by Ferdinand Ulrich
Roumald is a display face in the tradition of types from the early and late nineteenth century by the likes of Scotch and its relative Century Extended, originally designed by Linn Boyd Benton and continued by his son Morris Fuller Benton around 1900. Roumald is a contemporary interpretation of these angloamerican neo-classic gestures.
In addition to their designs, the Bentons are known for their contributions to mechanical manufacturing of type. Among their inventions are matrix engraving and punch cutting machines, but more importantly the Benton Pantograph, a device that could not only scale any design in size, but produce condensed, extended and slanted styles of that design. With this in mind, a CNC router equipped with a round drill bit served as a virtual drawing tool during the design of Roumald. Tension of form and counter form is the result of different radii. Another characteristic of Roumald, the rounded emphasis in counter shapes is derived from ink slurs, a habit of small type sizes in printing.
The mechanical reference lends Roumald a slightly technical look. With the awareness of the original tools, Roumald frees itself from the expression of its ancestors.