Type Specimens →

Mark Boulton ·

Hello! I’m Mark Boulton and this is a project about Type Specimens.

Type specimens are curious objects. They aim to inspire designers. They are tools with which to make design decisions. They are also marketing material for foundries. This project will dig into specimens from these three perspectives: as artefacts made by and for font designers to evolve type culture; as tools for font users to make decisions about choosing and using type; and as effective marketing tools.

Over the decades, typeface specimens have changed from being functional documents – of demonstrating the typeface in use at various different weights and sizes – to objects that primarily sell the typeface. They are designed to sell the typeface in an increasingly crowded marketplace.

This project will bring together a curated stream of type specimens from around the world. Focussed on digital specimens, we’ll also be talking with the designers and users of these typefaces to bring you behind the scenes content on their creation. We’ll hear about the successes. Hopefully the horror stories, too. Everybody loves a good horror story.