Fonts in print: creative type specimens from Colophon, CoType Foundry, TDF and Daan Rietbergen
Designed by Andrea Biggio for The Designers Foundry, Tomato Grotesk is a modern grotesk family with simple geometric shapes and accentuated contrast that give it a strong display-like personality. High contrast, tight spacing and inktraps make it perfect for use in print and on screens in small sizes. When used in large dimensions these features make it an extremely cheerful, versatile typeface for a range of different uses.
Exploring the phenomena of vernacular, low-fidelity, and do-it-oneself shop signage, Colophon Foundry’s Mabry type specimen is a typographic rumination on the age-old balance of work and life, business and pleasure, home and office. The specimen includes a handy storage envelope, a booklet that re-presents found instances of colloquial operational language and a functioning OPEN/CLOSED flip-sign.
Six years on from David Einwaller’s original sketches in 2014, serif typeface Morion re-released via The Designers Foundry in 2020 as a revised, extended and reconsidered family of six weights for use at both text and display sizes. The Morion Non-Reader is a unique take on the traditional ‘type specimen’ – it can be seen as an experiment to remove the meaning behind the written word and instead focus on the visual appearance of type in a reading format. Under the pretext of a classic vintage reader, several layouts and text sizes are used to display Morion’s letterforms as authentically as possible.
A more considered and constrained version of their popular sans serif Aperçu, Colophon Foundry’s Visuelt was originally created alongside Bielke & Yang as a bespoke typeface for the 2013 and 2014 National Norwegian Design Awards of the same name. Its type specimen is a continuous concertina that opens out to over 1.3m in length.
The ninth release from Mark Bloom’s CoType Foundry, Scandium is a sans serif typeface with open shapes and technical styling inspired by his love for automotive design. To showcase the flexibility of the typeface, CoType collaborated once again with Greek design agency Semiotik on the design of a 72-page specimen book; having done so previously for the launch of their popular sans serif Aeonik Pro. Printed by Future Format onto a mix of special papers from Fedrigoni, the Scandium specimen features an exposed spine, lay flat pages and a vibrant combination of fluorescent yellow, black, white and silver; aiming to reflect the contemporary function and aesthetic of the typeface itself.
Developed by Dutch graphic designer and artist Daan Rietbergen, Nespor is a grid-based typographic project whose characters are designed as one family but also have the quality to stand on their own. The white space and margins of each letterform are equally important as the shapes themselves. The project is a typographic research that started off on screen and was then further explored on paper by drawing the different characters with a fine liner and ruler. Line by line, almost as a meditative way of working.