The Wigrum Font

What type of book is this new ‘inventory novel’ anyway? Wigrum, by Daniel Canty (coming Fall 2013), is special for a host of reasons – but rarely has a Talon book received so much attention for its typesetting. Why? In Wigrum, there are small, detailed illustrations accompanying the text; there are footnotes in many languages set into comfortable margins; and there is white space enough to feel simultaneously lost and found during the reading experience, which perfectly complements the nature of the novel. Interestingly, as well: Wigrum is a book, but Wigrum is also a font.

The font, which takes its name from the novel’s title and protagonist, was designed in 2011 by Raphaël Daudelin of Studio Feed (Montreal) while he and his colleague, Anouk Pennel, designed the original edition of the book (La Peuplade, 2011) – which went on to win the Grafika Grand Prize in the category of Typography in 2012. (We highly recommend browsing the Wigrum project gallery and the very visually pleasing past projects of Daniel Canty.) The English translation of the book was also typeset by Feed and uses the same design (as seen on the cover, above). The Wigrum illustrations and font also grace the cover of the Fall 2013 Talonbooks catalogue.

Below is a page from the advanced review copy of Wigrum, on which the Wigrum font is visible (in headings):

The Bureau des affaires typographiques (B.A.T.) foundry describes Wigrum and its development thus:

Canty, a contemporary writer from Québec, writes … about a mysterious character who moves at the border between fiction and reality, between Second World War time and present time, between Eastern and Western Europe. In order to typeset the book, Studio Feed created Wigrum, a sans-serif [font] with strong references to both geometrical sans[-serif fonts] of the thirties and to their current influence.

Wigrum is especially representative of its designers’ will to add a “humane” color to geometry. Thus, Wigrum features straight, rational shapes, and at the same time all the required optical corrections for an optimal reading comfort. However, Wigrum pushes toward more personality, seen in letters W, g, R and S, and in many more details.

Feed has made many previous attempts at designing typefaces. … Wigrum is [this studio’s] most comprehensive typeface family and its first commercial release.

Wigrum is available for purchase from the B.A.T. foundry and Fontdeck. A free trial of this “geometrical sans-serif, both rational and sensitive” is also available From the B.A.T. foundry.