calligraphic Oldstyle classification is a more complicated matter, and such typefaces were far less common until the 1960s and ’70s with phototype novelties like Benguiat Caslon, LSC Caslon, and ITC Galliard Ultra. Gastromond revives this idea, but does it a way that maintains the angled axis traditionally associated with Garaldes (see a, d, o). It also resists the radical stroke contrast of those ’70s faces, keeping hairlines beefier and serifs softer. The result is a charming and cuddly thing, with lots of action in the italic. Swashes, too.
Monotype issued its own oldstyle fat face a few months later, Masqualero, but it’s more akin to the ’70s stuff, and even sports bell-bottoms (flare serifs).
Speaking of the 1970s and extra bold type, Maximiliano Sproviero’s Preta plugs in the exhuberence of his Seventies typeface (2015) and dials the volume up to eleven. Our samples here barely reveal the minute interior space in this corpulent script. You gotta go set some large samples to really see it perform its ebullient boogie. Preta is a six-style family: You can ignore the extraneous Printed and Capitals styles; the Ao Sol (shiny highlight) style is fun; but the piece that really adds extra value is Preta Small, which opens the counters just enough to allow use at slightly smaller sizes.