A new typographic recipe for The Gourmand

With the release of its fifth issue, and the launch of its new online destination, The Gourmand partnered with Monotype to develop two bespoke typefaces – Grotesque 777 and Grotesque 888 – to be used in print and digitally.

Cult food and culture magazine The Gourmand was founded in 2011 by David Lane and Marina Tweed, and quickly established itself as an authority on all things gastronomic. With the release of its fifth issue, and the launch of its new online destination, the title partnered with Monotype to develop two bespoke typefaces – Grotesque 777 and Grotesque 888 – to be used in print and digitally. David Lane, creative director of the magazine, worked closely with type designer Gunnar Vilhjálmsson to create a design that drew on the rich heritage of Monotype's archive, while still embodying The Gourmand's distinctive personality.

Exploring 'lost' designs in the Monotype Archive, Lane and Vilhjálmsson blended attributes from several different grotesque typefaces, taking cues from the weight and proportions of existing designs, and even borrowing inspiration from specific individual letterforms to create some of Grotesque 777 and Grotesque 888's more unusual qualities. The striking and unconventional Gourmand ampersand is borrowed directly from Monotype Series 527's “charming ampersand” (as Vilhjálmsson refers to it), while the italic lowercase 'f' from Series 150 was also directly adopted, with minor modifications. Even the names of the two new typefaces have been derived from the working title of an unreleased typeface the pair stumbled across in the archive – Grotesque 666. 

Accompanying the release of the two typefaces, Monotype and The Gourmand collaborated to bring the worlds of food and type together in a combined typeface specimen and recipe book. Recipes range from Jeff Koons' apple dumplings to oatmeal flummery, all showcasing The Gourmand's culinary expertise encased in Monotype's bespoke type. 

The end result is a completely new editorial Grotesque that blends elements of its historic predecessors in an idiosyncratic, contemporary design.

However while Grotesque 777 and Grotesque 888 have their roots in historic material – much of it out of production for decades – both typefaces draw on that history to establish their own unique and pleasingly quirky personalities.

The two new Grotesques offer a reinterpretation of the inherent oddities of the older designs – especially visible in the exaggerated and unconventional ampersand – whilst also unifying and updating the overall forms,” an introduction to the type sample, written by the two designers, explains. 

The end result is a completely new editorial Grotesque that blends elements of its historic predecessors in an idiosyncratic, contemporary design.