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 type and graphic designer from Portugal. She received her Graphic Design BFA at ESAD.IPL, Portugal and her Type and Media Master’s degree at KABK, Netherlands. She has worked as a graphic designer for the studios Itemzero in Lisbon and Atlas in Palma de Mallorca and as a curatorial assistant at the Letterform Archive, and is focusing on freelance jobs in both type and graphic design today. After moving around Europe and the US she has now settled in the Bay Area. She buys too many books, collects stamps that look good and wishes one day Nick Sherman will take her to a Monster Truck Show. This wish has been fulfilled!


  1. brynda1231 says:

    Would be much better if there were actual letters.

  2. brynda – As Tânia describes, Worthe Numerals is all about the most expressive forms in the fat face genre. There are many full-character-set typefaces in this style which would work as a suitable companion. See the options on the top and bottom of this article for examples.

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