Canada Type News | May 2015

Font Releases:

-Totemic: Jim Rimmer's first typeface was originally published in 1970 as a basic film type alphabet through a small, indepndent type house in central California. Its sources of influence (now calligraphic type standards by Dair, Goudy and Zapf) are ones that remained with Jim for the rest of his career. If you squint at Totemic in just the right way, you can see some recognizable themes Jim would later flesh out and make his own in later works throughout his career as a type designer and printer. Totemic is now available for the first time as a digital font, of the refined and expanded kind now expected from Canada Type. It comes with quite a few standard advanced typography features: Small caps, caps-to-small-caps, automatic fractions and standard ligatures, stylistic alternate sets, six kinds of figures, case-sensitive forms, and extended Latin language support. It also comes with a very unique and unprecedented feature: Variably stackable totem poles. Simply enable the discretionary ligatures feature, type any unique three-digit combination using numbers between 1 and 4, and watch the magic happens. With a name like Totemic, we just couldn't help ourselves. View Totemic

-Storyville: This is the redrawn and expanded version of an alphabet Rebecca Alaccari made back in 2009 as a bespoke font for a tourism agency looking to recapture the appeal of New Orleans after the hurricane Katrina disaster robbed it of its core industries. The brief back then was to "revive the unique spirit of what always made Nola great for new adults, which is the excellent combination of history, romance, food and music." No word of a lie, the brief actually contained "new adults." Storyville contains two interchangeable sets of forms drawn in the doodly, loose and organic way now conspicuously popular with today's young designers, almost every one of whom thinks they will get to design something for a boutique coffee bar somewhere. Well, this whole thing perhaps means freedom, youth, fun, happiness, good stuff like that. But just in case, a little caution doesn't hurt: Use this font only if you know what you're doing. We don't want to go back to the 1990s. Please. We were nearly done for by that exposure the first time around. View Storyville

-Raffia Initials: The Raffia Initialen were designed by Henk Krijger and released by Lettergieterij Amsterdam in 1952. They were distributed in North America by Amsterdam Continental Types and Graphic Equipment Inc. in electrotype format, and later through VGC on strips of typositor film. The master drawings were located in 2001 by longtime Lettergieterij Amsterdam employee Henk Gianotten, and are now part of the Special Collections division of the Univeriteitsbibliotheek of the University of Amsterdam. The strokes are lively representations of raffia fibres and draw on forms produced by the natural movements of the hand holding a broad-nibbed tool; the build-up of strokes is reminiscent of late medieval, manneristic and baroque "cadels," or "lettres cadeaux." In the words of Robert Bringhurst, "[Raffia] finds the root at which expression and abstraction and representation and tradition are all one. And out of this root it produces an alphabet that can only be used anti-alphabetically: one letter at a time." View Raffia Initials