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Monti Sans
Eric Li

Typeface

$25.00

So somehow one of the big projects that I ended up working on this school year was Monti Sans, which totally was not something I imagined taking up a large amount of my time uhm. And it kind of started initially with the production of *a graphic design exhibition* and seeing the fonts that Lily and Neeta had created. And their sort of circulation and usage within Princeton, especially in the exhibition. And then uhm I'd been kind of interested in sort of these almost gestural forms that like for example the thing that really inspired me to think about making my own font was uhm when I was working with James Goggin's Courier Sans in which he literally just chopped of the serifs from Courier. And I thought well okay, why don't I just chop the serifs off say Monticello which is the font that Princeton uses for its logotype and identity and I guess little did I know that it would lead to like a months several months long investigative research piece in which I really went about both refining the type face but also spending a significant of time researching its history and usage uhm and its relationship with Princeton as an institution. uhm and this was sort of done both within the context of Fia's class and outside of it uhm. In Fia's class I was really interested in the idea of the font as an archive and what that means uhm ... historically and in the present. So what does the usage of Monticello by Princeton kind of mean historically, uhm and what does that say about Princeton as an institution. And in doing so I ... uhm kind of had two streams with this. I was doing a lot of archival research in which I looked at the history of the font uhm its sort of origin as like one of the very first fonts ever made by an American type foundry uhm, and how it was sort of rehabilitated by Matthew Carter uh most recently to a digital version. But it kind of had already gone through so many different lives uhm. And I think what was most surprising for me throughout that was kind of talking with Mahlon Lovett in the Communications Office about the University's identity program and how the University didn't really have a cohesive identity until like the near the end of the twentieth century. uh, and then how like Monticello didn't really become the Princeton identity until like the early two thousands with Michael Bierut. And all the while I was interested in the actual form and creation of the font itself. uhm and it's definitely not like a easy thing at all but I started off by kind of making a ton of different tests uhm and testing– and seeing what the font would look like with its serifs chopped off. And obviously its like not as easy as Courier. There's a lot of different things with it being such a more ornate font uhm. At one point I printed out all the letterforms and started cutting off the serifs uhm using a paper cutter. And I thought that was actually pretty productive because it gave me an intuitive sense for how I wanted the font to look and feel like. uhm and then I kind of proceeded about doing that uhm using Illustrator and Glyphs uhm and at the end of the entire process, the font and the research was exhibited in two ways, as an exhibition and as a booklet.