Introducing Ambiguity: A Typeface Family that Embraces Uncertainty and Celebrates Differences

Press Release

Press Release

WOBURN, Mass.—(BUSINESS WIRE)—Monotype (Nasdaq: TYPE) today unveiled the Ambiguity™ type family, a genre-bending design that merges traditional and contrarian views of letter proportions. Designed by Charles Nix of the Monotype Studio, Ambiguity challenges creative professionals to explore a spectrum of beliefs through type, embrace diversity and find peace and beauty in all. Ambiguity breaks with traditional structures, and has five “states” of letterform proportions: Radical, Thrift, Generous, Tradition and Normate. The extensive family is comprised of 70 fonts in six weights and two display styles.

The Ambiguity family’s complete range of weights and styles make it an exceptionally flexible type family. Its letterforms are legible in both display and text, and its variable widths make it suitable for information-rich applications. Ambiguity’s unity and versatility offers brands a host of designs ranging from conventional to unique, which allows them to mix and experiment to create a system of type that not only effectively carries their message, but allows them to discover new voices and identities.

“Ambiguity’s palette of varying styles and letterfroms have resulted in an exciting tool for tweaking text and modifying meaning. It’s a family that encourages designers to play with and against type, stereotype and prejudice. It’s less about creating within the constraints of the expected and more about pushing boundaries to harmonize design and authentically portray meaning,” said Charles Nix, type director at Monotype. “I designed Ambiguity to break down mental walls and to remind myself and others that the blending, the exchange and the conversation is where and when we’re at our best.”

Nix continued, “I could see Ambiguity being adopted by a large media outlet or publisher to address a new audience or possibly as part of a political campaign looking to create a more welcoming tent.”

The Five “States” of Ambiguity

  • Tradition gets the underlying forms for its capitals from Roman inscriptional letters and for its lowercase from Humanist calligraphy. It follows the well-trod path of letterform proportion—behaving in a comfortingly conventional way.
  • Radical reverses the proportions of Tradition, challenging the familiar and habitual. In the Radical cut, wide forms become slender and slender forms become wide.
  • Thrift, the condensed state, collects all of the slender forms from Tradition and Radical.
  • Generous, the expanded state, incorporates the wide forms from Tradition and Radical.
  • Normate is neither Tradition nor Radical, Thrift nor Generous, but rather a blend of those forms.

What Creative Professionals Are Saying About Ambiguity 
“The time has come to redefine the family. Two dads? Four moms? Five cats? Ambiguity, a new type family by Charles Nix, smashes our binary hangups about how letterform proportions ought to behave and interact.” —Ellen Lupton, senior curator, contemporary design at Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Museum, and founding director, graphic design MFA at the Maryland Institute College of Art

“I felt an urge to push boundaries and rules whilst being reminded of classic type treatment and tradition. A testament to the variety of expression and use when using Ambiguity.” –Ash O’Brien, partner, Two of Us

Pricing & Availability 
Single weights of the Ambiguity typeface are available now for $/€49 or £42 each. The complete typeface family is available for $/€199 or £169.

The Ambiguity typeface can be found in Mosaic®, Monotype’s cloud-based font discovery, collaboration and management solution. It can also be licensed at with an introductory promotion of 50 percent off through August 22, 2019. Download Ambiguity Radical Semi-Bold and Tradition Semi-Bold Italic at no cost through October 6, 2019.

To learn more about the Ambiguity typeface, view this video, narrated by Charles Nix.

To join the conversation about the Ambiguity typeface on social media, search #StatesOfAmbiguity on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

About Monotype 
Monotype empowers creative minds to build and express authentic brands through design, technology and expertise. Further information is available at Follow Monotype on TwitterInstagram and LinkedIn.

Monotype and Mosaic are trademarks of Monotype Imaging Inc. registered in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and may be registered in certain other jurisdictions. Ambiguity is a trademark of Monotype Imaging Inc. and may be registered in certain jurisdictions. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners. ©2019 Monotype Imaging Holdings Inc. All rights reserved.


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Andy Rodger 
[email protected]