Designers love typefaces. Writers love words. And Michiganders love their Bridge. Even though it’s been decades since I’ve lived in the Great Lakes State, when P22 Type Foundry announced its Mackinac Pro, I swooned with the nostalgic excitement of an 8-year-old girl in a Mackinac Island fudge shop.
What’s so special about this typeface? (Or font, as graphic designers acquiesce to saying these days.)
Well, to start, it’s got a mighty name—aptly so, since the type’s designer, Mike Beens, is from Michigan. And its advertising copy is worthy of an award: “P22 Mackinac Pro (pronounced Mackinaw) spans four centuries of type design, bridging the Old World with the New.” Gotta love it—making sure you pronounce the name correctly, as only a Michigander would!
But it’s the letterforms themselves that structurally are as beautiful as the bridge. Mackinac Pro is described as having “smooth shapes, sweet curves and seamless transitions evocative of wind & water.” Yet, it’s an OpenType workhorse that’s as utilitarian for advertising, publishing and signage as the bridge is for motorcycles, cars and semis.
I like the double-story, lower case “a” and “g” (my favorite for serif type). I also like the positive, upward arch of the lower case “a” and the italic “e” (too bad the regular version isn’t arched as well).
Most of all, I love, love, love the ampersand—it’s a Great Lakes wave all in itself!