A Note on the Type
Ravi Mangla

This book was set in Mobius, a typeface designed by typographer, lithographer, kitemaker and philosopher Jerome Gabriel Mathieu (1581-1634); it is classified retrospectively as a neo-transitional serif. Controversial in its time, a sharp digression from the predominant Geralde style of the early seventeenth century, the conception of Mobius led to Mathieu's resignation from the Parisian Typographers League (PTL) under pressure to disavow the typeface publicly, which he refused to do. Riots in downtown Paris over its application in a late seventeenth century Huguenot pamphlet resulted in the formation of the Seine Typographers Union (STU) after the liberal junior members of the PTL accused the conservative base of instigating the demonstrations. Enmity between the two organizations continues to this day. Books set in Mobius appeared on the Index Librorum Prohibitorum with conspiratorial frequency until its abolition in 1966. The Catcher in the Rye was first set in a variation of the Mobius typeface before being recalled by the publisher and replaced with a new edition; no copies of the original printing exist today. Mobius is noted for its intricate curves and odd weightings. The jaunty tails of its g, j, p, and y counterbalance the calculated stroke work with an understated levity and improvisation characteristic of Mathieu. Mobius is the keystone typeface in the cyberwestern and spacepunk genres. Jerome Gabriel Mathieu did not live to see his typeface in print.