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Typeface Review

Filmotype Zanzibar

Reviewed by Jean François Porchez on April 16, 2009

Zanzibar is a nice surprise because it brings bizarre forms to a category of typefaces with too many traditions and sometimes quite boring forms.

It’s a sort of calligraphic typeface that is not directly influenced by writing. The calligraphy is found in a collection of playful details incorporated into a real true typeface. Like Madisonian by Thierry Puyfoulhoux, Zanzibar is an italic that is very structured without losing the charm of a good italic. It’s a controlled italic. The black and white rhythm of the “repetitive” counters, good proportions, and good spacing, makes a professional face.

Founder of Typofonderie and type director at ZeCraft, Jean François Porchez’s expertise covers the design of bespoke typefaces and logotypes as well as typographic consulting. He served as ATypI President from 2004–2007.


  1. Really nice font.
    It also reminds me Berthold Poppl Exquisit.

  2. Jonah says:

    This face is extremely similar to Lucian Bernhard’s “COMMUNITY” designed way back in the ’50s. It was one of the “Magnetype” collections. I have the actual brochure it was published in. Coincidentally I have been working to revive it, but came across this on this site. If any one cares to see it, I can upload a jpg of it.

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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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