Monumental Grotesk in short

Monumental Grotesk is a loving revival and expansion of a classic The Hague vernacular set of letters, turned into a big and bold typeface for uses well beyond the original intent. Its art deco forms, together with its extreme weight and relative size, makes it a perfect choice for high-density typographic design and almost architectural sculpture.

Behind the design

Piet Zwart, a Dutch Bauhaus-inspired graphic designer, originally came up with the shapes that inspired Monumental Grotesk. He produced a set of stone letters for some buildings and a commemorative monument in The Hague, all designed by the architect Hendrik Petrus Berlage.

Piet Zwart & Hendrik Petrus Berlage

Graphic versus typographic

Monumental Grotesk straddles the line of typographic versus graphic shapes. Some of the letters are, quite plainly, out of proportion or weight with the others, and this might take away from a certain amount of balance. But these same letters are also explicitly more graphic, more geometric or more expressive, and that is where the life in this typeface comes from.

Zwart used a similar type style for a range of posters he designed for a rubber floor manufacturer, but where that style looks severe, the variant for Berlage is almost cosy. The contrast is lower, the corners are less sharp, and generally the design feels a little more physical.

Alternate diacritic style

The default style of diacritics is placed above the glyphs, but an OpenType stylistic set cuts the diacritics to be inset into the glyph.

Příliš žluťoučký kůň úpěl ďábelské ódy.
Stylistic set 1, inset diacritics

Technical summary

Designer
Robin Mientjes
Published
2016, 2020
Language support
Over 200 languages (Read more →)

In short

Monumental Grotesk comes as an all-caps font with a few smart features. It has discretionary ligatures and an alternate style of diacritics that are inset into the glyph shapes. It follows the language support of all Tiny Type Co. releases.

OpenType features

  • Tabular numbers
    tnum
    Over 12,500 Over 12,500
  • Automatic fractions
    frac
    2 1/3 cups 2 1/3 cups
  • Discretionary ligatures
    dlig
    <3 -> (c) <3 -> (c)
  • Stylistic set: inset diacritics
    ss01
    ÜÑÅ ÜÑÅ
  • Stylistic set: alternate K
    ss02
    KONING KONING
  • Stylistic set: alternate Y
    ss03
    BAYOU BAYOU

Specimen PDF

Fonts in Use

License Monumental Grotesk

Choosing the right license for you. The Tiny Type Co. license is simple to read and covers almost all use cases for almost all users – but please read it to make sure. If you have any questions or requests, get in touch.

Trial fonts. If you want to test the fonts, there are trials available.

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