Letterpress Letters in Poetry

I chose the font A2 Impacto partially because it actually had a history no matter how small, but also because I wanted to see what kind of font had the audacity to actually name itself based on the impact that it would have with readers. I have to say that the name is accurate, it does jump out at the reader and leave an impact on the mind. One might actually read something that was in this font just because it had this font, it seems like something interesting might be discussed like this. But I also can’t imagine reading any sort of lengthy article or even short story with this kind of text, especially if it were much bolder than its regular form. I’d have to look away for a moment and then come back to it, because it seems like it would be overwhelming to look at it for any extended amount of time.

What is this font and how did it originate? First of all, A-2-Type is a type foundry that has been set up by a London-based design studio. This studio was established in order to release and distribute over a decade’s worth of specifically crafted typeface fonts that were created for print, the screen, and the environment. It has several fonts across all genres and also undertakes custom type commissions to this day for brands and organisations across the globe. The Impacto font specifically was designed as more of a display font. It was inspired by machine-cut wood type and sans/slab faces from previous historical specimens. It is a solid face that’s newer but that has plenty of history.

This font communicates by drawing you in. In the line that I chose, from the poem The New Poetry Handbook by Mark Strand, he talks about how complicated a relationship there is between a man and his poems. Most of these lines are about horrible things that will happen to a man who has various reactions to poetry. But the line that I picked, I thought was quite sweet. He talks about a man being afraid of death, like we all naturally are at some level, and he talks about that man’s poems, his life’s work, saving him. Rescuing him from that void. I feel like this font makes this meaning all the more clearer because it grabs the reader, it doesn’t let the reader just gloss over the line, it makes them focus on it and actually think about what it means.

Impacto, Henrik Kubel, September 17, 2019. ©
A-2 Impacto font collage, September 17, 2019. © Emily Daniels

Works Cited:

A2-Type. “TYPE.” A2, https://www.a2-type.co.uk/impacto.

Strand, Mark The New Poetry Handbook. Scribner, 1970

2 thoughts on “Letterpress Letters in Poetry”

  1. Your post sent me poking around on the A2-TYPE website (https://www.a2-type.co.uk/). …what a rabbit hole! (I would cite them a couple of times in the text of your post above.)

    Impacto is really new – it says that it was designed by Henrik Kubel in 2005 and released in 2010. I agree that it has an old ‘spirit’…the comma, for example: I can really imagine it cut out of wood.

    I like your collage. Would you print a poetry book with this font?


  2. I am glad that you were able to find out the significance behind the font! While I was able to interpret my font through my own lens, I still would have been curious to know more about the inspiration behind the font from the creator.


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