Typeface Review

Darka

Reviewed by Mark Jamra on July 11, 2007

TDC2 winner Darka is a fine achievement — not only for its crisp tension and accomplished nuances, but also for its sheer inventiveness. Blackletter fonts have been revived periodically in past years, but Martinez Meave seems too enamored of the spirit of blackletter to create a mere copy of an historical design.

Instead, he has thrown the revivalists’ rules out the window and, operating from what is obviously a firm understanding of blackletter forms, has created a hybrid which combines elements of gothic cursives, frakturs (uppercase and ascenders) and French lettre bâtardes (lowercase) with a hint of the Spanish-influenced Rotundas thrown in for good measure. Purists may wrinkle their noses at it, but I find it an attractive and accomplished example of what someone can create from an understanding — and not mere appropriation — of historical forms. — Mark Jamra

Mark Jamra is a type designer, graphic designer and Associate Professor at Maine College of Art in Portland, Maine. He has designed and produced typefaces for over 30 years and his Expo Serif was selected for Typographica’s 2009 review. Jamra also runs TypeCulture, a foundry and educational resource for designers and students.

One Comment

  1. […] first heard about him when I saw Darka. I’ve been dreaming of designing a book about heraldry using that font. I was in touch with […]

  2. […] darka by gabriel martinez meave […]

  3. Paul says:

    I’d like to get in touch with the author of the font. paulgammer@hotmail.com

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