Welcome to the Kernel. If you’re interested in fonts and the stories behind K-Type faces, this blog offers tender morsels of fonty goodness to satisfy the hungriest typeface gourmet.

The Kernel

Kaleidoscope Eyes

To celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of the Beatles’ Sgt Pepper LP, the BBC broadcast Sgt Pepper’s Musical Revolution with a title, captions and credits that made full use of the K-Type Sgt Peppers fonts.

A Moon Shaped Font

K-Type Deansgate was chosen as the typeface for Radiohead’s 2016 album, A Moon Shaped Pool.

Five Go Adventuring

Bruno Vincent’s series of spoofs featuring Enid Blyton’s Famous Five characters continues to proliferate, and K-Type Adventuring was the logical choice of font, being based on the cover capitals from the classic 1950s and 1960s books.

Who was Charles Wright?

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 to its heritage, largely by word of mouth.

Deansgate – Manchester Modern

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.

Motorway – Sixty Years later

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.

Transport New

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.

Sgt Pepper Drums

The Sgt Pepper Fonts

K-Type’s Sgt Peppers Lonely Hearts Club typeface, three fonts inspired by the bass drum lettering within the legendary album cover, has a fascinating backstory.

K-Types Set Loose

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.

Enamela – Lost Lettering?

K-Type revives the lost lettering that was widely used for enamel street signs, Post Office signs, the plates on James Ludlow wall postboxes, railway signs, direction signs and circular Automobile Association wayfinding plaques for over half a century.

Non Solus – Update 2012

Non Solus, K-Type’s version of Eric Gill’s long neglected ‘light Egyptian’, was overhauled and improved in 2012 using a clearer sample from the January 1948 issue of ‘Alphabet and Image’.

Keep Calm

Keep Calm and Carry On

When I first saw the Keep Calm and Carry On poster, I wrongly assumed the letters to be Gill Sans. K-Type Keep Calm is a whole family of fonts developed from the now famous World War 2 poster that was designed in 1939 but never issued, then rediscovered in 2000.

Fontology

‘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.

Brazil Vehicle Plates

Mandatory in Brazil

K-Type Mandatory has been chosen for Brazilian vehicle plates from 2012 until the introduction of the Mercosur standard in 2017.

K-Type at the Movies

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.

New Old English

New Old English

New Old English was prompted by two Victorian coins, the mid nineteenth century gothic crown and gothic florin, which featured a gothic script lowercase with quite modern looking, short ascenders and descenders.

Roadway to the Future of Web Design

Designer Mike Kus delivered an inspirational presentation at the FOWD conference in London, making great use of K-Type’s Roadway font based on the typeface used for New York street signage.

The Daily Show

K-Type on The Daily Show

K-Type Norton, inspired by the famous Norton motorcycles logo, is the choice of typeface for “Old Man Stewart” on top US satire, The Daily Show.

5 Dimensional

Blue Plaque at Tate Liverpool

Artist Nina Edge chose to use K-Type Blue Plaque for her ‘5 Dimensional Everything’ art game at the Liverpool Tate Gallery.

Norton at Glastonbury

Artist Stanley Donwood sent us his Glastonbury T-Shirt design which uses our Norton font.

Bigfoot

Summer of Love

The Liverpool Tate Gallery’s ‘Summer of Love’ exhibition inspired several K-Type fonts with magical posters by Rick Griffin, Wes Wilson and Victor Moscoso.

Lexie Readable

Lexie Readable is a family of fonts designed for maximum legibility, it’s an attempt to capture the clarity and accessibility of Comic Sans without the American comic book associations and whimsical childlike quality.

Solus

The Non Solus Story

In 2003, whilst researching the life and work of Eric Gill, I came across several references to an obscure typeface called ‘Solus’, cut in 1929 and withdrawn by Monotype in 1967.