Gloss Drop

Typeface Review

Gloss Drop

Reviewed by Patric King on May 9, 2016

In the midst of a MyFonts oversaturated with twee weathered monoline scripts punctuated with silly swirly-doo underlines and swashes (on sale for 80% off, please pin us in your Pinterest wedding album along­side your glittered Mason Jars) is a true beauty: Roland Hörmann’s Gloss Drop.

Working from Vienna, Roland has quietly built for himself a lovely little portfolio of script faces that are completely unexpected in rhythm and movement, and Gloss Drop is my favorite of those. It’s a loose, hand-painted thing with nervous, stuttery letters drawn with a thick wet brushstroke, with so many alternates for each that you’d never know this was a digital typeface.

If you look at Gloss Drop’s letters separately, you might be inclined to say, “This is one ugly, lumpy mess of a typeface.” That would be a fair assertion — but only if you look at a single letter.

The beauty and rhythm of the face come together with context, much like a jazz composition does in sound. It’s a hard task to make dissonance work with har­mony, especially in a visual context, and Roland does so expertly with this fiery experi­ment in thicks and thins. The font’s OpenType features are plentiful, and remind me a lot of the ideas we see in Burmese and Arabic letterforms: clusters, leading forms, medial forms, and final forms, depending entirely upon cont­ext. It’s a delight to see such complexity in our own (usually) simplistic and boring Latin-based typography.

Patric King makes type and designs for brands from Chicago. He complains a lot on Twitter, and posts regular studio cat updates on Instagram.

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