A Hypothetical House Style

Regular readers of these pages will have noticed that we have a few favourite ‘hypothetical’ products which we often use in our typography specimens. ‘Chocolate Ambrosine’ springs to mind, as does ‘Automobiles Hirondelle’ (the later with due acknowledgement to Leslie Charteris) and the Blue Star Shipping Line.  Another we have used occasionally, though not quite so often, is ‘Imperial Airship Lines’.  I have just passed an amusing afternoon dreaming up some posters for this now sadly hypothetical, though I suspect rather more stylish and comfortable, mode of travel (comfortable at least if Helium had provided the lifting force…) and trying to develop a ‘house style‘ for the Imperial Airship Line, centred on Greater Albion’s ‘Par Avion’ display face and the Ames’ typeface family.  Here are the results of the afternoon’s efforts.


Imperial1 Imperial2 Imperial3 Imperial4

A Minor Tribute to Messrs Charteris and Templar

Those who are kind enough to peruse this blog regularly will be aware that we derive particular pleasure from devising ‘hypothetical’ examples of our typefaces in use.

Readers may also have noticed that our imagination repeatedly turns to some of our favourite fictitious firms as the subject for these exercises in the imaginary.  “Chocolat Ambrosine”, or sometimes “The Ambrosine Chocolate Company”, it’s a cross channel concern, figures prominently.  The “Blue Star” shipping line crops up quite often as well.

Another recurrent trope of imagination, also somewhat Anglo-French is “Automobiles Hirondelle”, or alternatively “The Hirondelle Motor Car Company”.  This later is the subject of our latest imaginings, more of which anon.  It’s perhaps opportune to point out the origin of the Hirondelle of ‘Swallow’ motor car- one such was driven by Simon Templar, otherwise known as The Saint, through a great many of Leslie Charteris‘ thrillers- a happy reading memory of my childhood…



This design successfully (we think) stretches the limit of how many different typefaces can sensible appear in one piece of typesetting, incorporating Alfrere Sans, Alfrere Banner, Ames’ Roman and Ames’ Text.


From a somewhat earlier point in the company’s imagined history- this poster employs the recently designed ‘Bonlivet’ typeface.


Full of 30’s elegance, and a great deal of chrome, this poster uses the Thurbrooke typeface family.

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Showcasing Bertoni

We’re currently offering the Bertoni family at a 35% discount on Myfonts.com, so we thought this was an opportune moment to showcase it in action.  Can anyone guess which of these three Businesses is the real (though now we belive defunct) one?  See below.

The real business is in fact Burtt & Co of Gloucester, and yes they really did make beehives.  The Cortleigh Arms, on the other hand, is a pure creation of imagination.  The Hirondelle does have a basis in fiction if not in fact-it was the car driven by the hero of Leslie Charteris‘ ‘Saint‘ novels.