Today I would like to introduce to you one of my favorite script faces, Coronet (also known as Ribbon 131). I was unable to track down a lot of interesting information regarding this typeface but I was able to find some basic information on the designer. His name is Robert Hunter Middleton born in 1898 and died in 1985. He was born in Scotland and moved to the USA in 1908. Middleton studied painting at the Art Institute of Chicago. In 1923 he became a type designer for the Ludlow Typograph Company and by 1933 had worked his way up to the position of Art Director and served in that capacity until 1944. In 1933 he also founded the Cherryburn Press where he collaborated with many artists, designers and typographers. To be sure, Middleton’s name is associated with many common typefaces of the 20th century, both as the primary designer as well as a collaborator. Middleton was also a founding member of the 27 Chicago Designers as well as the Association Internationale Typographique. He was active with several other typographic and design organizations, such as Typocrafters. Middleton also taught at Transylvania Unversity, the University of Alabama, Yale, UCLA and elsewhere.
I have grown to love Coronet for the casual elegance that it conveys. I first began relying on Coronet during my career at Weirton Studio/Newbrough Photo in Weirton WV. I was required to design many invitational and announcement related pieces in my work there. I have never been attracted to script faces as I find them difficult to read. In my opinion, Coronet generally does not suffer from this affliction. Coronet crosses a couple typographical boundaries as it is considered script, as well as calligraphic. I would also say it has value as a display face. It can pass in both an elegant and somewhat formal piece but it is not pretentious and has a certain casual nature in some applications. A good example of this diversity is that I can see it passing on a menu for both a high end restaurant as well as for a diner. I love that flexibility.
Finally, it is obvious that this typeface came out of the early, mid 20th century. Coronet was created in 1937 but, as with anything, it probably took a few years to become mainstream. To me the font gives a distinct 1940’s feeling. I was unable to find any obvious popular examples of it’s usage but I see it being comfortable on anything from that era ranging from announcements and advertisements to the a girl’s name painted on the side of a World War II fighter plane.
So that’s it. Hope you enjoy the design and I look forward to your thoughts and comments.
See you all tomorrow!