Quinn fonts specimen

Typeface Review


Reviewed by Sandina Miller on December 31, 2020

From fat faces to thins, and cursive italics to robust bolds, Diana Ovezea’s Quinn has an array of styles and typographic features to satisfy all sorts of editorial design needs.

Quinn has two subfamilies: Quinn Display and Quinn Text.

Scaling well from small captions and footnotes to larger callouts and standfirsts (also known as decks), Quinn Text is clearly made for long reads.

Unlike its sturdier cousin, Quinn Display is a high-contrast Didone complete with gently wedged thin serifs. It’s best enjoyed large, and has variants ranging from Quinn Display Thin’s spiky slightly modulated fine stems to the fat-face-influenced Quinn Display Black.

Browsing the character sets, it’s easy to miss the family connection between Quinn Display and Quinn Text. But pause and look closely, and you’ll spot similarities in the overall skeleton and subtle shared aspects such as the golf club terminal of the lowercase r, a, c, and f.

To explore the family, I typeset an article in several Quinn Text variants along with Quinn Display; the result was a smooth read in Quinn Text (as small as 7.5 pt) with quietly wowing — surprisingly not disruptive — callouts in Quinn Display Black Italic.

Quinn Text holds its own for articulating long or complex text, but Quinn Display adds typographic oomph as it leans more toward aesthetic impact than clarity. The differences between Quinn Text and Quinn Display allow them to stand alone, while their shared characteristics are enough to help them work well together on the same page.

Diana Ovezea has designed a versatile type family that can be used for sedate text as well as shouty yet elegant headlines. With styles and influences as divergent as contrasty Didones, chunky Clarendons, and straightforward Transitionals, Quinn is a nicely done portmanteau made for dynamic and readable editorial design.

Sandina Miller is an independent designer and consultant based in the UK. Her work focuses on communication and information design, primarily for educational, nonprofit, and public-sector clients. A type and lettering enthusiast, Sandina studied Typography & Graphic Communication at the University of Reading, and was the founding communications lead for TypeThursday London.

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