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Typeface Review


Reviewed by Cameron Moll on March 13, 2013

Good wide display fonts are tough to come by. Period.

As a novice designer in the late 90’s, I was enamored with Microgramma. Maybe it was obsession with things Swiss, having a grandfather born in the country. Perhaps it was a natural inclination to wide type. Whatever the case, the release of Hoefler & Frere-Jones’ Idlewild renewed an infatuation that has fallen dormant in the latter years of my career.

“For the longest time,” H&FJ writes in its description of Idlewild, “we’ve been reaching for a typeface that wasn’t there.” So I have I. Maybe that explains the dormancy. But what amazes me is how remarkably well the H&FJ crew pulled it off. Industrious, versatile, and instantly timeless. And that ‘G’, how it perfectly demonstrates the font’s subtle, restrained beauty!

Microgramma still enamors me a decade later, and I’m pretty certain I’ll say the same for Idlewild in the 2020s.

Cameron Moll is a designer, author, speaker, and founder of Authentic Jobs. He has appeared in HOW, Print, Communication Arts, Forrester Research publications, National Public Radio (NPR), and .net magazine.

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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.

Set in Bureau Grot by Font Bureau, Nocturno Display by Nikola Djurek, Fern (unreleased) by David Jonathan Ross, and JAF Bernini Sans by Tim Ahrens.

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