Munson & Cadman

Since designing the Kelvinch font I have not been idle.  In my spare time I have been working on two more fonts.

Kelvinch was designed when I was just starting to learn about typography and so it is a little rough round the edges, it was my first font.  When I look back at Kelvinch I see many things which should have been done better, so I have started to design a replacement for Kelvinch.  The replacement has a provisional name but it will not be revealed until the font is released, just in case someone else decides to use it.

The two current fonts are Munson and Cadman.  The Munson font was released on 20th July 2017 and the Cadman font was released on 22nd February 2018.




Late in 2016 I needed a Victorian style slab serif font for a graphic design project I was working on at home.  I couldn’t find any good free Victorian slab serifs.  Most of the free ones weren’t any good, there were some very good commercial fonts available which would have been perfect for the job but I like free stuff.  I couldn’t find any free ones with good quality and a decent design of italic.

Some of the free fonts were passable but their designers thought that italic is the same as oblique which is not the case.

For this type of font italic should be a more cursive design not just the upright character slanted.

About the same time as this I was asked to be a beta tester for the new version of the font editing software I use and for this I needed a new font project.

This gave me the nudge I needed and so I decided to design my own my own Victorian Slab serif.

The name Munson is a reference to Audrey Munson who was the model for many of the bronze statues in New York from around the 1920’s era.

The inspiration for the font itself came from a typeface by a company called Stephenson Blake & Co. in my home town of Sheffield. This typeface was made around 1815 and was called Consort. It was a bracketed slab serif face with ball terminals where appropriate. I obtained scanned documents and photographs of typeface samples from that era which depict the Consort typeface and I attempted to re-create the look and style of that typeface in a modern font.

I have photographs of an incomplete set of the Consort typeface, I filled in the gaps and some of the characters in the Consort typeface were not to my liking so I designed Munson according to my own aesthetic preferences and with a great deal of artistic license.

There is also much of Clarendon in Munson. The Clarendon typeface was 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 the Consort and Clarendon with much of my own influence thrown in for good measure.

This is a font which I have created myself without using anything directly digitally copied from other fonts. This typeface is my property.

There was copying but this was done by hand and eye rather than by copy and paste.

Munson is now available for free download under the SIL Open Font license which means you can use it for whatever purpose you want personal or commercial, you may pass it on to others and modify it if you wish.  You may pass on your modified version (under a different name).

The only thing you can’t do with my font is sell it.




I have two friends who are dyslexic and they both expressed the need for a clear and legible font so I made one.

The name of the font is an indirect reference to one of these people who is a colleague at work and spends a lot of his time using CAD systems.

I don’t know if a specific font for dyslexia is a good thing or not, certainly some fonts are more legible than others.

My hypothesis is that the success of fonts which have been specifically designed for people with dyslexia is a placebo effect. The reader expects the special font to be easier to read so they put extra effort into reading the type. Knowing that a typeface has been specifically created to address one’s needs may well provide useful motivation that enhances concentration and engagement. Then, having better understood text for having made an effort to read it, the reader credits the enhanced comprehension to the special font rather than them having put in extra effort to comprehend it.

However having said that some fonts are easier to read and comprehend than other so why not make a font which fulfils all the criteria, it certainly cannot make the situation any worse.

The Cadman font has been designed to be as legible as possible. There is a lot of opinion on the Internet about which fonts are suitable for dyslexic people and much of it is contradictory. This is only to be expected, people are different from one another and what is suitable for one is not suitable for all.

However there are some characteristics which are commonly accepted as making a font more suitable for use by dyslexic people.

  • Sans Serif
  • Good ascenders and descenders
  • Wide apertures
  • b and d distinguished from each other not just mirrored
  • p and q distinguished from each other not just mirrored
  • Different forms for capital I, lowercase l and digit 1
  • Rounded g and rounded a as in handwriting
  • r & n together (rn) should not look like m
  • The f character has a descender to make it more unlike a turned t
  • M and W should be distinguished from each other and not just be mirrored
  • 6 and 9 distinguished from each other not just rotated
  • The use of distinct letterforms where confusion could arise
  • A slightly looser spacing than normal

Cadman fulfils all these criteria. But Cadman is not just for people with dyslexia.

Cadman is suitable wherever a clear and legible sans serif font is required. It has Bold, Italic and Bold Italic.

There are many open type features including SMALL CAPITALS, fractions and ordinals. There are two stylistic alternatives which change the digit zero from dotted to slashed zero or blank zero.

My colleague who uses CAD systems a lot wanted the font for scientific writing so Cadman contains a Greek alphabet suitable for mathematics and many Mathematical Operators, Letterlike Symbols, Miscellaneous Symbols and Dingbats.

Cadman is available for free download under the SIL Open Font license which means you can use it for whatever purpose you want personal or commercial, you may pass it on to others and modify it if you wish. You may pass on your modified version (under a different name).

The only thing you can’t do with this font is sell it as a font, however it may be packaged along with other software which is being sold, in which case the price charged is for whatever is packaged with it and the font is just a free bonus.

Enjoy !



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