New Typeface

My proudest moments are creating something or facilitating the creation of something new out of special collections. Here is a typeface inspired by specimens in the Updike Collection, designed by Jeremy Mickel, one of our patrons who teaches typography at the Rhode Island School of Design. This broadside specimen sheet was printed on the Vandercook Proof Press at the AS220 Community Printshop, as a keepsake for the recent annual APHA ( conference in Newport.

Copies of this 11 x 17-inch broadside can be purchased for $5.00, and supplies are limited (e-mail

According to Jeremy, who runs his own design company (

“Tusk is a modern interpretation of a font called Mastodon, released by the Hansen Type Foundry of Boston in the early twentieth century. I found the specimen at right in the Special Collections at the Providence Public Library. I was originally attracted to Mastodon by the strange weight in the upper right corner of the lowercase n. I also loved the tilted o, the smiling e, and the sweeping tail of the R. However, some of the proportions were inconsistent (the wide lowercase g), some of the characters were clumsy (the upper case S), and many were missing altogether and had to be designed from scratch. Mastodon was only designed in one weight, so in order to make Tusk useful to contemporary designers I am re-imagining it as a wider range of weights, as well as creating italics and drawing a larger character set than was originally available.”

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