Jeremy Tankard Typography Ltd
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These are the Enigma 2 fonts. For more information please view the PDF at the bottom of this page.
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Does the enigma of the typeface hide in the character forms of each letter? It is incredible that a simple mark (such as the letter a) can take on a seemingly endless number of visual guises. And it is certainly a puzzle to try and see through those guises and reveal any sense of form beneath. As Eric Gill pointed out 'letters are things, not pictures of things'. They must be allowed to bend and move and fill their own spaces, to relax against one another and create unique rhythms that excite the mind.
If there is a place to excite the mind of the type designer it is surely the Plantin-Moretus Museum, Antwerp. This unique space provides a glimpse into a way of life and a business much changed since. We find not only the home of the printer, Christophe Plantin (c.1520-1589), but also the type foundry, printshop and bookshop of a major printing dynasty that lasted some 300 years. On display is a small percentage of a vast collection, showing types and books of many languages and styles. It was in the midst of all this diversity that thoughts towards the Enigma typeface began; staring at the letterforms of the punchcutter Hendrik van den Keere.
Then, as Enigma developed, other influences took hold. The rotunda letter (a broken script form) influenced the initial look of the lowercase. The intention was to incorporate formal rotunda elements in those Enigma characters that shared similarities of underlying structure. The Electra typeface, designed c.1935 by W. A. Dwiggins for Linotype, shows internal curves that are given a definite cut. Intended to convey the speed and streamlined style of the age, these help to build the horizontal movement of the type. With this and the rotunda letter in mind, Enigma developed resulting in a typeface that is clear and legible, bringing colour and a unique image to both text and display setting.
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Information about this typeface
The PDF files show the complete character set together with a variety of language settings. Enigma is style-linked as follows; the italics are style-linked to the romans.
Enigma is licensed in weight packs. Each weight pack includes the roman and italic fonts of that weight.
These fonts have the menu name 'Enigma 2', please view the PDF below for more information about the font name.
Enigma® is a registered trademark of JT Types Ltd.