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Typeface Review

Diversa

Reviewed by Marian Bantjes on March 11, 2014

Diversa is a single font that contains nine different styles, all complementary but with their own personalities. It was designed to work together as a set, or as a unified team, in which single words can be set using some or all of the styles. Think of it as a con­struc­tion crew with a motley cast of characters.

First, meet Diversa Stylistic Set (SS) 04, a beefcake sans serif: a heavy lifter, not too bright, but not a bully — let’s call him Butch. He has a brother, SS08; we’ll name him “Dutchie”. Dutchie looks like Butch, except he’s a stencil font. He’s not all there.

Diversa SS05, a heavy slab serif, generally known as a bruiser, tough as nails — he answers to “Jacko”. Jacko’s cousin Istvan (SS07) is from Croatia. He looks like Jacko only more interesting. A slab stencil. He reads books. But he can still punch your face in.

Diversa Default is Bob. Construction is only a part-time job for Bob; he’s studying to be an actor. He’s got chiseled good looks and an angular build. Thinks he’s tough, but he’s got some hairline stems that break easy. Good with a hammer. Diversa SS02 is Bob’s lesbian sister Janice. A stencil version of Bob — but what looks pretty on a boy can look mighty rough on a girl. Still, she has the boys’ respect and can pound back the beers with Dutchie, glass for glass.

Then there’s Diversa SS06, AKA a soft serif, AKA Pierre. He’s strong, but smell isn’t everything, you know what I mean? Knows his power tools, but keeps to himself.

On every crew there’s a joker and Diversa SS03 is it. He goes by Dwayne, but the others call him Jackass. Ostensibly an inline, he’s all elbows and knees. Don’t let him near the power tools or on a ladder — how do you think he got to looking this way in the first place? He’s a bit cracked, but he’s a barrel of laughs.

Finally, Diversa SS01. Hot, sultry, buxom Nigella. She’s all curves and a sassy queen. You might think she looks out of place, but she’s really the one that keeps this crew together. Without Nigella they’re just an array of brawn, but she brings out the good in all the other characters and they love her for it.

Use a couple of them to build a fence; use them all together to construct your palace. Diversa’s fit to handle any rough-and-tumble job.

Marian Bantjes is a designer, typographer, writer and illustrator working internationally from her base on a small island off the west coast of Canada, near Vancouver.

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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 and designed by Chris Hamamoto. Founded in 2002 by Joshua Lurie-Terrell. Relaunched in 2009 by Coles and Hamamoto.

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