Wakehurst regular is my first true text typeface, created for the first term of the Type@Cooper program in autumn 2018, with work continuing to complete the typeface with additional character sets and an italic complement.
The typeface is based on source materials printed in 1924, and interpreted with leafy, verdant, fern-like details in stroke terminals and ligatures that allow it to be used at larger display sizes as well.
These details are balanced with a highly structured, modern skeleton to suggest the nature of a plant growing in a greenhouse, rather than one growing in the wild—surrounded by strong, human-made structure rather than other organic forms.
You can read more about my experience designing Wakehurst here.
The project began as a revival from the book Hallmarks on Gold and Silver Plate, which I found at a rare book store in New York. Working from the scans of printed text, it soon became clear that there was a fair amount of interpretation needed to create a cogent typeface. Besides correcting print errors and design discrepancies, there were multiple forms of some letters represented in the text. Characters like the question mark were only represented one or two times, and didn’t seem to really match the rest of the type. Issues with spacing, shape, and weight also needed to be resolved.
The result was a character set that was partially invented and totally interpreted. What remained from the original were stem widths, general proportions, and an overall skeleton, making Wakehurst more an original design than a true revival.
The various ligatures are totally invented, playing up the leaf-like nature of open stroke terminals with playful, vine-like connecting strokes.
In the following specimen, Wakehurst’s display capabilities are shown with quotations from The Garden by Moonlight.