It’s been a good couple of months for font releases. And there are many more than I could list here (and many more that I am, unfortunately, blissfully unaware of). I can hardly keep up. Anyway, here are eight typefaces (comprising a total 126 fonts) that caught my eye. I no longer do comments on ILT, so if you have something to say, then ping me on Twitter. And, if you so desire, append the hashtag #ILTFonts, so that I can find them. Enjoy:
Foundry: Hoefler & Co.
A very fresh take on the distinctive Van den Keere style. The crisp forms and contrast (razor-fine bracketed serifs) imbue some sparkle to what is quite a heavy (in color) face, with lots of weight thrown down at about seven and two o’clock.
The italics are a beautiful departure from the Van den Keere model (he, to my surprise, drew no italic), but they do take enough cues from the roman to remain in the family, so to speak. The italics present quite narrow, but upon measuring their width I discovered that the italic alphabet is 91% the width of the roman, and they have a mean slope of about 19.5°. I think if we could exhume Van den Keere and reanimate him even for a moment to show him these italics, he’d give them the thumbs up.
I like the name too. And a great way to show off its Q. A little copy in one of the specimens reveals (I guess) the origins of the name: the Quarto (4°) format (during the fifteenth century more than half of all editions were printed in this format.) The Van den Keere exemplars were originally designed for larger books read at a distance, like choir books; and, although it is unlikely you are typesetting a choir book (but, then, who knows), you’ll find plenty of other display uses for Quarto, both in print and on screen. Sublime.
Designers: Christian Schwartz, Mitja Miklavčič, & Ben Kiel
Foundry: House Industries
Probably worth licensing for the numerals alone. Some nice alternate numerals are available through OpenType stylistic sets. They look like they belong on the bonnet of a Le Mans Touring car or on a cool T-Shirt or — come to think of it, these numerals could and should be everywhere. The display fonts have much taller lowercase letters in relation to the caps — a nice touch; and the serifs are a little finer and longer. And, for what is primarily a display face, Velo Serif comes in more weights than you can shake a stick at (four text styles; 12 display styles). There’s such huge variation between the lightest and heaviest weights that it’s like several typefaces in one. One little detail I’m particularly fond of is the concave top of the letter i — only in the heaviest weight of the display fonts — which, for me at least, gives the impression of a fat trampolining tittle. Next, I’d like to see a stencil version.
Designer: Botio Nikoltchev
With its splendid deep-cut ink traps (especially evident in the heavier weights) that penetrate deep into the stems, bringing a little contrast to otherwise near-monoline letterforms; and softly shaved corners, this narrow sans, Ropa Soft Pro, like its sharper-cornered sibling, Ropa Sans, (released back in April) includes support for both Greek and Cyrillic and throws in a few useful arrows. Though the publisher’s blurb suggests the medium weights for text, I disagree, and would propose something a little lighter — the Regular or even the Light weight. And the heaviest weights set big really show off those crazy ink traps.
Designers: Berton Hasebe & Christian Schwartz
Foundry: Commercial Type
It has been five years since the release of the Graphik family drawn by Christian Schwartz and published in 2009. Now it has a slab serif companion in nine weights from the graceful and delicate Light to the punch-in-the-face Super weight. It’s a no nonsense sans that rather than attempt to distinguish itself though superfluous details, just takes the best of the twentieth-century sans serifs, carefully adding relatively short slab serifs to make something that sings. Of Graphik, Kris Sowersby wrote for Typographica:
Its serious, pared-back forms reference classic sans serifs but remain thoroughly modern and never get frigid.
And the same is true for this slab serif incarnation.
Designer: Nick Shinn
Pratt Nova is a semi-condensed text and display face, though its condensed nature is amplified by its very generous x-height, short descenders and capitals.
A couple of details I particularly like: the bevel or champher on the underside of the crossbar in the lowercase e. I like how this evolves through the weights:
And if you look closely, you’ll also notice some variation in the serifs: some adnate or bracketed, some abrupt; for example, the abrupt wedge serif atop the left stem of U; whereas the right stem bears a more organic bracketed serif — a very nice distribution-of-weight detail.
Designer: Ludwig Übele
Foundry: Ludwig Type
Simple and crisp forms teamed with unassuming slab serifs in this no-nonsense type for books and editorial design. It also has its own dedicated minisite. Named after fourth-century B.C. Diogenes the Cynic. Really like the higher contrast in the heavier weights with stubby serifs (especially evident in the small caps) — it sparkles. Right now three of the fonts — Regular, Italic, & Bold — are available freely as demo versions with a restricted character set.
Designers: Hyun-Seung Lee & Dae-Hoon Hahm
The past year has seen the release of dozens of layer fonts, many of them based on a simple sans or geometric sans skeleton. Making good use of them is a little fiddly, but they are fun to play and experiment with. Core Escher, from the South Korean foundry S-Core joins typefaces like Jonathan Barnbrook’s Priori Acute (2009) and Bold Monday’s Macula to produce letterforms that appear impossibly, or at least implausibly, contorted. Escher Core comprises six styles, though if you’d like to get started, then three should suffice: Core Escher A, and Core Escher A Left & Right to create the color variations you see in the specimen. Until polychromatic webfonts are a thing, you can use layered webfonts on screen: Brandon Durham of Hoefler & Co. demonstrates a simple implementation using Knox fonts and a CSS
data-attribute, in How to Create Layered Webfonts.
Designers: Tal Leming
Foundry: Type Suppply
Monoline in the lighter weights with a little contrast creeping into the heavier weights, this new typeface from Tal Leming references both pen and computer. Note the ‘typewriter’ i with its broad head serif. The italics are lovely, graceful. The letterforms taught, crisp, and precise. Twelve fonts in six weights from Thin to Black.
by John Boardley