The Fell Types

Roman and small caps, probably cut by Christoffel van Dijck.

Lovecraftian prop blog Propnomicon recently posted about the Fell types, a series of typefaces dating from the 17th century that are now freely available download as fonts:

From mid-16th century until the end of the 17th, interference with printing by the British Crown thwarted the development of type founding in England—most type used by 17th century English printers was of Dutch origin. The lack of material inspired Bishop of Oxford Doctor John Fell to purchase punches & matrices from Holland ca. 1670–1672 for use by the Oxford University Press. The so-named Fell types, presumed to be the work of Dutch punchcutter Dirck Voskens, mark a noticeable jump from previous designs, with considerably shorter extenders, higher stroke contrast, narrowing of round letters, and flattened serifs on the baseline and descenders.

Aside from looking awesome, these fonts would be great for handouts to share extracts from grimoires, banned tomes and books that were never written in your role-playing games. And they’re open source, too, so they’re free for the taking.

Thanks to Igino Marini for putting in the effort behind this typeface revival and making them open source.

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