During the course of the year 2016 Ellmer Stefan will release a new Fount of Display Type on this website every consecutive Monday. Each Fount is provided for download free-of-charge for a limited time of 7 days and may be used under the terms stated in the End User License Agreement (PDF).
to the typographic diversity of the 19th century, this project’s aim is not historical accuracy — none of the typefaces are strict revivals of specific typefaces produced in the Victorian era. It is rather a “revival in spirit” indulging into stylistic manifoldness and idiosyncratic hyperbolism.
The digital Founts are generated using a component-based system that globally applies changes made to independently adjustable letter parts, such as stems or serifs.
This approach mirrors the production methods envisioned for the making of wood types around 1880: in “American Wood Type 1818–1900” historian Rob Roy Kelly refers to a series of inventions by William H. Page using interchangeable modules in the creation of wood type letters enabling the rapid manufacturing of new styles.
Inventions as the one mentioned in conjunction with newly introduced, lightweight materials, as well as the increasing competition from the lithographic printer, made the 1800’s a feast of typographic mannerism, in both lead and wood type.
The emancipation from stroke-based letter design and the exploration of new types of stroke contrast lead to the development of highly imaginative typefaces displaying a sense of formal freedom seldomly encountered in today’s sober and controlled typographic environment.
This project is a digital protraction of these Victorian vulgarities. For those who fear the “degredation of typographic culture” — here is what I have for you: a set of 52 Display Typefaces conforming to no other standard than that of visual pleasure!