Colophon Foundry has re-released its typeface Montefiore, which was first created in 2009 and created a specimen to sit alongside the launch. “Montefiore was originally drawn in our student days at Brighton University. The road signage in Hove, East Sussex was unlike standardised UK road signage,” explains Colophon. “It had been rendered from cast metal around the Victorian era. This analogue and idiosyncratic production method produced interesting results. We extended these sketches into a two-weight type family that was originally released in 2009, without an accompanying specimen.”
The re-release comes as a result of the foundry updating its website, which was designed and developed by YES studio. “As part of [the website], we have been updating and upgrading our commercial typeface library. This includes extensions to other typefaces including Visuelt, Burgess and Aperçu,” Colophon says. “Montefiore felt like a small type family (in terms of weights) that had further possibilities, so we decided to extend it into a six-weight family with further language support.”
Montefiore is bold and striking, and the different weights give the typeface an elegance not directly associated with road signage, making it sophisticated and modern. To re-contextualise Montefiore’s origins of being inspired by Hove’s road signage, the specimen is an ode to that style. “Initially we devised a stacking grid system of the specimen that allowed different sized signs to sit on top of one another, similar to UK road signs, particularly on motorways,” explains the foundry. “We also used the original Pantone colours utilised on British road signs.”
The specimen has been printed by Generation Press in four Pantone colours (silver, black, blue and green) and a “reflective layer” has been added to echo the sheen and texture on the regular road signs, which was “reproduced by utilising a spot varnish over every sign ‘panel’. This was silkscreened by hand on top of the reproduced signs,” says Colophon.
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