Monument Roman: Condensed
Created for use with a stencil press for sandblast engraving, this alphabet was designed to accompany the SKS Modified Roman alphabet. This version of the Condensed Roman style is the most common version seen in the cemetery, and is still used today by some manufacturers who have not updated to digital technology.
The designer of the alphabet is unknown but was likely one of the two founders of SKS Ltd. – though the basic design of the characters did not change significanlty from the Spacerite Condensed Roman.
This Condensed Roman alphabet was released in 1968 by SKS Ltd, which would later be renamed to “ScotchKut” by the 3M company. The alphabet is a condensed version of the SKS Modified Roman, used for names and dates in smaller panels or where the Modified Roman is too wide to fit.
The alphabet is based on the Spacerite Condensed Roman alphabet, but like the SKS version of Modified Roman, the serifs have been slightly thickened to allow for better sandblasting. Along with ScotchKut Modified Roman, this plastic alphabets contain differences at the various size breaks, and the MLC has created multiple versions for matching inscriptions at any size. The alphabets were sold in small sizes (.75″ – 1.75″) which contained numbers, and large sizes (2″ – 3.5″) which did not come with numbers, but the size breaks at which the alphabet’s design was changed was split above or below the 1.25″ sets. Between .75″ and 1.25″, the alphabets are somewhat bolder with thicker serifs, and from 1.5″ up to 3.5″ the alphabets are slightly thinner overall.
The alphabet contained a comma, a period, a dash, and a bullet. All other punctuation and extra characters have been created by the MLC. A second version of ‘A’ is included with a lowered crossbar, which helps with blowouts at smaller sizes, and was sometimes modified by hand-cutting an extra line below the crossbar and removing this new lower crossbar instead of the higher one before sandblasting. No ampersand was included with the alphabet, but the MLC has included two versions in the font. The first is a thickened version of the original Spacerite Condensed Roman ampersand, and the second is a condensed version of the ampersand included with the Modified Roman. The alternate ‘A’ and ampersand are included as stylistic alternates, available when using software that supports OpenType features.
As of February 2023, the font style names were updated to better reflect the original physical alphabets. Due to an error, ‘1.25in’ had previously been included with the larger sizes (1.25in-3.5in), but has now been included with the smaller sets. The new style names are as follows: .75in-1.25in, and 1.5in-3.5in. If you would like the updated version of the font, you can log in and re-download it under your past purchases.