Shift from MCKL

We are delighted to welcome MCKL as a new type foundry on Webtype. The Minneapolis-based studio, run by Jeremy Mickel, offers retail fonts, custom typeface design, lettering, and logo development. We’re looking forward to a number of unique, eye-catching designs from MCKL, of which the first one is Shift:

Shift specimen2

No, it’s not monospaced, although it hints at the aesthetic. Shift is inspired by American slab-serifs from the late 19th century. The lighter weights take on the personality of a typewriter face, with flared terminals and prominent pointy serifs. Yet there is a notable change from the gradual transition between Extra Light and Medium to the beefier Bold and Black. The heavier styles act more like an Egyptian for titling use, with smaller counters and only thin spaces between characters.

Shift’s unique flavor makes it a great choice for a solo appearance on your website when all you need is one strong typeface. But it also plays well with other fonts — as body copy in sizes down to 14px or as a display face in the spotlight. The popular lodging website Airbnb uses Shift in both ways to great effect: on its own on their annual report page, and in combination with Helvetica on the main site.


Try Shift with an American gothic or a restrained sans-serif, for instance Scout RE, Titling Gothic or Marat Sans. You can also customize its flavor by using Shift’s stylistic alternate characters (supported in OpenType-savvy browsers such as IE10+, FireFox 4+, or Chrome 22+.)


Alternate numerals for extra charm in stylistic set 1 (ss01), letters with bottom serif in ss02, and simple “schoolbook” forms for a, g, and y in ss03.

Here’s a sample set of CSS-rules to access the stylistic sets, for instance ss01:

-moz-font-feature-settings: "ss01=1";
-moz-font-feature-settings: "ss01" 1;
-ms-font-feature-settings: "ss01" 1;
-webkit-font-feature-settings: "ss01" 1;
font-feature-settings: "ss01" 1;


As with all fonts on Webtype, Shift can be tested free of charge for 30 days. For more details, see the Shift webfont page.

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