I Love Typography

fresh Faces, fine Fonts: Montag

A New Rounded Sans Serif in Town

Today we’re going to take a brief look at a new face on the block, namely Montag. I’ve just purchased this one, and I love it. In my excitement, I must be careful not to overuse it.

Montag is one of the latest typefaces from Jeremy Dooley of the Insigne Type Foundry. This is a very modern, fresh-looking, rounded san-serif, that has even been described as “gloopy”. It’s available in six flavours, and is already in MyFonts Bestsellers list; an impressive achievement for a newcomer.

Montag is an extended, rounded sans-serif. In many ways it can be seen as a more conservative, extended version of Chennai. As with Chennai, it includes simplified versions of many characters for titling or when a more futuristic appearance is called for. Choose Montag whenever you need a distinctive sans serif.–Jeremy Dooley


Take a closer look at Montag Regular with the new iLT Font Carousel. Hop on and enjoy the ride:

I’ve heard a few people refer to this typeface as fun, but I don’t see it that way—perhaps that’s the usual cliché for rounded sans-serif faces. I think it looks clean and professional, and would even work well for identity. The first font that came to mind when I saw Montag, was VAGRounded Light, one of the Volkswagen fonts. I’m not suggesting that they are so similar in construction (though they have those rounded terminals in common), but they do “speak with the same accent”, they “smell” the same.

If you wish to become more intimate with the fonts you use, here’s a suggestion; well, something that I do when I buy a new font: print out samples, or even individual letters at large point sizes, then stick them on the wall—anywhere will do; that way you can contemplate them in the bathroom, muse over them while working, and you’ll come to have a greater appreciation for the font—it’s really about becoming friends with the font, allowing the font to “gain our trust”.

As a side effect to the above experiment, you will also find that you can easily identify this font when you see it in use elsewhere. And, although this is unlikely to make you any friends (“Brenda, look! That’s Montag!”), it will teach you something about the context in which your new font should be used.

Jeremy has kindly provided these sample pages for you to get a taste of Montag:

Montag promo page (pdf)

Montag promo book (pdf)

So, what do you think of Montag? Would you use it? If so, where and when?

Coming within the next 48 hours:
iLT Investigates: Type Torture and TypeNuts (perhaps the world’s only Typography Cartoon Strip, perhaps, maybe—I’ll check…).

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  1. fonTy

    The iLT font carousel just rocks!
    I noticed it’s using jquery, great stuff.
    Love Montag font also, nice pick.

  2. Montag is neat-looking. It is always nice to discover something new.

    PS: Cool idea about the font carousel. I’d have thought though, if you were going to do something like that you’d do it with Flash because of how you can embed typefaces in Flash files. But I guess your solution is easiest to implement and works pretty well too. Looking forward to discovering other cool new fonts!

  3. I like the lighter weight of Montag (“multifunction”). I wouldn’t describe it as fun, either. I think it’s modern, almost futuristic. I can see it working well in an identity, perhaps for a hip cafe?

    Thanks for sharing, John!

  4. Yowza! Love the carousel! Cool use of Javascript.

  5. I think I could use this for a juice bar or something along the lines of that. Gentle cleanliness. I don’t think I would use it for extended bodies of text though. The t looks a bit understated. I don’t know how the one sided cross-bar part could not damage readability.

    It looks nice though.

  6. Type Monkey

    The promo page has faux small caps. That’s shameful.

  7. And not a word on Gotham?

  8. That typerousel of yours is very impressive!!

    I bet Montag will soon become “Web 2.0“‘s favourite type, if you know what I mean ;-) those rounded corners, add a reflective shadow and voilà :-)

  9. MarkeeO

    Yup, I would say that it looks very much like a close cousin of VAGRounded. They have almost the same construction, except for the fact that Montag is wider than VAG. The descenders for f, j and y are also different for Montag, adding some curves that straight pointet VAG descenders can only dream about.. And I am certainly in love with the small terminals..

    As for whether or not it’s fun, let’s reserve that question for Comic Sans. :P Montag’s stronger members will certainly be a bit playful to the eye, but I personally love the lighter versions—a bit modern, a little futuristic and certainly really beautiful..

    I guess it would be very much welcomed for designs that need a little whimsy but a lot of fashionable flair. And with regards to the idea of Montag as the new “it” for web2.0, let’s cross our finger for other alternatives.. :D

  10. Fonty
    Pleased you like it. It’s something of an experiment; really trying to find ways to show and compare fonts. I’m also working on a draggable font comparison thingy.

    Yes, Flash would work well, but I’ll let you into a little secret: I’m probably the slowest Flash developer in the world (I’m also not that good at it). But you’re right, being able to embed fonts in Flash is a big plus.

    Perhaps the new identity for Starbucks :)

    Thanks, but credit should go to the clever people at JQuery for such a wonderful JavaScript library.

    Interesting that you mention the juice bar (Lauren suggests a cafe)—looks like there could be a theme here. I wouldn’t use it for body text either. I wonder what Montag would look good with? I’m thinking Montag for titling and “?” for body text. Suggestions anyone?

    Type Monkey
    Well spotted.

    I love Gotham, but what about it? Are you suggesting that they have a similar appearance (even though Gotham has a double-storey “a”)?

    I was looking at your portfolio and sketchbook—on the sketchbook page you have an interesting use of type (top-right image); do you have a larger version of this available for me to look at?

    Perhaps I’ll add an Apple-esque reflection too. Oh, and I missed the “beta” label ;).

    That’s a very nice review and comparison. I should have had you write it. Thanks for taking the time to share this.

  11. SallyYi

    I agree with Yotam. I think Gotham and Montag have the same impression. I like both.

  12. MarkeeO

    You flatter me too much.. :)

    Yeah, you forgot about Gotham—which is what the oh-so-common Century Gothic will look like after being subjected to a good makeover to clean out all those irregular widths.. :D

    Although I fancy both typefaces, I think that the main clash between Gotham and Montag is that they’ll both scream, “Hey look at me first!”. But then again, every typeface wants to be noticed.. :D

  13. Ko

    The only font with a somewhat similar appearance that I ever used was a version of DIN Rounded, which of course is quite unlike Montag, but if you were to compare the two, you can possibly see why Montag might be called funny.

    But gloopy? What the heck is gloopy?

    It’s a nicely designed font and I can see why it sells, but as I am more into technical things I don’t see an immediate use for it; perhaps the futuristic appeal of the light versions might give me something to play with.

  14. Nice font and kinda cool coincidence, today I was watching Fahrenheit 451 and on of the main character’s name is Montag :D

  15. oh, that’s why Montag sounded so familiar to me. Thanks for refreshing my memory, Dumitru :-)

    oh, yes, John - how could I forget about the “beta” label :-)
    Actually, now that I looked at it again, I think Montag type will look great on a chocolate bar, it has that temptingly yummy look.

  16. It has a bit of a ‘70’s thing going on and makes me think of a Beatles album cover. But it’s also a tad futuristic.

    Wasn’t the main character in Fahrenheit 451 named Montag? Sorry, couldn’t resist. It’s the first thing I thought of.

  17. I like some of the shapes very much, however, it is a shame that there isn’t a ‘true’ italic, i do prefer it when the obilique is more than just the ‘roman’ version with a slant… however, it is now on my list of ‘possibles’… thanks for the heads-up

  18. As much as I love a good rounded sans-serif; I am going to have to pass on this one.

    I would much rather use Bryant or Chevin. If you are looking for the “futuristic” look there is always the very beautiful Variable

    Montag has some great glyphs, but there is just something about the x-height vs. width of the letters that is making it look stretched or squished, especially when used in the body copy.

  19. I also forgot the amazing Grover and Grover Slab

    Rounded Slab? Yes please!

  20. Markeoo
    I do not flatter thee, sir. Poor old Century Gothic.

    I think Jeremy actually referred to it as “gloopy”, “..like ink poured onto the page….”. Perhaps syrupy? There is something sweet about it, kind of “lickable”, if I might say so.

    Yes, that’s right, Montag played by Oskar Werner, and also starred in Jules et Jim.

    For those interested in why the name Montag?, I asked Jeremy, and this is his reply:

    First and foremost, it has to be unique. Normally, I name scripts after girls names and sans-serifs after cities, for example, but I was having trouble finding something for what became Montag. I think I was experimenting with a city name that I liked, but it was too long. When I shortened it up a bit, I recognized the German word for Monday in the letters. It was the right length, and looked good when I created the logotype for the typeface, and so it was named.

    Vivien (Inspirationbit)
    The chocolate bar is an interesting one. There is something sweet and rather edible about Montag.

    I wonder if Jeremy is aware of that Montag?

    Perhaps there’s an Italic on the horizon…

    Variable is very nice. I particularly like the “a” and the over-tall tittle. However, I’ve never heard of Chevin.

  21. Chevin is one of my favorite rounded sans-serifs. Give me an e-mail and I’ll send you some “goodies”.

  22. naming scripts after girls name and sans-serifs after cities, nice strategy :D

  23. Ah, a very nice type indeed.

    And as for:
    “Brenda, look! That’s Montag!”

    I’ve seriously done that before (though, it was Helvetica I think). The usual response is either “Er, what?”, or one of those vacant stares. Hehe.

  24. Hamish
    I’m pleased I’m not the only one.

  25. n3rdski

    Oh this font nice! buy buy buy

  26. n3rdski
    Definitely one for the shopping list. More great faces to come soon.

  27. Like I said BUY BUY BUY.
    I would not mind winning this font in one of the future drawings. ;)

  28. I like the convenience of “Montag”. The proportion of height and width is very harmonic. beautiful type face.

  1. montag - DesignersTalk—Nov 13, 2007

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