Tag Archives: Williams Caslon

Williams Caslon and Figgins Sans

Williams-Caslon-and-Figgins-Sans-1For the final great pair of Wedding Month, we look at the relationship between two faces developed from English printing types, William Berkson’s Williams Caslon, and Nick Shinn’s Figgins Sans. I’ve featured Williams Caslon through the course of Wedding Month, mentioning it in the Using Type piece on non-traditional invitations. (The swash alternates included in its italic are fantastic.) Williams Caslon’s strength is text, and it was designed to reproduce by digital means the effect given by an earlier, yet not archetypal Caslon, Linotype’s hot metal Caslon of the 1920s.

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Paired with Williams Caslon is a revival of an early sans from the man who first coined the term sans serif, Vincent Figgins. Its awkward forms might upon close inspection suggest a face devoid basic table manners, but I welcome its untamed energy as does the plain yet dignified Caslon family. Working together, each introduces just enough grit to keep the guests relaxed and comfortable, but not without losing its inherent stateliness. Figgins Sans is part of the larger Modern Suite. Great Pairs continue here Wednesday.

Typographic Countdown — 6 Days ’til the New Year

Ampersand isn’t a letter, it’s a character that comes from the Latin word et, which means and. Over time, the scribal hands that recorded these ands grew to think  they should connect to form a ligature. While this practice dates back to first century Rome, the name ampersand did not gain popular use until the early 19th century.

Ampersand set in Williams Caslon by William Berkson reads Et to my eye with a kind of extravagance you’ll not find elsewhere in the Caslon Roman. Beautiful to think that these ‘fleurons’ could just be waiting for you in the middle of a block of text.

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