FontShop Newsletter: June 1, 2011
In this issue
New foundry: Sweet
New fonts: Fiance, Aventura, Rooney Premium, Rukou, Anca
Explorations in Typography: Win tickets to book launch party
New foundry: Sweet

The Sweet® Fonts Collection is an expanding range of 20th-century engraving lettering styles. Mark van Bronkhorst, type designer and founder of MVB Fonts, decided there was room to expand on the current interpretations of traditional engravers’ lettering styles. He did a little research with the hope of finding “masterplates,” or lettering patterns, once the standard technology engravers used to transfer letters to printing plates or dies. He contacted engraving shops he had worked with in the past — that is, the few still in business.

The engraving trade has dwindled drastically in the past 20 years. As many longstanding engravers closed their doors, masterplates were scrapped. Most engraving shops today use digital fonts and a photographic process to make plates; the older, tactile method of tracing from masterplates was long abandoned in favor of expediency. This puts many familiar lettering styles — those not yet interpreted as metal or digital type — on the endangered list.

After some digging, Van Bronkhorst located a hoard of vintage masterplates and got to work producing digital fonts based on their pleasingly familiar letterforms. This marked the beginning of MVB’s Sweet® collection. The collection represents an effort to locate and revive obscure, engraved lettering styles that are at risk of fading away, and to re-interpret familiar designs for a broad range of design applications.

Sweet Sans

The engraver’s sans serif — strikingly similar to drafting alphabets of the early 1900s — has been one of the most widely used stationer’s lettering styles since the 19th century gave way to the 20th. Its open, simple forms offer legibility at very small sizes. Sweet Sans offers the cap-to-small-cap combination of this style and adds the lowercase style, which has long existed in lighter weights on masterplates, as well as true italics of everything. Though rich in history, Sweet Sans is made for contemporary use. It is a handsome, functional tribute to the spirit of unsung craftsmanship.

Download Sweet® Sans PDF


Sweet Gothic

Sweet® Gothic

Sweet® Gothic Light is closely based on lettering from an engraver’s pattern from the early 1900s. The pattern was used for tracing letterforms with an engraving machine, called a pantograph, to make steel engraving plates.


Sweet Upright Script

Sweet® Upright Script

Sweet® Upright Script, the Sweet® collection’s first release, is a reinterpreted revival of a vintage, social engraving lettering style. Though the original style was a 20th century standby, this is the first digital version we know of.


Sweet Titling No. 11

Sweet® Titling No. 11

In our dreams, Titling No. 11 is the lost Art Deco design from Bette Davis’s calling card, the speakeasy menu, and Charlie Chaplin’s engraved letterhead. Found at last — or rather, reinterpreted and freshly issued by Sweet® — they’re ready to be relived on your calling card, cocktail menu, or letterhead too.


Sweet Titling No. 22

Sweet® Titling No. 22

Lush, Art Deco typefaces may have gone the way of F. Scott Fitzgerald, Art Deco movie posters, and other cultural treasures from 1930s America. But now, Sweet® has unearthed them from the time capsule, polished them to a lustrous patina, and added them back to our visual repertoire. Hail the birth of Sweet® Titling No. 22. Now it's easy to deck the world with Deco.

New Fonts


By Sudtipos

Fiance is a new extra bold face designed by Miguel Hernandez and engineered by Alejandro Paul. We wonder: Is it a casual, italic sans serif that sends us straight to Disco Night at the roller rink — or a warm, delicious jet-puffed marshmallow of a fat script? One thing’s for sure: This friendly typeface is generous in both its soft letter shapes and features. The rich OpenType font offers a wealth of alternate glyphs: multiple capital shapes, lowercase initial and end forms, ligatures and swashes, all kinds of lovely typographic goodies to play with. Designers of packaging, logotype and posters, lace up your skates and have a field day!



By Sudtipos

Soft yet dynamic, Aventura is burlesque script designed by Alejandro Paul. It’s stylishly seductive, eternally sugar-fixed, and loving to a fault. The lowercase includes a veritable mixing board of fine-tuning options. Turn it up or down, heighten a layout’s the flavor, soften it, or a little of each. Any way you look at it, Aventura leaves a lot of love in the air.


Rooney Premium

By Jan Fromm

Rooney is a calligraphic slab serif with a warm, friendly feel. The rounded serifs and terminals create a strong impression in headlines, while in text sizes Rooney looks soft, sympathetic, and easy on the eyes. Small caps, an extended ligature set, alternate glyphs for the “a” and the “g”, seven sets of numerals, and arrows and circled numerals make the Rooney clan an ingeniously versatile family.

Download Rooney Premium PDF



By DizajnDesign

Rukou originated as a logo for a fashion designer. The concept was to create a fusion of ultra-sophisticated geometric sans with a childlike script inspired by school handwriting samples. Rukou prioritizes unique texture over obsessive readability, leaving it free to indulge in an elegantly sassy disconnected lowercase and an artful me-generation of inventive letter shapes.

Download Rukou PDF



By DizajnDesign

Anca, originally commissioned for an international animation festival, is a simple yet playful soft sans serif with long ascenders. The basic skeleton of the letters uses a minimum number of strokes, which yields surprising shapes for select glyphs. (The capital “W” can incite dreamy visual tangents at a glance.) Most character shapes are based on geometry, and some strokes are intentionally organic, making Anca a fertile field of possibilities ready for tilling.

Download Anca PDF

Explorations in Typography: Book launch ticket drawing
Explorations in Typography: Book Launch Ticket Drawing
Explorations in Typography

AIGA Design Week in San Francisco is coming soon! On Wed., June 15, a lively crowd of typophiles will mix and mingle at an at-capacity event at the FontShop SF headquarters in the historic Storek Building, a technology arts building in the heart of SoMa. We’ll celebrate the role of typography in design and the launch of the new book Explorations in Typography: Mastering the Art of Fine Typesetting by Carolina de Bartolo and Erik Spiekermann.

So how can you get in on the fun? Well, all California customers who purchase fonts featured in Explorations in Typography by Friday, June 10 will automatically be entered to win a pair of tickets!

Read more about the event on our blog.

149 9th Street, Suite 302
San Francisco, CA 94103
1 888 FF FONTS (US/Canada)
+1 415 252 1003 (International)
FontShop Twitter Twitter      FontShop Facebook Facebook      Fontshop Flickr Flickr      FontShop Email Email      FontShop FontShop

Spread the news! Forward the newsletter to a friend.
If you’d like to stop receiving the FontShop newsletter, unsubscribe.
Copyright © 2011 FontShop