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by Jonathan Barnbrook

Barnbrook originally called this typeface Manson (after American serial killer Charles Manson) “to express extreme opposite emotions — love and hate, beauty and ugliness,” he has said. Emigre suggested the name be changed to Mason, as the letter forms also evoke stonecutters’ work, Freemasons’ symbology, and pagan iconography.

In its design, Barnbrook was influenced by nineteenth-century Russian letter forms, Greek architecture, and Renaissance Bibles; the font also displays many references to popular culture, politics, and typographic history.

Mason’s postmodern attitude is undeniable and, like Neville Brody’s Blur, Mason emerged during the explosion of digital typefaces in the early 1990s, both products of the technological and cultural influences of the time.

In 2011 Mason Sans was one of 23 digital typefaces included in the permanent architecture and design collection of the Museum of Modern Art in New York.

Customized Lettering

Each Mason package comes with three variants; Regular, Alternate, and Super, each in two weights. Together, these fonts contain several variants for each alphabetic character, each in a capital, small cap, and super script cap version.

Mason Regular & Mason Alternate
The Regular and Alternate fonts have small caps characters in the lower case keys.

Mason Super
Mason Super combined with initial caps set in Mason Regular & Mason Alternate (below).
The Super fonts contain both the Regular and Alternate variants in super script position, aligned with the tops of the capitals.

Combine the capital, small cap and superior forms to create customized lettering.


Mason Main Page