Typeface Review

PTL Skopex

Reviewed by Jan Middendorp on July 11, 2007

If Rumba suggests the hand-made and the organic, Skopex is almost on the other end of the spectrum. I say “almost” because Skopex doesn’t have the blunt geometry of some contemporary text families that try to be cool; but it is essentially artificial, or as Peter Bilak would say, synthetic.

Nevertheless, the serif/sans family was made with a typographer’s eye for smooth and carefree reading. With the Gothic expecially, Andrea Tinnes achieved an overall text image that is quite original: it doen’t emanate the late-modernist chill of a latter-day Helvetica or Akzidenz, nor does it try to be “warm” by conforming to the humanist model. If anything, it’s close to some American gothics, but becomes more German as it gets bolder. An interesting hybrid. Skopex Serif has some characteristics of the semi-constructed Candida by Erbar; but it’s more elegant and, as far as I can judge from showings so far, provides an interesting read. In larger sizes, its asymmetric serifs provide extra punch. As a sans/serif tandem, Skopex adds an interesting flavour to an area dominated by more “humanist” solutions. — Jan Middendorp

Jan Middendorp is a type writer and page maker. He is author of several books about graphic design and typography including Shaping Text, Hand to Type, Lettered, Creative Characters and (with Erik Spiekermann) Made with FontFont. In 2018 he self-published a reprint of his successful and sought-after 2004 book Dutch Type, which is now available again at the original price.

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