About this font family
Quill-formed roman/gothic with an olde-worlde flavor.
Some background in the designer’s own words: More…
"A series of fonts came to mind which would be rooted in the medieval era -for me, a period of intense interest. Prior to Gutenberg’s development of commercial printing with type on paper in the mid-1400s, books were still being written out by hand, on vellum. At that time, a Bible cost more than a common workman could hope to earn in his entire lifetime. Men like William Tyndale devoted their energies to translating the Scriptures for the benefit of ordinary people in their own language, and were burned to death at the stake for doing so. Those in authority correctly recognized a terminal threat to the fabric of feudal society, which revolved around the church.
"This religious metamorphosis was reflected in letterforms: which, like buildings, reflect the mood of the period in which they take shape. The medieval era produced the Gothic cathedrals; their strong vertical emphasis was expressive of the vertical relationship then existing between man and God. The rich tracery to be seen in the interstices and vaulted ceilings typified the complex social dynamics of feudalism. Parallels could be clearly seen in Gothic type, with its vertical strokes and decorated capitals. Taken as a whole, Gothicism represented a mystical approach to life, filled with symbolism and imagery. To the common man, letters and words were like other sacred icons: too high for his own understanding, but belonging to God, and worthy of respect.
"Roman type, soon adopted in preference to Gothic by contemporary printer-publishers (whose primary market was the scholarly class) represented a more democratic, urbane approach to life, where the words were merely the vehicle for the idea, and letters merely a necessary convenience for making words. The common man could read, consider and debate what was printed, without having the least reverence for the image. In fact, the less the medium interfered with the message, the better. The most successful typefaces were like the Roman legions of old; machine-like in their ordered functionality and anonymity. Meanwhile, Gutenberg’s Gothic letterform, in which the greatest technological revolution of history had first been clothed, soon became relegated to a Germanic anachronism, limited to a declining sphere of influence.
"An interesting Bible in my possession dating from 1610 perfectly illustrates this duality of function and form. The text is set in Gothic black-letter type, while the side-notes appear in Roman. Thus the complex pattern of the text retains the mystical, sacred quality of the hand-scripted manuscript (often rendered in Latin, which a cleric would read aloud to others), while the clear, open side-notes are designed to supplement a personal Bible study.
"Tyndale is one of a series of fonts in process which explore the transition between Gothic and Roman forms. The hybrid letters have more of the idiosyncrasies of the pen (and thus, the human hand) about them, rather than the anonymity imbued by the engraving machine. They are an attempt to achieve the mystery and wonder of the Gothic era while retaining the legibility and clarity best revealed in the Roman form.
“Reformers such as Tyndale were consumed with a passion to make the gospel available and understood to the masses of pilgrims who, in search of a religious experience, thronged into the soaring, gilded cathedrals. Centuries later, our need for communion with God remains the same, in spite of all our technology and sophistication. How can our finite minds, our human logic, comprehend the transcendent mystery of God’s great sacrifice, his love beyond understanding? Tyndale suffered martyrdom that the Bible, through the medium of printing, might be brought to our hands, our hearts and our minds. It is a privilege for me to dedicate my typeface in his memory.”