Inspired by a love of the 1970s and early ’80s, of disco and funk, Senhor Mello sketched a fat and brushy lowercase ‘a’ first, for fun. The regular and bold were created after the black, each with a true italic. Jason Smith, proprietor of the publishing foundry, FontSmith, suggested a version with highlights, and the glossy Glow was born. Provenance notwithstanding, Pimlico doesn’t feel at all like a vintage face or even overtly nostalgic. It feels current, like a modern take on the experimentation of thirty years ago, with a digital twist.
Technically, the tension between Pimlico’s analog character and overall color is balanced, making it superbly versatile. At small text, headline, or huge display sizes its personality shines through without impairing legibility.
Pimlico supports nearly all Latin-based languages from Africaans to Welsh. It comes with old style and lining numerals, in proportional and tabular form, as well as standard and discretionary ligatures. Waiting in the glyph palette are contextual alternates, with little treats in the shape of spade, club, heart, and diamond suit symbols. The icing on the curves, though, are the fabulous swashes, demonstrated beautifully in the PDF specimen. As well as the standard webfonts, extra features like the swashes and lining numerals are also available to use on the Web, in modular expert subsets from Fontdeck.
Pimlico sings while it works, with warm humour underlying a very competent professionalism.
Jon Tan is a designer living in Bristol, UK, who co-founded the web fonts service, Fontdeck. He is currently working on the place-marking app, Mapalong, with his colleagues at the co-operative, Analog. His work has been featured in publications and books like I Love Typography, 8 Faces, .Net magazine and Hardboiled Web Design. When Jon is not writing for publications like The Manual he speaks at international conferences such as Ampersand, New Adventures, and An Event Apart.