In July this year, Monotype celebrated the last 100 years of type in design, with the Century exhibition at the AIGA National Design Center in New York. Featuring pieces taken from the archives of some of the most well respected design and cultural institutions, the exhibition celebrated typography as the ‘heartbeat’ of design.
The graphic identity for Century, created by Pentagram Design’s Abbott Miller, featured more than 1,000 full stops taken from Monotype’s typeface collections, which covered the walls and floor of the exhibition room. Using the full stop as a piece of ‘font DNA’, Miller’s identity functioned as a visual matrix for the archive pieces on display. Continuing the theme here, we present 16 full stops taken from the exhibition, covering everything from classic Eric Gill, to contemporary releases from the Monotype Studio.
Gill Sans Light Shadowed by Eric Gill (1930)
Gill Sans was designed by Eric Gill and issued by Monotype in 1928 to 1930. The roots of Gill Sans can be traced to the typeface that Gill’s teacher, Edward Johnston, designed for the signage of the London Underground Railway in 1918. Legible and modern, though sometimes cheerfully idiosyncratic, the lighter weights of Gill Sans work for text, and the bolder weights for compelling display typography.
Biffo Regular by David Marshall (1964)
This informal script carries the influence of the contemporary signpainter’s brush letterforms. Quirkier than most typefaces, Biffo has lettershapes with both angular and rounded features. Biffo makes a very distinct impression when used sparingly in display work.
Trade Gothic Bold by Jackson Burke (1948)
The first cuts of Trade Gothic were designed by Jackson Burke in 1948. He continued to work on further weights and styles until 1960 while he was director of type development for Mergenthaler-Linotype in the USA. Trade Gothic does not display as much unifying family structure as other popular sans serif font families, but this dissonance adds a bit of earthy naturalism to its appeal.
Monotype Modern Display by Dan Rhatigan (2013)
Cut by Monotype during 1900 and 1902, the Monotype Modern font family was based on Miller & Richard’s News 23 and 28; slightly condensed news text types of the 1890s. A classic text face, it’s typical of the moderns that were produced in the United Kingdom at that time, being less extreme in its rendering than some of the models of purer form being produced elsewhere.
Neo Sans Light by Sebastian Lester (2004)
Lester’s research for what was originally conceived as a custom typeface commission confirmed that the principal ingredient of an ‘ultra modern’ typeface was a simplicity of character structure: a carefully drawn, monoline form, open letter shapes and smooth, strong curves. To conceive of a typeface that crossed the line from modern to futuristic, Lester decided to amplify these qualities.
ITC Founders Caslon Poster by Justine Howes (1998)
Surviving 270 years of typographic trends, technology changes and font fads, Caslon has earned its title of the oldest living typeface. The original punches, hand-cut by William Caslon, are still intact and could be used to produce new matrices and fonts that are identical to those used to set type in the early 18th century.
Balega Regular by Jürgen Weltin (2003)
This stencil-like display font, created by German designer Jürgen Weltin in 2003, has a slightly italic slant. Text set in Balega has a forward moving motion, as the slant makes all the letters seem to be lunging to the right, lending the typeface a dynamic feel. With sharp uppercase forms, the lowercase is definitively round and friendly.
AdPro, Regular by Roman Sehrer (2004)
Roman Sehrer, a seasoned German advertising professional, digitised his handwriting to create this three-font family. With its laidback appearance, Sehrer recommends the typeface for posters, logos and restaurant menus, offering up a contrast to more traditional sans serifs.
Mistral Regular by Roger Excoffon (1953)
Designed by Roger Excoffon for the Olive foundry in 1953, and based on the designer’s own handwriting, Mistral is named after the cold winds of Southern France. A true brush script, with letters designed to connect, Mistral meets the demands of both headline and display work.
Veljovic Script Bold by Jovica Veljovic (2009)
ITC Veljovic was designed by Jovica Veljovic and displays an obvious calligraphic heritage. The designer was strongly influenced by German designer Hermann Zapf and Israeli designer Henri Friedlander. ITC Veljovic exhibits a crisp precision, as if the letters were cut in stone rather than drawn with pen and ink.
Neue Helvetica, 45 Light by Linotype Design Studio (1983), Max Miedinger (1957)
In 1983, D. Stempel AG redesigned the famous Helvetica typeface for the digital age, creating Neue Helvetica for Linotype: a self-contained font family. Neue Helvetica sets new standards in terms of its form and number of variants. It is the quintessential sans serif font, timeless and neutral.
Festival Titling by Philip Boydell (1950)
The Festival Titling font was cut by Monotype in 1950 as the official display face for the Festival of Britain, staged in 1951. Used for all official Festival announcements, Festival Titling was made available for general use in 1952.
Goudy Ornate MT by Frederic W. Goudy (1931)
Goudry Ornate (also known as Ornate Title) was designed in 1931 by Frederic Goudy. He states, ‘it is a simple, decorative face that has been used by some good presses for use on title-pages where size is more important than blackness of line.’
Blackoak by Joy Redick (1990)
Blackoak is an Adobe Originals typeface designed in 1990 by Joy Redick. Adapted from proofs of wood type from the collection at the Smithsonian Institution, it features slab serifs and extremely wide letterforms. When used sparingly, Blackoak can make an arresting display type.