Typeface Review

Young Finesse

Reviewed by Peter Bruhn on July 11, 2007

Let me be clear about one thing — I think Doyald Young is one of the best lettering/type/logo artists of our time and I have a schoolboy’s crush on his work, so I would adore this typeface no matter what. I’m not the right person to write anything fairly objective or unbiased, so I won’t: I am in love with Young Finesse! The subtle slim calligraphic strokes is pure beauty.

Young Finesse has its roots in the cover lettering on Young’s book “Fonts & Logos” and it took over 15 years to complete. Initially there was a bolder version in the works, but it looks like it didn’t make it to the final release. Based on classic Roman proportions — like a modern, slim and gentle serifless version of Van Krimpen’s Lutetia and clear references to Hermann Zapf’s Optima — it transcends all references and takes it step further.

Inspired by the work of Arrighi, Palatino, and Tagliente, the italic is for me the most interesting of the two fonts in the family. The swash elements are not exaggerated but manage to flourish without being rigid. This is characteristic for Young’s work — there is so much thought behind every beizer point and curve. It’s not just type — it’s intelligent type. — Peter Bruhn

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