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Typeface Review


Reviewed by Duncan Forbes on April 7, 2009

Get over your Garamonds, your Caslons, and especially your Bembos. We don’t need your classic proportions here.

We are after something wider, sharper, maybe with a sense of Old English spirit. We aren’t worried about what is in fashion — we never have been — we want our read to be interesting, not vogue boring.

We want our book covers and art catalogues to have a marked unevenness, a tension with subtleties that start to pierce your eyes with the sharpness of a Baroque knife but end with terminals like the middle-aged spread of a Dutch comedian.

We need these subtleties, they are the spirit of the time mixed with the spirit of our time. Warm? Sure, but not an attack of the friendlies. Even in the bold, where it has more prominence, it keeps a low contrast grounding. And what of the figures you say? Oh, the figures. They are less restrained than the letters, a youthful experiment. Indeed, a beautiful collection of letters.

This is what we want, but can not have. No. Not yet.

Duncan Forbes is one half of the design duo The International Office in Wellington, New Zealand.


  1. Can’t wait for this one to go public. Their website says 2011.

  2. Hazel says:

    wow! I believe I may have found a great type designer. This is absolutely beautiful. Can’t wait for 2011 then.

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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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