New Additions: July 2017
14th August 2017
We add hundreds of fonts to the Identifont database every month. Most of these are recent releases, and some are simply new acquisitions from foundries who were not yet represented on our site. Stephen Coles gives his take on the most interesting recent additions.
The ubiquity and sloppiness of Comic Sans has led to the design of many replacements over the last two decades. There is always a need for a better typeface for emulating everyday “print” handwriting, or simply conveying an unpretentious informality. Jens Kutílek’s FF Uberhand (originally code-named Comic Jens) is the latest to answer this call, but it is far more complete than most: eleven display weights, two text weights optimized for small and long settings, three OpenType variants of each letter, and up to four variants for the most common lowercase characters. There is even a set of matching symbols, a hand-drawn departure from the precise linework of most screen iconography.
Those seeking a handwriting family with a similar professional versatility but a notch more formality or uprightness, FF Duper is another recommendable FontFont.
I am the last guy to suggest that we have too many typefaces, but whenever I see a new all-purpose, classical text serif I wonder how it will make a place for itself among all the other all-purpose, classical text serifs. DTL Valiance is one of these, but it has at least three things going for it: after ten years of polishing, it is now published by the Dutch Type Library, an outfit with famously high production standards; it was designed with special attention to multilingual typography, with support for Central/Eastern European, Turkish, Greek, and Cyrillic (the subject of an instructional book) character sets; and it has small caps figures and punctuation. This last feature may seem unimportant, but it’s valuable in the kind of typesetting for which DTL Valiance is intended, and still frustratingly uncommon among digital faces. The typeface is the debut release of Hanna Hakala, a Finnish graphic designer and KABK Type and Media graduate where she first started work on Valiance in 2007.
Baldufa is not a new release, but its foundry Letterjuice is new to Identifont. Energetic and expressive, it sits on the other end of the text serif spectrum from DTL Valiance. Some of the shapes (K, R, S, k, s) remind me of another book face with brushy ends: Underware’s influential Dolly.
Also from Letterjuice is Aanaar, a family designed for children’s books and informed by letterforms for early readers. Like Sassoon (one of the first typefaces created with similar goals), Aanaar has roman caps combined with a simple cursive lowercase. See also Instant and ITC Flora which have a similar pairing.
Benoît Bodhuin has latched onto a glitchy, mechanical, “undesign” aesthetic for the fonts of his BB-Bureau label. Many of them could be accused of being little more than banalities, decorated with a trick or two (Elastik, for example, is simply an amateurish Neo-Grotesk with odd proportions, swollen dots, and a hipster ‘Q’), but Brutal has a more original and considered thesis. It is a minimalist combination of straights and inverted-stress curves. The strangest glyphs (S, s, r, 3) appear illegible or just broken on their own, but are totally passable in context of words and phrases. In fact, unlike other gimmicky fonts in this vein, Brutal works even better as a whole than its individual parts.
Much of the cartographic lettering of the 17th and 18th centuries has a particular look: typographic, but clearly hand-rendered, and often with long serifs. One of my favorite typefaces to capture this feeling is MVB Sirenne. Geographica Hand from Three Islands Press is not nearly as extensive, with only a single weight, but it does offer small caps and a fairly complete Latin character set. Plus, the related Geographica adds a more reserved companion with two weights and italics.