Fann Grotesque’s upright styles do not reference any particular historical design — instead aiming to capture the broader spirit of the 19th century British Grotesque type genre, exploring its idiosyncrasies and imperfections. The designs draw inspiration from a number of British type foundries including Stephenson Blake, Day & Collins and Miller & Richard — whose specimens we were fortunate enough to examine at the magnificent St Bride Library in London.
The floral italics adopt an unusually cursive style for a sans serif — a gesture sparked by a page from a Fann Street Letter Foundry type specimen. By no means a revival, we used the notion of The Fann Street Letter Foundries' intriguing italics as a catalyst to develop our own designs. The calligraphic forms combined with the severe 16° angle create a dramatically different texture to the upright styles, contrary to the subtlety of obliques (slanted uprights) that are typical of a sans.
A particularly high contrast between thick and thin strokes give the letterforms a confidently audacious appearance and help to create an overall balanced colour in passages of text. The generous spacing allows Fann to function well at a range of sizes, making it a suitable candidate for a book typeface. At its extremes, the Thin and Black styles are geared towards larger display uses.
Fann Grotesque is a sturdy sans serif workhorse, available in 9 weights — Thin, ExtraLight, Light, Book, Regular, Medium, SemiBold, Bold and Black — all with corresponding true italics. It is available to license in both Standard (‘STD’) and Professional (‘PRO’) versions, the latter containing a range of additional OpenType features and Small Caps.
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