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Brioni type specimen
Typeface Review


Reviewed by Caren Litherland on April 15, 2009

Nikola Djurek is difficult to classify. He’s Croatian, but a scant typeface design tradition in his own country sent him afield to Italy and the Netherlands to develop his skills. He is now based near Zagreb and maintains an office in Amsterdam. His Brioni can’t be pigeonholed, either.

Part robust serif, part slab, at once rigorous and warm, its strong calligraphic influence just under the surface, Brioni is a sober but friendly and eminently readable face that can cross borders and make itself at home in disparate contexts.

The family comprises two cuts: the robust Brioni Text and its higher-contrast counterpart Brioni, suitable for longer runs like books and magazines. A bit like another Typotheque face, Greta, Brioni Text performs well in the challenging environment of newsprint with its attendant registration issues. But the same proportion and color, the same generous x-height and modest ascenders and descenders, the same uniformity of stroke that recommend Brioni Text to newspaper printing lend it to another challenging low-res setting: digital display — making it a good choice for both print and web.

Brioni exhibits both great precision and a certain physicality: the touch of a human hand. It is the work of someone thoroughly comfortable with divergent ways of mark-making: from stone carving to calligraphy to Python. Two important magazine redesigns (Consumer Reports, Dwell) have successfully mobilized Typotheque faces of late. What new redesign will take the plunge with this versatile up-and-comer?

Caren Litherland is a designer in New York.


  1. David A. P. says:

    I very much like this Brioni. Great stuff!

  2. A beautiful typeface. Just enough complexity to be enticing, and not too much complexity so it overwhelms. A great balance.

  3. Nice type, elegant and clear. I like very much.

  4. Lodma™ says:

    A very modern approach. Quite beautiful typeface indeed.

  5. Etienne says:

    i am sure, the next magazine i will set with this font. very fine!

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Typographica is a review of typefaces and type books, with occasional commentary on fonts and typographic design. Edited by Stephen Coles with Caren Litherland and designed by Chris Hamamoto. Founded in 2002 by Joshua Lurie-Terrell. Relaunched in 2009 by Coles and Hamamoto.

Set in Bureau Grot by Font Bureau, Nocturno Display by Nikola Djurek, Fern (unreleased) by David Jonathan Ross, and JAF Bernini Sans by Tim Ahrens.

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