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Typeface Review

Worthe Numerals

Reviewed by Tânia Raposo on March 13, 2013

One of the most refreshing and delicious typefaces released in 2012 was Worthe Numerals by Ben Kiel. To issue a typeface that consists of only figures and punctuation would be a big risk to many, but House Industries is known for not being afraid of taking risks and we are all thankful for it.

The numbers show off their heavy weight and Didot-style contrast in a way that reminds me of the flamboyant “fat face” styles found in wood type of the 19th century.

On the House Industries website, Worthe Numerals is available in two different styles, a regular and a drop shadow version. In case those two styles are not fun enough, there’s a candy-striped version available at Photo-Lettering. The number ‘4’ comes with two additional alternates, as Kiel could not decide which one to keep. So we now have a problem as it is hard to choose which one to use.

Since it was released, I have encountered several nice instances of Worthe Numerals in the wild, like a set of notebooks by Scout Books or the wine issue of Seattle Met magazine.

This set of figures and punctuation takes the luxury of the Didot style to another level, and I still have hope that some time in the future Ben will draw a companion alphabet. I love the typeface as it is, but it always makes me imagine how awesome candy-striped letters would be!

Tânia Raposo is a graphic and type designer living in the beautiful island of Mallorca. Where she divides her heart between design and food. She studied at ESAD.CR Caldas da Rainha and KABK in The Hague, where she got her Type & Media Master’s degree.

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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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