One of the most influential typographers of the 19th century, Vincent Figgins, has inspired a new typeface by Monotype, launched today.
Called Macklin, the superfamily is based on Figgins' entire body of work, transformed into a single, comprehensive type system. It has been designed by Monotype's Malou Verlomme to help brands "appeal more emotionally to modern consumers", as the foundry puts it.
Featuring four subfamilies – sans, slab, text, display – with weights from hairline to black, there's a total of 54 styles, each with a different tone of voice. "As a superfamily, Macklin is a very versatile typographic tool. It can perform well in many environments such as branding, editorial, packaging – it can also create interesting typographic contrasts while maintaining a level of consistency," says Malou.
"Macklin is not a historical typeface. In fact, I went through several stages of 'de-historicisation' during the design process," Malou adds. "While keeping the basic structure intact, all the historical details have been removed, even the iconic teardrop terminals. The result is a contemporary family that offers a large palette for branding and editorial needs. A sans for everyday use; a sturdy slab that stands out; a text for longer reading; and a display for large, crisp headings."
What details of Figgins' work did he find the most interesting? Malou believes his type specimens are "beautiful, groundbreaking art pieces" and that "other aspects of these little books are also very interesting, like the format, paper, layout, even the copy". He says there's a "peculiar sense of poetry that comes from these seemingly meaningless pieces of text".
James Fooks-Bale, Monotype's senior director and creative, adds: "Macklin captures that moment between the very straightforward printing faces and the boom of advertising and the industrial era. But it's not a revival or a classic. It's got the Malou twist on what modernity is now."
Single weights of the Macklin typeface are available now for $/£49 or €55 each. The complete superfamily (54 fonts) or variable package (four fonts) are available for $/€199 or £169.
Macklin is immediately available through Monotype's Mosaic. It can also be purchased through MyFonts.com, Fonts.com, Linotype.com, and Fontshop.com with an introductory promotion of 75 per cent off for the first 90 days. Download Macklin Sans Extra Light and Macklin Slab Extra Bold at no cost through 27 July 2020.