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Restraint font sample
Typeface Review


Reviewed by Corey Holms on March 5, 2008

Marian Bantjes’ background as an illustrator gives her a different perspective on the creation of a typeface. Where the majority of ornamental type begins with a typeface onto which swashes and decoration are added, the typeface Restraint, designed in collaboration with typographer Ross Mills, was built inside-out. The characters themselves have been defined by the negative space of the ornament, as if the letterforms are just a lucky happenstance. Ornate borders and swirly pattern based designs magically reveal themselves as words.

This non-conventional typeface requires thought – you truly have to think differently when designing with it. Although no kerning is required, you need to be aware of the glyphs both above and below each character. Similar to ASCII art, Restraint requires a plan to be successful. You truly need to pull up a chair and spend some time with it.

Corey Holms studied graphic design at the California Institute of the Arts, and has been practicing it for over 15 years. He has worked with a wide range of clients from multinational corporations to local boutiques. Although primarily working in entertainment design, he also specializes in type and identity design. He has been responsible for several award winning campaigns, if that sort of thing matters.


  1. Alex Weber says:

    Modular fonts like this make me really happy.

  2. matt says:

    crazy ideas, just crazy! totally not a font i’d try to work with though. it seems a bit limited….and the letters’ widths freak me out a bit.

  3. Joe says:

    wow! The only downside is, if you’re not the first to use it, you’re the last.

  4. Arthur says:

    I used this font on a book cover! It worked great and I love it but don’t think I will ever be able to use it again.

    The Story of God

  5. ss says:

    I guess that’s why it’s called restraint…

  6. Lilly says:

    so pretty font !

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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.

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