New Additions: August 2018
24th September 2018
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.
In December 2015 Miles Newlyn managed to do what very few type makers have accomplished: get their new font release into the mainstream press. Newlyn pulled off this feat by giving his typeface a general interest backstory, claiming it was “inspired by the voice of Sir David Attenborough”, and The Independent took the bait. One could argue this tale was nothing more than a cunning piece of PR writing, but Atten truly does fit the profile: it’s familiar, charming, authoritative, and very British (with a hat tip to the nation’s favorite face, Gill Sans). This year, Atten was reissued as New Atten with standard and Round subfamilies.
Untitled Sans is the product of Kris Sowersby’s attempt to create “normal” type. Banality sounds like an odd goal, but it is not an uncommon result. Many of the typefaces made in the last few years achieve a dull sameness as they try to appeal to everyone and every need. Most of these are in the neo-grotesque sans serif category, and there is at least one project – Neutral Sans – whose intention was very similar to that of Untitled Sans. For these reasons, I am much more interested in Untitled Serif, which has very few equivalents, if any. I can’t think of many serif typefaces one could describe as truly quotidian, and that kind of tool could be very useful. I think Sowersby’s experiment is a success. While it’s based on “old style” serifs like Caslon, it doesn’t seem to reference any particular time or place. It’s just plain text. The only other design with this quality that comes to mind is Source Serif.
While the Untitled family hopes to go unnoticed, these next two families are all about grabbing attention. The phototype era (1960s–80s) gave birth to exuberant, high-contrast serif typefaces that echoed the showy roman lettering commonly found on book jackets, magazine headlines, and advertising. GT Super is a celebration of styles in this category, such as ITC Bernase Roman, Times Modern, Trooper Roman, and display modifications of classic romans like Perpetua. Yet Noël Leu’s family is not a revival or a reinterpretation; he reimagined these one-off faces into a large, functional family of his own invention, with multiple weights, italics, and even a text companion. Don’t miss the minisite which cites and shows GT Super’s historical references.
Like GT Super, Ivar Nostalgi references phototype display serifs of the same period. Its lowercase, however, leans more toward Caslon Graphique, Hawthorn, and ITC Grouch, and Göran Söderström opted for optical sizes (Small, Medium, Large) rather than weights. But it’s no less versatile; this display set also has a full family counterpart in the much tamer Ivar Headline and Ivar Text.
Mark Simonson hasn’t released a new typeface for a while. Now, after years resting on his well-deserved laurels (Proxima Nova, Mostra Nuova, Bookmania), he’s unleashed two substantial families. Parkside is a classic 1940s script with six weights, which yields an unsually wide spectrum of personalities. Simonson recalled a similar period for his Acme Gothic, bringing back a utilitarian, thick-and-thin lettering style which has never been properly rendered as a typeface – not in a range this extensive, at least: five widths, each with five weights.