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Ambicase Fatface
Ambicase FatfaceAmbicase FatfaceAmbicase Fatface
Typeface Review

Ambicase Fatface

Reviewed by Grant Hutchinson on January 25, 2012

Typographically speaking, there are a couple of things that always get me lathered up. The first is the sweet, contrasty strokes of a Didone. Secondly, a typeface ripe with glyphic cleverness that stokes the fire within. Toss those ingredients into the pot with some seriously weighty chunks of beef and … oh my!

Nomenclative rhyming aside, Craig Eliason’s beautifully odd Ambicase Fatface incorporates all of these criteria as well as any typeface I have seen. Building on Craig’s previously released Ambicase Modern, this heftier hybrid is loaded with all the OpenType pizzazz, intelligent swashiness, and headline-hugging attitude of its lighter weight, single-case sibling.

Organic swashes and blended shapes create unexpected partnerships, remixing the aesthetic of previous generations. In particular, the frill of Caslon italic swashes and the delicate forms of a lowercase Bodoni are evident in Craig’s consistently inventive constructions. The uniform case is perfectly suited to large display settings, with the stylistic swoops and swirls adding subtle – and more importantly, appropriate – playfulness as required.

If you’re intrigued by this style of compound type design, do yourself a favor and peruse Mr. Eliason’s entertaining and insightful essay on the making of Ambicase Modern in the first issue of Codex: The Journal of Typography.

Grant Hutchinson lives in Calgary, Alberta. His background includes a Diploma in Visual Arts from the Alberta College of Art & Design (ACAD), an Emmy Award for his technical work during the 1988 Winter Olympics, and being one of the founders of Veer. He is a contributing editor of Typedia and currently wears the hat of head glyph monkey at Typostrophe and Fairgoods.


  1. Celebrating its inclusion on this list, Ambicase Fatface is now 30% off at MyFonts.

  2. I wonder if I can get a retroactive discount? After all, I did purchase it specifically to produce this very review and specimen. Hmmm …

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Typographica is a review of typefaces and type books, with occasional commentary on fonts and typographic design. Edited by Stephen Coles with Caren Litherland and designed by Chris Hamamoto. Founded in 2002 by Joshua Lurie-Terrell. Relaunched in 2009 by Coles and Hamamoto.

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