New Additions: October 2017
15th November 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.
Andreas Siedel is an avid collector of vintage metal stencil plates from all over Europe and has translated them into a series of typefaces, including Vtg Stencil DIN, Vtg Stencil UK No. 76, Vtg Stencil Germany No. 101, and a series of US Stencils. His latest installment, Vtg Stencil France, represents perhaps the most classic of stencil of them all, found in France (and Italy) throughout the 19th and 20th centuries. The three styles capture slightly different weights and widths, with No. 1 the only one to include a lowercase. Each is available in Regular and Display versions, optimized for small or large use respectively.
Stackable, polychromatic font packs are increasingly common these days (see Bungee, Camp, Detroit, Sutro Deluxe). They offer a wide variety of patterns and effects, fills and shadows, but Mighty Slab takes a slightly different tack. Mighty Slab One is the base font, a solid fill; Two adds an outline; and Three and Four enable a groovy, multilayered, three-dimensional effect. Alternatively, Three or Four on their own offer the option of a short or long shadow. The whole concept works because Ryoichi Tsunekawa’s core design is ultrabold, keeping negative space to a minimum.
Saol is based on a range of odd and obscure serif faces of the late 19th century. The Victorian era was a period of ornamentation and experimentation in which novelty type proliferated and text type departed unabashedly from traditional calligraphic ideals. Schick Toikka’s bold tribute recalls “Old Styles” like Ronaldson (MacKellar, Smiths & Jordan, 1884), Caxton (Marder, Luse & Co, 1889), and West (Barnhart Brothers & Spindler, 1892) while imparting all the modern conveniences of contemporary type, like a wide range of weights and broad language support. The closest digital renditions of this genre are Cercurius’s Fitzronald, Canada Type’s Ronaldson, and, of course, Ed Benguiat’s 1970s classic, ITC Tiffany. Saol is more functional than any of these, aided by its two optical sizes (Text and Display), which increase the range of practical use while paying homage to the physical attributes of its original metal ancestors.
Mention the name Adrian Frutiger and the typeface names that first come to mind are inevitably Univers, Avenir, or his namesake. Icone, on the other hand, is little known or loved, but it’s among his most original designs. I’m especially a fan of Icone Extra Black. It’s no wonder, then, that I was immediately struck by Mazagan, the newest release from Portuguese designer Mário Feliciano. The inspiration was actually a French titling face from 1912, but Mazagan shares Icone’s flaring strokes, subtle contrast, and broad stance. Deeply cut joins add sparkle and allow for an even heavier weight in the Mazagan family: Super.
Hallmark Fonts are generally made by the company for use on their own cards. Some, however, have been bundled with Hallmark Card Studio, and a few of these were recently added to Identifont. Many are just slightly altered copies of existing designs (Succotash/Van Dijk, Francine/Boulevard, Hasty/Jiffy), but the company has a competent in-house staff producing original type such as Alice Frances, Cluff, and Boogie Woogie. Hallmark must be holding back the best stuff for themselves, though. I’ve heard that Jim Parkinson’s work from the 1960s continues to be revised and expanded by their type team, so I wonder what goodies are kept from public use. I guess we’ll just have to keep browsing the greeting card stands.