Handpicked Typefaces

New Fonts: Tripper by Underware

April 22, 2015 by
David Sudweeks
David Sudweeks

Put up the ladder and get this stencil font painted on something.

These days most stencil fonts are one-off designs, or stencil variants. This means they originate from a complete non-stencil design, before being turned into a stencil-friendly version by extending bridges to rescue the faces previously free-floating counterforms, (and then making lots of other fine adjustments to maintain consistency) all while staying true to the original.

Tripper – The malleable option in stencil typography
Tripper – The malleable option in stencil typography

Tripper, the latest release from Netherlands–based type trio Underware, stays true to the original because it is the original. In fact, it’s difficult to imagine what Tripper might look like if it weren’t a stencil face. The Tripper family design aesthetic fits sans, slab, and wedge serif elements together, filling each glyph space in a sort of ‘whatever works’ fashion.

Tripper Stencil – A stencil font at its best
Tripper Stencil – A stencil font at its best

[link not found] Unifying the design is a complete absence of curves, which only enhances the face’s clickety-clack rhythm. As diagonal strokes approach the boundaries of a character, they’re sheared off, keeping the most important parts and disposing of the rest, a la Skilt Gothic or Trim. Additionally, a system of uniformly-wide bridges connects the islands (the stencil term for counters) maintaining structural integrity across all styles.

Tripper Tricolor – Never a dull day with Tricolors!
Tripper Tricolor – Never a dull day with Tricolors!

In six weights across three stylistic variants, plus a bonus chromatic set, Tripper fits the needs of a broad range of display work, including but not limited to cutting actual stencils. One final note on that—Underware introduces with the face a considered approach to spacing exceptions in stencils they call “stencil kerning.” In short, these fonts go the extra mile to assure that no odd character combination or stray diacritic mark will result in a weak spot should you make physical stencils using Tripper’s output. Positive kerns maintain a uniform gap between tightly-fit character pairs. Negative kerns improve spacing as usual, but also close tiny gaps when such an approach produces the best outcome.

Tripper Rough – The question going through our heads when we aren’t looking at our best …
Tripper Rough – The question going through our heads when we aren’t looking at our best …

Tripper is ready to buy now.