Typography/Lettering March 7, 2017
by Lauren Festa
Soulful. Mysterious. Confident. Sophisticated. These are just a few choice words that describe Monotype’s newest luxury serif typeface. Masqualero, designed by visual artist, designer and Monotype’s own Jim Ford, is dual-natured: it can be dark or light, welcoming or menacing, aggressive or warm. Legend has it, the Chicago-native had a vision of the typeface whilst listening to the classic jazz composition Masqualero by the legendary Miles Davis while driving in a Chicago snowstorm. “Weary from his early morning white-knuckle ride, [he] pulls over and listens. He hits repeat. As he gazes into the blizzard, a word takes shape in his mind, in letters bold and sculptural: Masqualero.” This new serif embodies the jazz musician’s spiky personality, down to every last one of its sharp serifs. Available in six different weights and italics – in addition to Stencil and Groove display weights – Masqualero is bursting with character. With plenty of intricate detailing, it’s perfect for the worlds of publishing, luxury goods, and anywhere that seeks to arrest the attention of an audience with – to paraphrase Mr. Davis – not the notes you play, but with the notes you don’t play.
‘I approached drawing the letters as if they were marble sculptures. Many sharp, black, modern sculptures filling a large park…I was aiming for the highest level of detail, quality and sophistication that I could make, as if it really was for Miles.’ – Jim Ford
‘Masqualero is…for the finer things. It dresses up words. It’s the black tuxedo or stiletto heel’. – Jim Ford