This presentation aims to showcase the process behind Mon Nicolette, a significantly expanded revival of an experimental typeface by the prominent American type designer, William Addison Dwiggins. While Electra and Caledonia remain very influential to this day, several other type projects by Dwiggins weren’t finished or released. One of them is Contract/Charter, an upright italic and unconnected script typeface. Some of its main features are a pronounced contrast, condensed forms, and exaggerated ascenders. Despite the fact that Dwiggins was only able to complete the lowercase and a few other characters, it was used to set a specimen in 1942 and in a short novel four years later. Mon Nicolette is inspired by this unpublished typeface. It was designed by Cristóbal Henestrosa, who started this project in 2010 while he was studying Type@Cooper at The Cooper Union in New York City. The results were very faithful to the original samples, but it now includes four weights, two optical sizes, a cursive uppercase based on sketches by Dwiggins, and a font of Tuscan initials; similar to those accompanying Charter in printed proofs. In order to achieve this, it was necessary to consult early drawings by Dwiggins, printing trails kept at the Boston Public Library, and a copy of The Song-Story of Aucassin and Nicolette. This presentation will show many of these images and explain how they are related to Mon Nicolette.
Cristóbal Henestrosa has a master’s degree in typographic design from the Centro de Estudios Gestalt, and a diploma in type design from The Cooper Union. Henestrosa’s type families have been prizewinners of the Type Directors Club’s Typeface Design Competition, and were selected several times at Tipos Latinos. Henestrosa is co-author of Cómo Crear Tipografías, which has been translated into Polish, Portuguese, Chinese, and English. Since 2011, Henestrosa has been a professor in the Faculty of Arts and Design at the National Autonomous University of Mexico.