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  • Naomi Kent

The Type Circus

It had been a year since I had finished my masters degree and I hadn’t done much typesetting since. So as the summer was coming up, I planned a personal project, itching to get setting some more characters.

In my spare time I train at a circus company. This was the inspiration behind my series. I created my first character, the unicyclist, from an image I found on pinterest that I fell in love with.

When I put the finished print on instagram a comment from Elizabeth Fraser “Is it Mr Baskerville & his dancing Serifs? Or maybe sir Gutenberg & the monotypes?” got me thinking.  What if all these characters were historical type figures? Type figures in the circus. So I began writing down famous historical type figures and all the circus acts I could think of. I then began pairing the acts with the characters that begin with the same letter…just because I like alliteration. This soon led onto Frutiger the fire eater and then Caslon the contortionist.

On my list of circus acts was the Ringmaster, which neatly paired up with Renner. So naturally this led onto a title page of Ringmaster Renner introducing the stars of the show and their acts.

I would have liked to include Beatrice Ward but unfortunately there are no circus acts beginning with a W!

I was recently introduced to the work of Josef Zavrel, his use of type gave me a helping hand when it came to facial features & hands in this project!

You can buy The Type Circus Project here.

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