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Vincent Figgins

Trend-setting British punchcutter and typefounder, known for his craftsmanship. He was apprentice to Joseph Jackson from 1782, but was apparently not prepared to work under William Caslon III, who bought the foundry when Jackson died in 1792; he opened his own foundry the same year. The first recorded slab serif type appears in Figgins’ 1817 catalogue, named Antique.

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7 font families by Vincent Figgins

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Figgins Tuscan™

by HiH
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Figgins Tuscan™ Figgins Tuscan™

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.

Figgins Antique

by HiH
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Figgins Antique Figgins Antique

“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.

Egiziano Black

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1 font from $29.00
Egiziano Black Egiziano Black

Ionic®

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9 fonts from $29.00
Ionic® Ionic®

Giza®

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16 fonts from $40.00
Giza® Giza®

Figgins Brute

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8 fonts from $15.90
Figgins Brute Figgins Brute

"A capital titling face with numerals, erroneously labelled in Figgins specimen book of 1817 as an ‘antique’ or roman. With a very bold, nearly monoline construction and squared serifs as thick as the main stroke, this type surpassed even the fat face style in blackness, it was popularised by the advent of handbills and early advertising posters, which needed bold type styles to project commercial messages from a distance. A sign-writer friend of mine theorises that the Egyptian style originated with the North African campaigns (hence Egyptian) of Napoleon Bonaparte, and the type historian Ruari McLean also suggests that the Egyptian style originated with signwriters ‘block’ letters, just like the prototypical (and contemporary) sans serif of Caslon IV." (Ben Archer)

Vidalia Sunshine NF

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Vidalia Sunshine NF Vidalia Sunshine NF

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