Provocative Simplicity
Download a PDF Specimen

Lorimer No. 2 is not one of those 1950s sans serifs that leave personality to the copywriters. Boxy curves, slanted terminals, and a charming x-height make this sans serif anything but neutral. Narrow letters and tight spacing fit big names in tight spaces like bottles and covers. Two widths, five weights, and italics adapt to a range of tasks from from headlines to long copy. And a companion stencil font provides a matching display face.

Inspirations
In the summer of 2009 James Puckett was studying memorial inscriptions in the yard of St. Mark’s Church-in-the-Bowery. He encountered an inscribed stone slab atop a burial vault. This nineteenth-century inscription was of light condensed sans capitals. The inscription inspired a font that grew into the Lorimer type family.

The vault inscription lacked lowercase letters and much of the uppercase alphabet. More models were needed to create a complete design. Memorial lettering was examined both in New York and from photographs. Research turned up carved condensed sans serif inscriptions in locations as far away as India.

Memorial inscriptions with sans-serif
Memorials featuring condensed sans lettering. St. Mark’s Church-in-the-Bowery, New York and St. Thomas Cathedral, Mumbai. Photos by James Puckett.

Researching types in the style of the inscription turned up a motley crew of period typefaces. Vintage metal and wood faces were examined. Of particular interest was the 1888 specimen book of the William Hamilton Page Wood Type Company, which featured sans typefaces in a wide range of widths and weights. But the Page specimen does not showcase complete alphabets, or in many cases, a lowercase. So metal types were also researched. Alternate Gothic, designed by Morris Fuller Benton in 1903 for American Type Founders, was often consulted.

Wood type
Unknown condensed gothic wood type (collection of the School of Visual Arts) and spread from the 1888 specimen book of the William Hamilton Page Wood Type Company (facsimile by Pioneer Press of West Virginia).

Metal type and a type specimen
Unknown condensed gothic titling face (collection of James Puckett) and specimen of Alternate Gothic No. 2, from the American Specimen Book of Type Styles, 1912.

Signage was also a valuable reference. Condensed sans serif letters were likely popular with sign makers before sans serif type existed. We researched a wealth of these letters from locations around the world. Letters representing every material and method were considered, from cast metal to enamel to contemporary road signs.

Subway sign and road sign
Subway sign, New York City, road sign, Beaune, France, and painted sign, Mumbai, India. Photos by James Puckett.

Tight Fitting
Lorimer No. 2 is narrower than most sans serif type. Lorimer No. 2’s proportions are boxy and have more in common with News Gothic than Helvetica.

Inclined Terminals
Gothic and Grotesque sans designs typically terminate curved strokes with an angle perpendicular to the stroke or a horizontal line. Lorimer ends strokes at 10° angles in the regular width and 12° in the condensed.

Stroke terminal angles

Stalwart & Adaptable
Two widths in five weights with corresponding italics make Lorimer No. 2 suitable to a wide range of typographic tasks including headlines, book covers, packaging, and identities. Light, regular, semibold, bold, and black fonts are available.

Lorimer No. 2 type family

Extended Language Support
The OpenType font format allows for large character sets that accommodate the languages of Western and Central Europe, the Americas, and beyond. Lorimer No. 2 supports over 130 languages that use the Latin alphabet.

Lorimer No. 2 Character set