Amethyst Pro


Amethyst Pro


methyst was Jim Rimmer’s second serious body copy face. His previous text face, Albertan, had perked connoisseurs’ ears with its subtle merging of classic American roman and European deco influences. Amethyst would follow along the same path, though in a piecemeal fashion rather than a straightforward plan. The initial drawings were a set of caps (called Maxwellian) Jim put together for sporadic use around his press shop in the mid-1990s. He added some lowercase and figures when he needed them as he went along, and around 1997 he had an impressive roman and an italic to use across a few of his projects. Some of those projects captured a few eyeballs in the print industry, especially on the west coast. When Amethyst was slated to win an award by a type publication, Jim started seriously looking at turning it into a family. His printing colleagues throughout Canada took notice of his ongoing work on it, began using it in some of their projects and giving him feedback for improvement. Most notably Andrew Steeves in Kentville, Nova Scotia, set the Gaspereau Press 2002 catalogue (a gorgeous 32-page booklet) and Peter Sanger’s poetry book Spar: Words in Place entirely in Amethyst. By then, the family included a bold and bold italic, as well as roman small caps.

When P22 Type Foundry began releasing Jim’s fonts under the Rimmer Type Foundry label in 2006, Amethyst was a radically different design by text type standards. Jim had rethought the soft-rounding aesthetic in favour of clean sharp serifs, adjusted the fitting for better out-of-the-box setting in immersive reading design, and added a few updates to the glyph set. The P22 production crew helped Jim turn Amethyst into a four-weight family with accompanying italics. By the time it was released as RTF Amethyst about a dozen years after its humble caps-only beginnings, this typeface had become a typographer favourite, and was considered classic enough to have earned a glowing citing in Robert Bringhurst’s Elements of Typographic Style.

So now, just short of three decades after those early Maxwellian caps were drawn, the efforts of four different type designers involved in this remastering project result in Amethyst Pro, a workhorse family just as fit for immersive text as it is for titling and display use in both ink and pixel. Each of Amethyst Pro’s 12 fonts includes plenty of the bells and whistles fine typography practitioners have come to expect from their tools. There are small caps included in every font, eight types of figures, automatic fractions, ligatures of the standard and discretionary varieties, many stylistic alternates, as well as italic swashes for both caps and small caps.

For sample settings and detailed information about Amethyst Pro’s features, please see this PDF.

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From $40 USD