What with there being no limit to what graphic designers can do within their discipline, many in the industry take comfort in the occasional constraint. I tend to think that it’s this comfort (among other good reasons) that’s sparked a renewed interest in the more manual aspects of design practice, such as letterpress printing. And as letterpress has again taken hold, so to has the textures and truly great and eccentric forms preserved in wood type.
Hannes von Döhren’s Americane is not based on any single existing wood type style, it is actually a combination of the most salient styles of Von Döhren’s survey of the American wood type landscape, applied to a broad use type family. Starting with the lightest weights, the designer’s sensitivity to form delivers a lightline more representative of metal gothics of the period, exhibiting also a subtle dynamism in the curves. Toward Americane’s heavy end, its true character shows, as it is here that the idiosyncratic texture peculiar to wood type begins to emerge. Through it all, the high waists and the high x-height, Von Döhren creates something new that’s still evocative of type you can hold in your hand.
Americane comes in two widths and six carefully considered weights, each style complete with italics. Fancy OpenType features offer access to multiple figure sets and other indispensable niceties found only in pro fonts such as stylistic alternates and contextual punctuation.
The Americane Complete package contains all 24 weights.