Mill Condensed

  • Mill Condensed is a typeface I designed as part of my thesis project at MICA.
  • Mill Condensed is a classic American style wood typeface I designed and cut as part of my thesis project at MICA.
  • Some of my initial sketches. I knew I wanted to cut the typeface using a single bit on a CNC mill. This added a couple constraints to my type. For one, all the inside corners needed the same radius. I had to do away with any sharp inside corners. 
  • I designed the typeface in Robofont so I have a working .otf file as well as the wood type. I wanted to create a typeface that sat between traditional type and contemporary media. It is styled it after classic American wood type with a thin face and fatter serifs. I styled Mill to give it the proper inside radius and a more ridgid machined quality to the typeface.
  • When setting up my file for cutting, I spaced everything as tight as possible to maximize the amount of letters, while still allowing the bit to pass between them. I bought the raw lumber and cut and surfaced it down to the 0.918 in needed for type high on the press. 
  • proof ready to cut the type. After I had it machined, I took it into the wood shop and cut them all apart on the bandsaw. After some light sanding to get rid of the burrs, my type was ready to finish.
  • Fresh cut Mill
  • A couple coats of Bullseye Shellac and some light sanding, we're ready to print.
  • I'll call this the maiden print. I ran a proof of the alphabet and some national park themed phrases.
  • The typeface turned out great, The surface was a little rougher than a true font which is why I have some of the texture on the letters. Historically type was cut on the end grain because it creates a smoother finish and the ends are more durable. To make it easier for me, I cut it out of hard maple on face grain so we'll see how durable my type turns out to be.