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Typeface Review

Mary Read

Reviewed by Joshua Lurie-Terrell on April 11, 2009

Melle Diete’s Mary Read is described by the designer as a “modern handwritten typeface,” but its mannered angularity is as consistent as some of the best typographic translations of modern calligraphy.

Dozens of swash characters, ligatures (some specifically created for beginnings- or ends-of-lines) and ornaments reinforce its handmade — but much more than “handwritten” — quality. Subtle curves, sharp contrast and fanciful curlicues give it an outgoing personality which rivals some of the best formal scripts of recent years, and make this an immensely useful script, even while its (formalized) graffiti-esque roots make it apropos for less serious work.

Joshua Lurie-Terrell is the founder of Typographica and has since moved on to successful blogging ventures like Hewn & Hammered and Urban Cartography. His days are spent as graphic designer for the California State Senate.


  1. Janine says:

    We use this typeface quite prominently in the design of UPPERCASE magazine. The ligatures and alternates are fantastic.

  2. […] much I admired it when used in Uppercase magazine. Reviewed as one of the best typefaces of 2008 by Typographica, Mary Read has a “mannered angularity [that] is as consistent as some of the best typographic […]

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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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