Pandemic Type! 8 of Our Favorite New Typefaces From the Past 2 Months
Updated: Jun 16
Sure, we’ve all been locked in and masked up … but that doesn’t mean we should sleep on these eight great new typefaces released in April and May.
Every Tuesday we spotlight a new release. Stay tuned to PRINT for the latest.
Last year, James Edmondson of OH no Type Company asked his Twitter followers: What’s the best—and worst—thing about OH no?
One answer to the latter haunted him for months:
“It would be great to be able to use an Ohno font more than once.”
With Edmondson’s signature humor, the winding path that led to his new face, Degular, is explored in depth here—but the key takeaway is that he indeed walked away with a workhouse that can be used more than once. (Some might even say more, given Degular’s 42 styles.)
The development was not without its surprises.
“When I began finishing up the work on these fonts, and showing them to my friends, their reaction was not at all what I had anticipated. They were saying things like, ‘Wild,’ and, ‘I can totally see your hand in this.’ In an effort to make something super bland and devoid of emotion, I had completely failed.”
As far as failures go, this is one we’re all about. See much more of Degular here.
Monte Stella is a type rooted in time and place: Milan, 1950s, ’60s and ’70s.
Dalton Maag Creative Director Riccardo De Franceschi drew inspiration for the face—named after the Italian city’s hill built from World War II debris and signifying renaissance—from Milan’s shop signage and print ephemera.
As Dalton Maag writes, “Monte Stella’s letters are constructed and modular, with the purposeful naivete and imperfect feel of vernacular lettering. Narrow proportions give an economical use of space, and a tight, vertical rhythm. Low contrast improves legibility at small sizes, enhancing versatility. The modularity is balanced by the angular curves of letters such as ‘a’, ‘b’, ‘m’, and ‘n’ pulling away from their stems, energizing the texture and grabbing the reader’s attention.”
The family includes a variable font, and each of Monte Stella’s six weights is accompanied by a “turbo italic” featuring a 20-degree incline. And then there’s the directional arrows and charming icons that complement the face: the snake from Milan’s shield, Milan’s sweet signature Panettone bread, the city’s cathedral, an Aperol spritz, and more.
Bellissimo. Grab a copy here.
We were quickly seduced by the outline, interline, sideline, borderline and endpoint styles, but stuck around for its personality-laden regular weights that can be deployed across a variety of applications.
“With monolinear appearance, humanistic elements and subtle hints of Art Deco, Mesclo is a timeless typeface with dramatic oblique terminals and a welcoming, friendly roundness,” the foundry writes. “The outstanding dynamic rhythm and legibility of the text contrasts with the inflexible geometry of the unusual complementary caps-only typefaces, specially developed to fulfill and enrich this type family.”
Mesclo was designed by Pedro Leal and Dino dos Santos, and is available here.
Paul McNeil and Hamish Muir’s MuirMcNeil is known for brilliant, eye-catching systemic and algorithmic experiments in design. (Like, say, the time they made 8,000 unique covers for Eye magazine.)
Now they’re back with a new typeface: Interlock, featuring four styles in six weights. Like most of their projects, in addition to just looking plain cool, a significant amount of theory and thought underpins the work.
As MuirMcNeil explains: “In Interlock, the relationship between inked and uninked parts of letters is broken down into even patterns of parallel horizontal or vertical lines. Where traditional type designs are configured in binary contrasts of form and counterform, Interlock’s lines are progressively incremented in weight to provide tonal pattern densities within the body of the type.
“In Interlock, a common grid determines the positioning of all elements with every contour and space aligning precisely. Interlock typefaces are designed to interact in layers with one another and with corresponding sets of rectangular background grids.
“Using page layout, bitmap or vector design software, the user can apply selected styles to letterforms and backgrounds either in precisely interlocking layers or in easily calibrated offsets. Outlines, tints, colors, textures, patterns and transparencies can be implemented as appropriate.”
Read more here.
It started when Jorge Iván’s cousin gifted him a page from the 1978 Manual de Caligrafía, featuring display faces like Astra, Good Vibrations, Piccadilly and, most presciently, Stripes.
Letraset released Tony Wenmann’s multilinear typeface Stripes in 1972—and in Iván’s opinion, no one has produced a worthy revival in the years since.
Entranced by the typeface—“whose peculiarity and innovation lies in the fact that it has alternate versions for most alphabetic characters, allowing them to join with each other, creating a continuous succession of shared parts along the words one wants to give shape to,” as Iván writes—he set out to make that revival.
After pouring over catalog specimens and real-world applications, Iván added the necessary glyphs and characters to modernize the face—including an entire lowercase alphabet—manually drew endless Bezier curves, and emerged with Octothorpe, the latest release by the Argentina-based Pampatype.
Octothorpe features contextual alternates that allow users to decide whether or not to link words; extenders; swashes; extensive diacritic coverage; a currency suite; and some bonus icons to boot.
Hypnotic, colorful and character-driven—and sometimes at play on the border of legibility—you can find it all in action at Pampatype’s delightful Octothorpe microsite here.
Laura Mesegeur’s latest typeface celebrates the creative women of the world.
The family of four dubbed Sisters began as a custom lettering project for an art exhibition identity, and grew from there.
Mesegeur started with the stencil-based Sisters One …
… Added contrast to create Sisters Two …
… Equalized the weights of Sisters Two to create Sisters Three …
… And threw some deco flair into Sisters Two to create Sisters Four.
As Type-Ø-Tones, which Meseguer co-founded, writes, the styles “share foundational principles of construction yet complement each other—as sisters do—by celebrating their differences.”
Check out the display family in action below with Gerard Joan’s specimens, featuring text by Tamye Riggs.
Meet Stapel—a sharp new contemporary trio of subfamilies with seven weights each … and a nice array of possible applications.
For anyone who laments that type design today is boring … we submit to you Gimme v. 0.1, a delightful in-progress release from Typearture (aka Arthur Reinders Folmer). It began, appropriately, with a Battleship battle against Folmer’s nephew—“I was hit with a realization: Hey, you could make type with these things! Of course I promptly lost as well”—and grew from there.
The face has two families of two styles, and a bonus variable color font, and can be purchased at Future Fonts.