Monotype Imaging Holdings Inc., a leading global provider of text imaging solutions, has released the 6-font Parkinson Electra typeface family, available from Fonts.com. Designer Jim Parkinson based his design on the 1930s work of William Addison Dwiggins, whose Electra typeface created for the Linotype collection has been widely considered a classic book face of the 20th century.
“Jim’s typeface exudes the vivacity of the Dwiggins original, which is noted for its high legibility, energetic disposition and evenness in design,” said Allan Haley, director of words and letters at Monotype Imaging. “Jim immersed himself in early specimen books of Electra and various ephemera produced by Dwiggins. This led to Jim’s interpretation that is softer yet slightly heavier than Electra, with serifs that appear more delicate.”
Linotype first released Electra as fonts for machine-set metal type beginning in 1935. Since then, the design has been re-engineered for use in phototype and digital technologies. Recently, Electra was released exclusively on Fonts.com Web Fonts as fonts for website design.
In the early 1990s, Parkinson became familiar with Dwiggins’ work while refurbishing digital versions of his Metro design for the San Francisco Chronicle. Also during this period, Parkinson created an interpretation of Electra for reproduction using printing presses newly installed by the Chronicle as part of an upgrade process and newspaper redesign. “I essentially created an Electra that only looked like Dwiggins’ design in one narrow environment,” said Parkinson. “Now years later, I was excited to have the opportunity to recapture the essence of Electra in a brand new typeface. By studying Dwiggins’ work, I feel as if I’d known the man, even though we never met.”
Parkinson Electra is available in three weights as OpenType Pro fonts ranging from regular to heavy, each with an italic counterpart. OpenType Pro fonts provide for the ability to insert typographic features automatically such as small caps, ligatures and old style figures. Pro fonts also offer an extended character set supporting most Central European and many Eastern European languages.