Type News: Blatzletter

Let’s send the summer out in style. We’re in all white and raising cans of barley-pop as we report on this week’s new type, bad knockoffs, and plenty more news. Skål, y’all!

Philadelphia represent! Merge is a softly rounded sans by the Quaker City’s own Kosal Sen. Four weights of casual and unquestionably readable text faces that look great at headline sizes. Go ahead, give ’er a try — Merge Light is currently available free o’ charge through MyFonts and Philtype.

Brighton’s The Entente studio initially produced just a few cuts of Relative for a specific book project. Over the past year, their Colophon foundry developed a full range of weights and styles for this geometric multi-family, including fixed width and “faux-monospace” varieties.

It must be something in the water. After three new families graced their news page just over a month ago, Canada Type has trickled out another typographic trifecta. First on the list is King Tut, an extended, seven weight revitalization of a mid-19th century Egyptian Expanded. Of particular note are the lighter weights, which “expose the alphabet’s skeleton” while still providing a sturdy, wild west flavour.

Following on the heels of Recta, Semplicita Pro is Canada Type’s second Nebiolo revival in as many months. Whereas Recta was oft considered the “Italian Helvetica”, Alessandro Butti’s original Semplicità could be considered an “Italian Futura”. Certainly based on a geometry similar to Futura, this ten face sans also has its toes dipped in humanist and calligraphic streams.

The final font from Canada Type is sharp as a tack. Libertine is an severe, angular script based on the display lettering of Netherlands’ Martin Meijer. Packed with stylistic alternates, ligatures, and context-sensitive forms, it’s an example of how edgy, energetic — and yet completely controlled — a calligraphic face can be.

This week’s free webfont pick is Viktoriya Grabowska’s stylish and quirky Passero One. A simple and structured display sans with an intriguing personality and more than just a little bit of influence from the nibbed pen department.

California design crew Reserves bombards us with a multi-weight, military-style slab stencil. Solidly rectilinear, alternate-equipped, and bulletproofed — Defense even sports true italics, narrowed and modified to contrast with the immoveable upright styles.

Jason Mark Jones’ Skunkling is the result of an influential encounter with a mammal of similar name and the Design*Sponge Design Your Own Alphabet Contest. The inline style of this bouncy, Didone-ish display face reflects nature’s stripy stinker and provides plenty of letterforms to play with.

And now for the rest of this week’s news, nicely chilled and definitely not skunky:

That’s it for this week. Apologies in advance for the terrible rhyme near the start of the column. If you have any other grievances (or complements or news or whatever), please share them in the comments!

Thanks to Grant Hutchinson for bringing us this week’s new type, brewed from the finest mountain springs.

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