It is surprisingly difficult to find information about the origin of the fonts used for vehicle number plates in Britain. In recent years, the style of typeface has been ambiguously described by UK government agencies as ‘prescribed’, ‘mandatory’ or ’standard’, and it is the general public who have preserved its birth name and a clue […]
The Deansgate fonts were prompted by some distinctive capital letters used on Manchester street nameplates, a mid-twentieth century style distinguished by a pointy Z, and pointed vertex/apex on the M and W. The nameplates are made by Greens/GB Signs at their factory in Wythenshawe using 3 inch dies that were purchased some years ago from […]
It’s always a delight to come across familiar lettering that has never been made into a proper typeface, and if you’ve driven along a British motorway you’ll be very familiar with the numbers and letters of the Motorway alphabet, partially designed back in the late 1950s but never completed. Until now. Motorway is the companion […]
Transport New is K-Type’s redrawing of the typeface created for British road signs. It includes not only the familiar Heavy and Medium weights, but also the previously unreleased Light weight font envisaged for back-lit signage but never actually applied. Originally designed by Jock Kinneir and Margaret Calvert beginning in 1957 and first published on the Preston bypass […]
K-Type’s Sgt Peppers Lonely Hearts Club typeface, three fonts inspired by the bass drum lettering within the legendary album cover, has an interesting backstory. In 1967, the art dealer Robert Fraser suggested to Paul McCartney that the Beatles might commission a fine artist to design the artwork for their forthcoming album, Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club […]
When Merchant & Mills, the English drapers’ supplier, needed a font with a rustic and homely, down-to-earth feel for their products, they turned to K-Type’s recently enlarged Mailart Rubberstamp family to provide just the right sense of traditional, hand-crafted reliability for their delightfully simple, no-nonsense packaging. Also making extensive use of Mailart Rubberstamp’s old-school aura […]
In November 2012 I received an email from Richard Jones in Welshpool suggesting that K-Type create a typeface based on a condensed sans serif he’d observed on old enamel signs. Richard attached this clear photo of one such sign showing particularly intriguing diagonal terminals on the J and S, and online research showed that the […]
This post is an adjunct to The Non Solus Story written in 2005, a year after the project to recreate Eric Gill’s Solus typeface began. Non Solus, K-Type’s version of Eric Gill’s long neglected ‘light Egyptian’, was overhauled and improved in 2012 using a clearer sample kindly sent to me by Simon Gooch, an even higher […]
Keep Calm is a family of fonts developed from the now famous World War 2 poster that was designed in 1939 but never issued, then rediscovered in 2000. As well as the original Keep Calm font, the medium weight of the poster, new weights are now available – Keep Calm Book (regular weight), Heavy and […]
‘Fontology’ by Maia Francisco, has been released by European publisher Promopress, and includes eight K-Type fonts: Designer Block, FlatPack, Insecurity, Kato, Klee Capscript, Mailart, Roadway and Sans Culottes. As well as being an attractive coffee table book, it contains a useful cd of over 100 fonts that are ‘free for personal use’. Elsewhere, K-Type Magical […]
Lindy Heymann’s movie ‘Kicks’ received wide critical acclaim and K-Type Roadway is the director’s choice of font for the title, credits and publicity captions. The film is the story of two teenage girls in Liverpool who share an adoration for a local footballer. When a transfer to Real Madrid is announced, the girls take drastic […]
Designing fonts feels like playing about at a sub-atomic level in some kind of typographical microverse, a godlike noodling with the stuff of creation. Particularly so with New Old English where I would be tampering with tiny particles of history and quite possibly treading on the toes of time. I was aware of impertinently tinkering […]
Designer Mike Kus delivered an inspirational presentation at this year’s FOWD conference in London, and his much-praised slideshow made great use of K-Type’s Roadway font based on the typeface used for New York street signage.
K-Type Norton is the choice of typeface for “Old Man Stewart” on the current series of top US satire, The Daily Show. The font which is based on the four characters in the old Norton motorcycles logo, has been updated for contemporary use and expanded to include a lower case and our usual full complement […]
Artist Nina Edge chose to use K-Type Blue Plaque for her ‘5 Dimensional Everything’ art game at the Liverpool Tate Gallery. Her piece was part of the ‘Ideas Taking Space’ exhibition which featured a dozen artists and was shown from September 2008 to February 2009.
Artist Stanley Donwood sent us his 2008 Glastonbury T-Shirt design which uses our Norton font. If you haven’t visited Stanley’s entrancing website, Slowly Downward, you’ll also find a little touch of K-Type Blue Plaque there too.
2005 was a Summer of Love in the sunny North West of England, give or take a few rainy fortnights. After having bought a copy of Gastaut and Criqui’s book ‘Off the Wall – Psychedelic Rock Posters from San Francisco’, we went to the Liverpool Tate Gallery and saw their Summer of Love Exhibition. The best part […]
Vincent Connare’s Comic Sans arouses great passions. In schools here in England it is held up as the font that children find easiest to read, it is a ubiquitous success story, and its inappropriate use has tormented many a typographer. We confronted our fear and looked into the mouth of the lion. Lexie Readable (formerly […]
In 2003, whilst researching the life and work of Eric Gill, I came across several references to a typeface called ‘Solus’ cut in 1929. My curiosity was kindled when I experienced difficulty in finding an illustration of Solus in print or on the internet, and I discovered that the typeface had been withdrawn by Monotype […]