The Richie typeface grew out of a lettering experiment inspired by the work of Czech type designer Oldrich Menhart (1897-1962). Menhart’s typefaces were primarily text designs with a strong personal calligraphic influence.
Monotype Studio designer, Jim Ford, wondered what a display typeface from Menhart might look like, and began drawing bold script characters with a broad-tipped chisel marker. “It was a familiar but laborious exercise,” explains Ford, “I tried to achieve an authentic â€“ yet controlled â€“ randomness that would serve as the foundation of a typeface.”
Ford first drew a large suite of characters using the marker. All the drawings were then carefully adjusted, and scanned. Ford then pieced together a typeface from the best versions of letters, and refined those further. The result is a rugged, somewhat eccentric and playful script built on an obvious hand-drawn foundation. In a world of smooth scripts, the Richie design is heavy, chunky and rough. Its hand-made feel and vigorous rhythm put the power of raw brush lettering into the typographer’s hands.
OpenTypeÂ® fonts of Richie include standard, contextual and discretionary ligatures, in addition to contextual and stylistic alternates, old style, lining and superior figures, plus a large complement of swash characters. The name “Richie“? It grew out of Ford’s original premise for the design. “I wondered what it might it look like if ‘Old Richie‘ had designed a heavy display face or script.”