Monument Roman: Modified
This alphabet saw most of its use from 1925 until the 1960s, though it continued to see moderate use well into the 1990s, and is still in fact used by some headstone manufacturers today.
The Spacerite Modified Roman alphabet is the quintessential monument font. It is the style which almost all other modified roman alphabets were based. This alphabet was created as a modified version of the Spacerite Classic Roman alphabet. It is given the term “modified” because it was adapted to give each letter a more equal visual weight. Most of the letters in a classic roman alphabet are wider than a modified roman alphabet, and have a much more circular ‘O’, ‘C’, ‘G’, ‘D’, ‘Q’, and ‘0’.
The alphabet has very thin serifs compared to all later modified roman styles, which give it a more elegant feel. The most notable difference of the letters is the construction of the ‘W’, which looks like two overlapping ‘V’s rather than containing an apex at the center (though Spacerite did later produce an alternate version of ‘W’ with an apex). The crossbar on ‘A’ is much higher than later versions, and the tail of ‘Q’ connects to the left side of the bowl. The outside joint of ‘5’ at the beginning of the downward curve bends inward and has slightly rounded corners, which differs from all other modified roman alphabets–though, as this alphabet is cut by hand, this feature was not always followed by the stencil cutter.
The original alphabet contained no punctuation, but the company did eventually produce multiple dash lengths and though very rare to find, an ampersand. An alternate ampersand from a version prior to the discovery of the ampersand is included. It was created by reversing the 3 and adding a longer lower finial, typical of many modified roman alphabets. All other punctuation and extra characters have been created by using other monument industry roman alphabets as a guide. Though also very rare to find, the Spacerite Company did create a second ‘W’ with a center apex. The second ‘W’ is available in the MLC font as an alternate, when using software which supports OpenType features.
Update (07/27/2019) – A second “bold” weight with twice the serif thickness has been added. It was common for stencil cutters to thicken the serifs, especially on smaller lettering. If you have previously purchased the font please log in and download the update. It is recommended that you remove and re-install the original version as well, as changes were also made to the style naming of that font.