Allan Haley in Archive on June 12, 2012

The Biome typeface family is not a new design. It is, however, a very special design – and it is new to the Monotype typeface library. Biome is also a much larger family than when it was first released by Carl Crossgrove two years ago. Now a super family of impressive proportions, Biome is clearly worthy of a second look.

“For a number of years, I’ve tried to imagine letterforms with outside contours that follow the shape of a grotesque but with inside contours that follow the shape of something more open and humanistic,” recalls Crossgrove. “Eventually, I found a formal entry point for an experiment: subtract the inside counter form from the outside shape.” Crossgove’s experiment in the 1990s was the beginning of a several-year project that eventually produced the Biome typeface family. Crossgrove describes the final design as “both futuristic and organic, with a sense of calm.”
The first release of Biome was limited to seven weights of “wide” proportions – with complementary italic designs. Since then, Crossgrove has enlarged the family to incorporate seven additional weights of “normal” and “narrow” proportions. The completed family now weighs in at 21 roman designs with 21 corresponding italics – a collection large enough to satisfy the needs of a bevy of design projects.

“Clearly a display design,” says Crossgrove, “the round corners and soft shapes of Biome lend themselves not only to ‘futuristic’ applications but also to more sporty, slick and masculine ones.
When first announced in the summer of 2010, Crossgrove published a detailed and thoughtful examination of the Biome family – and the design process – on the I Love Typography website. It’s a good read.

The complete Biome family is available as desktop fonts from the, and websites. It is also available as Web fonts from

Click here to learn more about – and license – the Biome family.

Allan Haley
Allan Haley is Director of Words & Letters at Monotype Imaging. Here he is responsible for strategic planning and creative implementation of just about everything related to typeface designs.

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