Font foundry Monotype recently released Touvlo, a new typeface designed by the studio’s creative typography director, Emilios Theofanous. While the sans serif typeface is minimalist, modern and simple, the details are extremely imaginative, especially in the stems, loops and hooks.
The sans serif typeface is inspired by early British grotesque typefaces, but the more contemporary interpretation allows designers to design with an effortless timeless style. There has been an increase in neutral design in recent years, and no-frills typefaces like Touvlo offer designers the ability to create flexible systems that are comfortable, gender-free, and highly accessible to a wide audience.
Although Touvlo has a neutral character, it has a total of 24 weights in three styles across three variable fonts. This range can either help establish a cohesive personality for elaborate typographic layouts, or add a bit of excitement to spontaneous design schemes.
Monotype today presented Touvlo™, a radiant, modern take on a classic genre, deftly capturing the spirit of early British grotesque typefaces through playful terminals and sharp curves. Designed by Emilios Theofanous, Creative Type Director of Monotype Studio, Touvlo means “brick” in Theofanous’ native Greek language and is a tribute to his current London home and the prominence of bricks in his view of the city. Suitable for branding and publishing, Touvlo offers designers and creatives a new choice for a timeless and unique aesthetic.
Touvlo began by drawing inspiration from historical sources, but soon evolved into a personal interpretation of the early grotesque designs of British foundries. Its origins can be found in “Specimens of Book and Jobbing Types; Borders, Initials, Ornaments, etc. by The Fann Street Foundry, Sir Charles Reed and Sons, Ltd., London: 1905. The grotesque italic designs in this book follow a more calligraphic style than the angled versions we expect to see in contemporary versions. sans serif designs. This inspired Theofanous, who extended the same design principles to Touvlo’s backslant styles. Theofanous drew inspiration from the extraordinary archives of St Bride’s Library, delving into other typographic specimens from other British foundries and exploring their graphic attitude and distinct qualities.
Although Touvlo is inspired by Theofanous’s research, it is not a historical revival – rather Theofanous sees the typeface as a modern, playful take on the early British grotesque style, and a lively conversation with heritage. enduring from that time.
“Grotesque sans serifs have been a staple of printers’ toolboxes and designers’ font menus since they first appeared,” says Theofanous. “In a sense, they defy time and have been widely used in all regions for decades. For brands looking for a unique tone, Touvlo’s styles offer character, voice and energy that can work across all mediums and design genres, and cover applications in contemporary publishing, packaging , fashion, technology, fintech and more.
With a total of 24 weights in three styles across three variable fonts, Touvlo’s variety can work in long text environments, display settings, and can support complex typographic layouts. Touvlo’s weights range from thin to black, giving him an expressive headline edge. It offers a range of styles, from sharp uprights to characterful italics and exuberant backslants. Its lyrical drop caps are the finishing touch, with exquisite birds and creatures inspired by ornaments found in specimen type books.
“Touvlo encapsulates the memories of my trip, from my Cypriot heritage to my life in France before moving to London,” says Theofanous. “Designed to be versatile and playful, it combines a variety of past experiences and archival influences, capturing a classic genre. Touvlo allows creatives to capture the essence and cultural spirit of this classic genre reimagined for a contemporary use.
Play with Touvlo here and download a free grease on Monotype fonts.