Triptych Roman
The Library
Triptych Italick
(which others
Triptych Grotesque
call the u…

Triptych consists of three distinct styles amplifying the notion of structural differentiation within a typeface family. The triplet of Roman, Italick [sic] and Grotesque is designed to take on clearly defined hierarchical functions in a typographic system.

Antique Old Style as shown by MacKellar, Smiths and Jordan — superimposed with a portrait of A. Phemister

Roman and Italick [sic] are irreverently free interpretations of the sturdiest of all sturdy book faces ever produced, namely O.S. (Old Style) Antique No. 7 by Miller & Richard of Edinburgh first issued in 1858 [citation needed].

Most probably not designed by Miller & Richard’s prime punchcutter Alexander Phemister, this style was in widespread circulation on either side of the Atlantic. Its derivatives were marketed both as Old Style Antique and Antique Old Style; in some German foundry catalogues it can be encountered curiously baptized Mediaeval-Egyptienne.

The accompanying Bold weight is a mental extrapolation of a manifold of Grotesques spanning the best part of the Nineteenth century. Nonchalantly appropriating various historical sources it is a subconscious amalgamation of unsorted Sans Surryph influences.

Grotesque influences

Various 19th Century Grotesques

Despite its name, Triptych is of secular, utilitarian nature: its unsentimental, at times mechanical drawing makes for a stubbornly robust and economic design. Bare any bourgeois flamboyance it is suited for confident and hard-working typography. Where other typefaces are promoted as workhorses, this one is a mule.

For text samples, character set and OpenType feature overviews consult the Specimen Sheet (.pdf).


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