A Typographical Curiosity: Frank Grießhammer joins the circus with the release of HWT Tuscan Extended
As part of Adobe’s ongoing mission to help support the Hamilton Wood Type and Printing Museum, several members of our team have been digitizing antique typefaces for the Hamilton Wood Type Foundry (a partnership between the Hamilton and P22 type foundry). My co-worker Frank Grießhammer threw his hat into the ring, so to speak, unleashing one of those strangely wonderful “circus types” onto the world. In celebration of its release today, I’m happy to share with you a little insight into the making of HWT Tuscan Extended. Although Frank has not yet been able to visit the Hamilton—a “wood type wonderland,” as he imagines it—he feels strongly about the importance of the museum, and its mission to preserve and promote such a rich part of typographic culture.
“Wood type is this genre of type that very much has its own rules, and I think that is great,” Frank said. “I imagine it like this big guy, just doing his own thing, not caring about what anybody else will say (please understand that this is supposed to be a compliment!).”
“Leafing through Rob Roy Kelly’s American Wood Type, I have yet to find one page which is not awesome,” Frank continued. “Often, I will laugh when seeing the specimen of a wood type alphabet—something that does not happen very often with digital fonts.”
In choosing which type to digitize for HWT, Frank decided to work on a less-than-typical design, focusing on the fun and challenging aspects of reviving a little-known antique face. “I wanted to digitize the craziest typeface Rich [Kegler of P22/HWT] had to offer; first, because I wanted to have a bit of fun while working, and also for the sake of drawing something I had not drawn before.”
A wild hybrid fluctuating between a Gothic Tuscan and an Antique Tuscan, HWT Tuscan Extended is an extremely wide face, abundantly decorated with spikes and crossbars. Although this Tuscan is not overly ornate, each letterform is a study in complexity—unique combinations of spikes and bars dress each character’s outrageous curves with cheeky exuberance. Continue reading…