Type: Retail typeface
Publisher: Tabular Type Foundry
Release year: 2020
Purchase links: I Love Typography, MyFonts
Dossier is a monospaced serif face that originates in Dwiggins’s designs for typewriter. It has a soft and casual personality and comes in 8 weights and matching italics, making it ideal for text typography, package and advertisement design.
Dwiggins worked with multiple typewriter manufactures including Underwood, Remington Rand, and IBM, but none of them were finished. Fortunately, he left a number of intriguing drawings which are now kept at the Boston Public Library. I decided to combine these materials to make a cohesive family: the upright was taken from a drawing of monospaced lowercase for an unknown client, and the italic was from the work he did for Underwood which he called ‘Aldine’. The images were kindly provided by Bruce Kennett.
You could see in the drawings that Dwiggins was also interested in exploring designs of varied width; he proposed a three-unit system wherein the narrow letters like I i j and space would be 1 unit wide, wide letters like M W m w would be 3 units, and the vast majority of the set would be 2. I wanted to implement the same idea in my adaptation, but the three-units system turned out to be too harsh. I made them 2, 3, and 4 units respectively and made that as OpenType alternates.