Grotesque 6 is the revival of a metal typeface produced in 1880 by Stephenson Blake, a British type foundry from Sheffield. I came across a type specimen from this type foundry showing different "grotesque" fonts while rummaging through the type archives at Reading university. The number 6 was the most appealing of these grotesques, with its curvy endings. The regular weight is as close as possible from the original, based on the samples of 30 to 36 points size. There was no other weights in the specimen, but I added a bold and a black versions, both first drawn by hand before moving to the digitizing phase.
Close-up on the original type specimen (top) and the final digital regular weight (bottom).In the archives of the type department of Reading university there are also beautiful posters that Michael Twyman was digging up every week. They have been also revived, in the type specimen I designed for Grotesque 6.
Grotesque 6 was conceived without italics. I designed it right after designing the Coline family which was a manifesto for unconventional families. Carried by the desire to break tradition which may be typical of youth, I decided Grotesque 6 would have no italics too. Designers who used it since then have found alternatives, like underlining it or switching to a different typeface to create a nice contrast. Now that I am growing away from youth, some days I think about designing italics and adding new lighter weights to the family.
Here you can download the “A is for” test fonts collection and use them for demonstration purpose only, if you are a professionnal and you need to convince a client before purchase, or if you are a student and want to try one of our fonts for a school project.
Please remember that this type foundry can continue providing new designs only if you buy fonts once in a while :)
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Grotesque 6 Family
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