The personality of the pen meets the sophistication of modern typography
New York-based type foundry Hoefler & Co. has created fonts for some of the world’s foremost institutions, publications, causes, and brands, and is the only type foundry ever to be honoured by the National Design Awards at the White House. Their collection is notable for its high style and exceptional performance in the most demanding applications, and you’d be hard pressed not to find something suitable for your next project. But if you’ve ever been after something a little less rigid and a little more expressive, something less engineered and more human, you’d look elsewhere.
The last few years have seen a surge in the popularity of handwritten (or hand-painted) fonts. Companies are recognising the value of these styles in adding soul to communications that are otherwise stifled by traditional typography. As of this writing, about a quarter of MyFonts’ Hot New Fonts list – a list of top-selling fonts released in the last 50 days – comprises type families with handwritten styles. So the market is there. And now, Hoefler & Co. has come to the party by releasing Inkwell, a new type family that blends the informality of handwriting, the expressiveness of lettering, and the versatility of type.
Inkwell comes in a variety of styles designed to work harmoniously when used together on a page: a bookish Serif and a cleanly printed Sans, a conversational Script, a ceremonial Blackletter, a fancy Tuscan for decoration, and a stately Open for titles. Each style is offered in six weights, from a technical pen Thin to a graffiti marker Black, to “capture the honest and familiar qualities of the pen”.
Compared to the fixed styles of traditional typefaces, which commit to a single visual idea, handwriting has the freedom to move from style to style as the message dictates. “A writer might scribble a paragraph in cursive handwriting, but punctuate key points with capitals, or backtrack to over-ink some crucial point with darker and more deliberate strokes,” says Jonathan Hoefler. “It’s a flexibility that makes handwritten communications compelling, and makes the medium of writing infinitely expressive.”
Inkwell brings these qualities in a sophisticated face that has the character set, weight range and technical finish to appease the most demanding of typesetters. Head over to Try.typography to play around with the new fonts right now.