Grotesque MT 1926
FRANK P I ERP ONT
FRANK PIERPO }
“I can see nothing in this design to recommend it and much that is objectionable” Pierpont’s evaluation of Gill Sans
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1860 – 1937
American Frank Pierpont moved to England in 1899 to pursue a career as an engineer. He and Harold Duncan ran the English Monotype Corporation, which specialized in metal typecasting equipment. As a managing director of Monotype Corporation he had involvement in a wide range of typefaces. Typefaces that Pierpont designed himself include Grotesque MT, Plantin, Revival 555 Std, and Aldine 7 21 Std.
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“For British designers wanting to work with Modernist, asymmetric type, MT Grotesque 251 was the typeface du jour.” Eye Magazine
The loud, blunt characteristics of Grotesque MT, it seems best to work for print and headlines or at a larger scale. When small in body copy or on screen you lose the details of the typeface, however it does maintain legibility. It does have a variety of weights so it is possible to use Grotesque MT for a wide range of uses. The distinct difference with this typeface is the sharp angles on the terminals of many of the letterforms. It’s subtle but really defines the typeface from another.
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With the ninteen-twenty’s came an era rich with energy where people began to truly express themselves. Women simplified their attire to be more comfortable by being less form fitting and intricate. The letterforms of Monotype Corporation’s Grotesque MT designed by Frank Pierpont in 192 6 reflect this particular change. Grotesque MT contains surfaces without any serifs, allowing harsh angles and curvaceous elements to be the focal point. These elements that make Grotesque MT stand out from similar typefaces relate to the twenties style with it’s simplified form, but at the same time giving off flare by showcasing curvy attributes. In addition to the history of the era, Hermann Berthold’s Akzidenz-Grotesk from 1896 inspired the design of Grotesque MT. Pierpont’s rendition of this Grotesque classified typeface went on to become one of the first sans serifs used on a metal typesetting machine. For this reason, it became easily accessible and gained popularity in the 1950s and 60s.
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BRI DALLAS TYPOGRAPHY 1 KANSAS CITY ART INSTITUTE FALL 2012