Typeface Review


Reviewed by David Sudweeks on October 18, 2018

The thing that characterizes a good Victorian logo script (or “sports script,” as I first came to know it) is its restraint, which, in Buinton’s default characters, at least, Mika Melvas really gets right.

“Compared to what?” you may ask. It’s true, there aren’t many typefaces in the genre. (Zavier Cabarga’s Casey and Mark van Bronkhorst’s MVB Mascot are a couple of outstanding examples.) Growing up in America, though, I saw this stuff everywhere — as lettering. Mostly on baseball jerseys. See the classic Brooklyn Dodgers uniform for reference: the letters are neatly drawn with curves as static as you can get holding a pointed pen at an angle. After the capital letter at the beginning, fun is withheld until you get to that great, fat, backstroke swash under­scoring the team name.

Within these limits, Melvas manages to fit more of a pointed brush dynamism into the strokes and, seeing the value in adding a little something extra to the tried and true, I love the way he pushes this well-established model with the introduction of swash alternate forms. A massive effort on his part, but in the end you’ve got a font that’s also a logo machine. To keep things understated, I would use these alts sparingly. But you’re not me, so use them however you like. You’ve got options: descending large caps, swash alternates (including initial and final forms), some ligatures, a stylistic set that makes the whole thing a connecting script, and those big, thick, under-stroke swashes.

If your work can benefit from a bit of age — or noise, even — Buinton Rough deftly imitates the flexographic print process with three levels of increasing plate wear.

Its applications may be niche, but Buinton is extremely good at what it does, and is a welcome addition to the genre.

David Sudweeks is a letterer and type designer working on his own thing, Nondescript, and collaborating with other designers on their projects. Previously Type Director at FontShop San Francisco.

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