by PJM Homebrew Fonts
4 font family styles
Bold Italic Style
About Munson Font
I had the need for an old fashioned typeface for a graphic design project, something reminiscent of the Victorian printing. I decided on a Clarendon style typeface. When you start looking for a free Clarendon typeface you will find many which are exceedingly good but expensive (not free). Then you will find a small number which are free but not very good. Many of them don't have an italic form or they have italics which are just slanted versions of the upright face.
I missed out on the graphic design project but if it comes around again I will be ready.
So an old fashioned typeface, Clarendon is an iconic typeface of that era, it has been used in signage and advertising many many times.
There was a typeface by a company called Stephenson Blake in Sheffield. This typeface was made around 1815 and was called Consort. It was a bracketed slab serif face with ball terminals where appropriate. I have obtained scanned documents and typeface samples from that era which depict the Consort typeface and some scanned advertisments from America from the 1950's which are in a typeface I believe to be Consort. I have attempted to re-create the look and style of the Consort typeface in a modern font.
But some of the characters in the Consort typeface were not to my liking so I have designed Munson according to my own aesthetic preferences. There is also much of Clarendon in Munson. The Clarendon typeface was first made by Robert Besley in London in 1845 and is particularly well known. Munson is an amalgamation of all these influences, a sort of hybrid between Consort and Clarendon with some of my own influence thrown in for good measure.
The italic had to be distinctive and so I chose images of the fancy italic characters in equations from various Mathematics text books. It started with the 'i', 'x' and 'y' characters but spread into the rest of the characters. The leading and trailing tails of the italics are exagerrated, as indeed are the serifs of the upright font. I cheated here, rather than make an italic lower case set from scratch I just copied someone else's (from a free open source font) and then butchered them horribly. I dislike starting with a blank canvas. This is not new or original, it is fashioned after Craw Modern italic, a typeface be Freeman Craw around 1960 and also Monotype Modern Italic. It just looked right, rather than having the italics as an oblique version of the upright, using oblique for italic is a cop out but it is what most of the free Clarendons do if they bother with italics at all. I do not posses a copy of Craw Modern but there are scanned images on the web and much of the design was a hand and eye copy of scanned images.
The construction of Munson has been achieved at a very fast pace due to starting out with a slab serif font which I designed three and a half years ago using Font Forge. That font was not very good but provided a starting point for further work. Also many of the incidental characters were copied from 'Kelvinch' (one of my previous fonts) and modified if necessary.
Munson comes in Regular, Italic, Bold and Bold Italic faces.
Munson is a free font, free in the sense of free of restrictions and DRM but also free in the sense of cost.
Under the terms of the license you may use Munson in any kind of publication, print or electronic, without fees or restrictions. You may modify the font for your own use. You may distribute your modified version in accordance with the terms of the SIL license.
You may use Munson for any purpose including commercial usage.
Munson is licensed under the SIL Open Font License: for the full text, go to http://scripts.sil.org/OFL.
You can release any publications you produce under any license terms you want. You may use it for your latest book and sell the book either on paper or in electronic form without any restrictions or requirements.
The only thing you may NOT do is sell the font on its own as a stand alone font.
If you are producing an electronic document for someone else and they don't have Munson installed on their system the document might not be rendered as you had intended. However you are free to give them a copy of Munson so they can install it on their system. If you are going to do this it would be better to give them all the files you downloaded, but this is not a requirement because the .OTF files contain the license information within the relevant fields of the font file itself.
The latest (2021) update is version 2.121 and has various tweaks and bug fixes, it also has better hinting for Microsoft ClearType.