MCKL / Specter


SpecterMay 21, 2018

Specter, designed by Jeremy Mickel with Douglas Hayes, is a constructed geometric sans with 90° sheared terminals and true italics. It is available in seven weights with roman and italic styles, including special inline display styles.

Specter takes a novel approach by ignoring calligraphy, resulting in shapes that are almost like cut paper laying on top of each other. Flat terminals allow for tight typesetting, and a friendly lowercase and unique italic create a charming and refined personality. And Specter Inline is ready when you need a dramatic display face.

See Specter here.

New release: Fort Condensed & X-CondensedJuly 19, 2014

One day in the fall of 2009, my new friend Arley-Rose Torsone came by my studio in Providence. She was interested in learning to make fonts and I had promised to show her the basics of FontLab. In that initial session, I showed her how to draw beziers and set sidebearings. I drew a few glyphs, and we talked about the qualities of the control characters: what should the shoulders of the n look like? How round should the O be? It didn’t occur to me at that moment that I would eventually expand this font into 48 styles — I was just having fun with a friend.

Slight changes to the weight, overshoot, terminals, and curves between first draft (grey) and the final release of Fort (gold)

Time passed, and as I started transitioning to full-time type design, I forced myself to only use my own fonts in my remaining graphic design projects. That meant that I needed a workhorse sans for day-to-day use, and so I started thinking about what that might look like. Like most graphic designers, I had used a lot of Gotham and Neutraface, as well as fonts from Village like National and Galaxie Polaris. I admired the utilitarian qualities of these fonts — hardworking and versatile with just the right amount of personality.

Read more on Fort Condensed & X-Condensed’s pages…

New Release: Superior TitleSeptember 30, 2013

Superior Title is a high contrast Transitional typeface, a kind of missing link between Bodoni and Times. The Display styles are suitable for editorial usage, particularly for fashion and lifestyle publications.

Superior Title was originally designed for Pentagram’s rebrand of Travel + Leisure magazine. There are two companion typefamilies, Superior Deck and Superior Text which are forthcoming MCKL releases.

See Superior Title here

CA profile: MCKLJune 13, 2013

Jeremy Mickel of MCKL was featured in a Fresh Profiles column in Communication Arts magazine:

Duration: I started drawing type in 2006 while working as a graphic designer. I’ve drawn custom fonts and logos for clients since 2008 and I launched my foundry, MCKL, in 2012.

Staff: Having a company of one allows me to oversee all aspects of design, but I collaborate with a variety of designers and illustrators, as well as other foundries like Village, House Industries, and A2-Type.

Read more on CA.com

Typographica on ShiftMarch 13, 2013

Robb Ogle reviews Shift:

Embrace designs that give a tacit nod to history without making contemporary words look like they’re wearing a cravat. Shift’s appeal, beyond utility, is a quirk of prescient timing and 2012 fashion.

We (re)prioritized lasting materials and so swiped older generations’ fabrics and waistcoats. Let us face the fact that fashion-conscious men overindulged playing tweedy dress-up this year. Likewise, certain type revivals arguably become overwhelming costumes. Young Shift’s antique form can switch playing Country Lord or Lumberjack. Prim, sharp Extralight or heaving Black weights offer that period breadth. Contextual alternates add spit polish. But the family seems a new inventive composite of choice Barnhart Bros. & Spindler aesthetics, duly name checked by Mickel. It is minted for fresh use, detoxed of olde-timey contrast ghosts and too-gooey bracketing.

Read more on Typographica

Lecture: On type design & typographyJanuary 17, 2013

Please join us on Thursday, Jan. 17 at 6pm for a lecture by type designer and former Design Office member Jeremy Mickel. Jeremy moved to Providence in 2008 shortly after releasing his first typeface, Router, through Village. He’ll talk about the process behind that first design, as well as the origins of his subsequent releases Shift, Fort, and Superior Title—all started while at the Design Office. He’ll show how these self-initiated projects led to a full-time career in type design, and resulted in starting his own foundry and getting custom projects for Kraft, Etsy, ESPN, Weight Watchers, and more.

Die Besten Fonts 2012: FortJanuary 1, 2013

MCKL’s Fort was named one of the 10 best fonts of 2012 by typefacts.com.

Friendly neutrality: Jeremy Mickel’s background as a graphic designer can be quite advantageous as a typeface designer: If existing fonts aren’t quite right, he can draw one himself. In the case of Fort, Gotham might have been too round and DIN too strict. The result is a contemporary sans serif with slightly squared shoulders; neutral enough to stay discreet where necessary, yet warm and friendly to avoid being impersonal.

New Release: FortJuly 7, 2012

Fort is a contemporary grotesk, inspired by years of working as a graphic designer and the constant need for sans serifs with a flexible voice and durable performance. Its unique features are the squared shoulders and counterforms in round characters, subtly redrawn slanted italics, and consistent texture across all weights. Neutral enough to take on information design, corporate identity, and small text sizes, Fort’s refined details and personality shine in display.

Cooper Union: Wicked Problems in Type DesignJune 20, 2012

Six leading and emerging voices in the field of type design talk about problems central to their work. Each speaker will address a burning question concerning the design, use, culture, technology, or business of fonts and typefaces. The event is moderated by Ellen Lupton & Cara Di Edwardo.

Speakers include:
Philippe Apeloig
William Berkson
Hubert Jocham
Henrik Kubel
Jeremy Mickel
Jesse Ragan

This event is co-organized by [email protected] and Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum in conjunction with the exhibition Graphic Design—Now In Production, presented by Cooper-Hewitt at Governors Island, May 26–September 3, 2012

You can watch video of the lecture series here.

New Release: ShiftJanuary 25, 2012

Shift is inspired by American slab-serifs from the late 19th century. In its lighter weights, it takes on the personality of a typewriter face, with flared terminals and prominent serifs. In the heavier weights, it acts as a titling Egyptian, with thin spaces between characters and small counters. Designed as a display face, it also works well for text.

Welcome: MCKLJanuary 16, 2012

We’re pleased to welcome Jeremy Mickel to a foundry slot.

TDC2 winners: Aero & ShiftJanuary 1, 2012

Two Village typefaces were among the 2011 TDC2 winners: Shift & Aero.

Shift, designed by Jeremy Mickel, was inspired by American slab-serifs from the late 19th century. In its lighter weights, it takes on the personality of a typewriter face, with flared terminals and prominent serifs. In the heavier weights, it acts as a titling Egyptian, with thin spaces between characters and small counters. Designed as a display face, it also works well for text.

Aero, designed by Chester Jenkins and Jeremy Mickel, takes inspiration from Roger Excoffon’s landmark design Antique Olive, particularly the heavy ‘Nord’ weight. Instead of revisiting the original, Aero was drawn from memories of Antique Olive: its high-waist and reversed contrast. And that wonderful scooped lowercase i. The result is a contemporary reflection of a 60’s-era classic, with the volume turned up and applied to a wider weight range.

Graphic Design: Now in Production / MCKLOctober 22, 2011

I was very honored for Router to be included in the Walker Art Center / Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum’s [Graphic Design: Now In Production] show (http://www.walkerart.org/calendar/2011/graphic-design-now-in-production). And even more thrilled to be right next to my friends Henrik Kubel (FM) and Eric Olson (Anchor). And having Matthew Carter there wasn’t so bad either (Vanlanen).

I Love Typography: RouterMarch 23, 2009

I remember clearly the day I was waiting for the 6 train at 33rd Street and Park Avenue in New York. I had taken pictures of type on the street for some time, but there was something here that caught my eye. There was a plastic sign on a door with letters and numbers routed out of plastic, and I noticed a couple of characters in particular: the way the 8 curved back into itself, the charming tail of the a. And then I realized that the lowercase e’s were all different. This had been done by hand and therefore wasn’t an existing typeface. I knew then that I could actually make this into a font.

Read the rest of the profile on I Love Typography

Typer / Fort

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