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Font Friday: Magnel

Font Friday is a series of posts showcasing new or interesting fonts that have caught my eye this week. This week it’s the bold Didone elegance of Magnel

The Didone has quietly experienced something of a revival in recent years… A splicing of the surnames of French typefounder Didot and the Italian print pioneer Bodoni, Didones are typified by very heavy vertical strokes and ultra-fine horizontal lines, and barely-there hairline serifs.

Didot and Bodoni developed their typefaces independently in the mid-19th century, but the boom in travel brought about by the steam age meant both were soon in common usage across the whole of Europe, fast becoming a staple part of the neoclassical aesthetic. Before every foundry had their own take on the Didone form, and the family soon became so commonplace as to be taken for granted.

It wasn’t until a century later that the Chauncey H. Griffith decided to update Bodoni for large-format use, emphasising the verticals to an excessive degree in his Poster Bodoni, of which the current plentiful crop of ultra-heavy, design-friendly Didones are direct descendants.

To Magnel then, which first emerged in 2011 from the hand of Lithuanian designer Eimantas Paškonis. The font is a contemporary, almost relaxed take on the Didone shape with more space in the counters (the empty holes in letter like “o” or “d”) and shorter descending elements (e.g the tail of a lower-case “g”). It also boasts some lovely ligatures, cheeky OpenType swash variants for any characters at the end of a line, and nicely implemented ball terminals (check out the lower case “f” in particular!). Magnel looks great at large sizes, and lends itself perfectly to typographic posters, headlines or most other display usage.

Inspiration and musical soundtrack this week is Bret and Germaine’s Masterclass in back-handed compliments.

Magnel may be purchased from the MyFonts store, which also features lots more examples of the font in use.

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Fonts: Magnel (Eimantas Paškonis)

Design Work

Font Friday: Reina

Font Friday is a series of posts showcasing new or interesting fonts that have caught my eye this week. This week it’s “Reina”, a swirling, decorative Didone packed with alternate letter shapes for some stunning designs.

Few things appeal to me in a typeface more than a good swash, so Reina is long overdue a place in the Font Friday folder. Reina picked up awards aplenty from the type industry when it was released in 2011, and it’s easy to see why.

When used straight out of the box, Reina is a functional but appealing Didone-style font (Didones having strong contrast between thick and thin lines with heavy vertical strokes). But start playing with some of the OpenType alternate styles in Photoshop, Illustrator or InDesign and things really come to life, with a vast toolkit of whimsical loops and extensions just perfect for posters, invitations and display text.

I put together a couple of samples showing Reina in use, with a dash of 80s anthemic pop for good measure…

Designed by Maximiliano Sproviero of Lián Type, Reina is a sophisticated typeface and consequently has a slightly higher price tag than some fonts out there, although at under £25 it’s by no means the most expensive on the market! Plus in use the font feels more like a genuine design tool rather just than something to type with.

More samples of Reina in use are available on the Lián Types MyFonts store

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Fonts: Reina