About this font family
Early in the 19th century, foundries began releasing a variety of decorated ornamental letters based on the Tuscan letterform. Fancy Tuscan letters quickly became so popular, they eventually came to represent the cluttered extremes of Victorian design. Foundries competed with each other to produce most extravagantly decorated letterforms. As often happens, success turned to excess. More…
What is often overlooked is the long history of the Tuscan style. Early examples have been traced back to ancient Rome. Indeed, the characteristic bifurcation may have represented a fishtail to the early Christians, thus sharing in the roll of symbolic identification played by the simple drawing of a fish as a whole. Later. trifurcation was developed as an alternate termination, followed by loops, full fishtails, curls, hooks and other fancy variations.
Nicolete Gray provides an extensive history in her Appendix One of NINETEENTH CENTURY ORNAMENTED TYPEFACES. According to Gray, the first metal typeface based on the Tuscan form was the Ornamented of 1817 by Vincent Figgins of London. Thorowgood followed suit in 1821, Fry in 1824 and Caslon in 1830. Each was to re-visit the form many times during the Victorian era.
Here we present our interpretation of what Figgins might have produced in a basic, plain Tuscan form - free of the decorative additions. We are pretty safe here because Figgins was very creative. He explored many of the terminal variations listed above and combined them with different decorative devices to produce a constant stream of new faces to meet the demands of the marketplace.
Figgins Tuscan 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. There are also a few glyphs for Anglo-Saxon, Gaelic and Old Gaelic. Total of 355 glyphs.
2. Added OpenType GSUB layout features: aalt, ornm and liga ˜ with total 34 lookups.
3. Added 351 kerning pairs.
4. Redesigned several glyphs: the comma, quotes, brackets, braces, acute accent, and grave accent.
5. Revised vertical metrics for improved cross-platform line spacing.
Please note that some older applications may only be able to access the Western Europe character set (approximately 221 glyphs).
The zip package includes two versions of the font at no extra charge. There is an OTF version which is in Open PS (Post Script Type 1) format and a TTF version which is in Open TT (True Type)format. Use whichever works best for your applications.