MuirMcNeil TenPoint is a modular type system constructed from repetitions of a single cell – a circular disc with an open counterform – within a fixed geometric grid. It is an attempt to locate typographic objects at the lowest limit of their function as vehicles of language and to codify their visual arrangements.
There are seven sizes of TenPoint: 01, 02, 03, 04, 05, 06 and 08; the numerical index referring to the cell count repetitions which define the overall body height of each size.
In settings made with the smallest type sizes, bodies of words are given solid form but the contours of individual glyphs are difficult or impossible to recognise discretely. At such low resolutions, the text becomes distilled to a textile, an abstracted linear weave which discloses little more information than the rhythm of its own spatial organisation.
As sizes and resolutions increase progressively, the contours of individual letters and their sequences, as words, begin to become more complex, more defined and thus more identifiable. Normal service is resumed as rudimentary levels of readability begin to be achieved.
Small circular counterforms are used throughout to perform three tasks. They maintain the absolute constancy of the visual relationship of cells on the grid; they prevent forms from coalescing into solid block letters; and they situate counterforms where required without the need for apertures in the glyphs.
TenPoint provides designers with a wide range of options for controlling layering, opacity and positional effects. Each size is issued as five variant typefaces. In addition to a complete ready-to-use version with compound paths and transparent counterforms, four further versions break apart each letter into a series of subcomponent layers which interact in perfect registration.
These features provide an enormous number of possibilities when working in print and fixed media. They are also particularly useful in motion graphics where their precise layering and positional calibration allows perfect control over transitions and many other exciting visual opportunities.
TenPoint is available in Latin glyph encoding in OpenType and TrueType formats.