Typeface Review

Minérale

Reviewed by Dyana Weissman on October 18, 2018

What originally caught my eye with Minérale was the way exterior outlines transform into interior outlines, particularly in the round characters.

This concept is most intriguing in the M and N, not only because of the play between spaces, but also because it flies in the face of typeface design traditions. In more conventional faces, these characters might have ink traps in their corners as the weight gets heavier, so as not to cause unpleasant ink spread when printing. Even in digital form, designers shy away from allowing too much positive space to accumulate. Minérale ignores that notion entirely, allowing the optical knot to settle in the corners, and instead removing mass from the stem for balance. This results in words that are still quite readable (at display sizes, of course).

For me, the success of a conceptual typeface lies not merely in seeing its experiment all the way through, but also in achieving legibility and aesthetic pleasure. Another marvelous byproduct of this investigation is its range of style, from the elegant Extra Light to the brutalist Black.

While not all of the letters are one hundred percent perfect, a few of them stand out as pleasing to the eye simply on their own: the x, J, c, Z, 8, and curly braces. The plusminus is a cross wearing a bowtie. The negative-space solution for the parentheses and guillemets is fantastic. It’d be fascinating to see how this works in other scripts.

Dyana Weissman is Senior Custom Designer at Type Network. She has been a presenter at ATypI, TypeCon, and PromaxBDA. When not making fonts, she is hiking somewhere in the world and sharing her adventures.

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