I've mentioned MyFonts' Creative Characters before when I discussed their inaugural issue, Christian Schwartz (he of Neutra, Luxury and the Guardian family fame) and my first encounter with the Guardian and have been checking up on them from time to time. They've recently highlighted the type designer Nick Shinn, whom I've had limited prior knowledge of before. I read his fantastic essay on the typographic style of the satirical Punch magazine; using that as a springboard for a highly informed breakdown of industrial era typographic styles and necessities. I figured that the face he used for the article had to be of his own creation, and turns out it is.
He has recently released his newest type family - Scotch Modern - in homage to the type of that era. In the interview he mentions that many people don't like this style, that the thin hairlines and heavy verticals give it to much sparkle. Well, to those people who think that, they're wrong. I want to sex this font. Yes, you heard me loud and clear.
Whenever I was foraging for type at the Printing Museum I always hoped that something like this would come my way. That somehow, somewhere I'd come across a case of some classic Dwiggins or Caslon type, and I could forever live in a make believe Victorian world. Where all the serifs were this sharp, the bowls have as much idiosyncrasies as the C and Gin would be served in mugs for morning tea to keep the grueling day to day pain of living at bay. He's also released a sans serif to go with it, which is probably more important historically than the spunk bomb above. Titled Figgins, it places itself at the pre-birth of the modernist sans. Bridging the gap between the vulgarity of 19th century poster type and the sheer idealist rationality of 20th century modernist faces. I came across a set of shareware revivalist Victorian faces the other week but unfortunately I couldn't get them to open. I suspect that the whole collection wouldn't have near as much subtle genius on display that Figgins has.
The beautiful thing about this family is that House didn't get to it first, so the irony quotient isn't as high as it could have been. Heck, he didn't trace or scan any of the letterforms to get them right, he did it all with the use of a loupe; that's how it looks just so right, so true to form. Oh to dream of being a hard working catholic type setter: working 14 hour days with awful working conditions, handling lead type all day long and then going home to my missus with ink all over my hands.