Ads via The Deck
Nameplate set in Beausite. Your typeface could be next. Learn more.
Darka type specimen
Typeface Review


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.


  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.

Post a Comment

Comments at Typographica are moderated and copyedited, just like a “Letter to the Editor” in a newspaper. Abusive or off-topic comments will not be published. Compliments are appreciated, but will not be published unless they add to the conversation. Thank you!


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.

Brought to you by this month’s nameplate sponsor, Fontspring, MyFonts, FontFont, Wordpress, Fused, and the letter B. Read our editorial policy.