Ninety years ago, poster artist A.M. Cassandre designed one of the most evocative typefaces of the Art Deco era, Bifur. This type was unusual in many ways, but one of the most distinct features was that besides a regular one-color font, it was also available as a two-part font for a chromatic treatment which was highly unusual for metal typefaces. This "bifurcated" type is almost impossible to find in print shops or even in specimen form. It has however become recognizable as a true icon of the Art Deco genre.
In 2004, P22 Type Foundry introduced P22 Bifur which features the addition of a lower case alphabet as well as multiple options for the shading layer, allowing for a wide range of design applications. And more recently, in 2018, Petrescu Press of Romania created a wood type version of Bifur in caps and two versions of the background color using the P22 versions of Bifur.
This letterpress specimen of Bifur wood type, designed and printed by Amelia Hugill-Fontanel, Associate Curator of the Cary Graphic Arts Collection at RIT. Amelia’s master’s thesis focused on Deberny et Peignot, the French foundry that originally produced Bifur. The colophon text is printed from vintage Peignot metal type—another classic typeface designed by A.M. Cassandre. This specimen is hand-printed in four colors, with five press runs.
• 12" x 19"
• Four colors of ink
• 110# Boxcar Flurry White stock
• Signed and numbered
• Limited edition of only 42