About this font family
“Hey, look at me!” cried the new advertising typefaces. With the nineteenth century and the industrial revolution came an esthetic revolution in type design. Brash, loud, fat display faces elbowed their way into the crowd of book faces, demanding attention. Those who admired traditional book types harumphed and complained. Robert Thorne had fired the opening round with his Fatface. With the cutting of Figgins Antique, the battle was well and truly joined. Job printing came into its own and it seemed like everything changed. The world of printing had been turned upside down and the gentile book-type aficionados recoiled in horror much as the rural landed gentry recoiled at the upstart middle class shopkeepers and manufacturers. William Savage, approvingly quoted by Daniel Berkeley Updike over a hundred years later, described the new display faces as “a barbarous extreme.” These were exciting times. More…
According to Geoffrey Dowding in his An Introduction To The History Of Printing Types, “The types which we know by the name of Egyptian were first shown by Vincent Figgins in his specimen book of 1815, under the name Antique.” Of course, dating the design is not quite as simple as that. Nicolete Gray points out that Figgins used the same “1815” title page on his specimen books from 1815 to 1821, adding pages as needed without regard to archival issues. As a result, there are different versions of the 1815 specimen book. In those copies that include the new Antique, that specific specimen is printed on paper with an 1817 watermark. The design is dated by the 1817 watermark rather than the 1815 title page.
Figgins Antique ML is an all-cap font. This typeface is for bold statements. Don't waste it on wimpy whispers of hesitant whimsies. And please don't use it for extended text -- it will only give someone a headache. Think boldly. Use it boldly. Set it tight. Go ahead and run the serifs together. Solid and stolid, this face is very, very English.
FIGGINS ANTIQIE ML represents a major extension of the original release, with the following changes:
1. Added glyphs for the 1250 Central Europe, the 1252 Turkish and the 1257 Baltic Code Pages. Added glyphs to complete standard 1252 Western Europe Code Page. Special glyphs relocated and assigned Unicode codepoints, some in Private Use area. Total of 331 glyphs.
2. Added OpenType GSUB layout features: liga and pnum.
3. Added 86 kerning pairs.
4. Revised vertical metrics for improved cross-platform line spacing.
5. Redesigned mathamatical operators.
6. Included of both tabular (standard) & proportional numbers (optional).
7. Refined various glyph outlines.