Design Work

Font Friday: Bookmania

Font Friday is a series of posts showcasing new or interesting fonts that have caught my eye this week. This week it’s the retro curves of Bookmania by Mark Simonson

Ask any web typographer whose work they admire, and the chances are Mark Simonson’s name will crop up. Mark has spent the past thirty years developing typefaces, digitising film fonts, and creating an arsenal of type unique in that it looks just as good on screen and in motion as it does in print.

Simonson’s work has quietly become mainstream on the web over the years, and the chances are you’ll see good handful of his fonts in use today without even realising. Bookmania was released in 2011, and is a perfect example of his understated-yet-iconic approach to lettering.

At heart a revival of the standard book printers’ workhorse Bookman Oldstyle, Bookmania also references the distinctive directions illustrators took Bookman in the 1960s and early 1970s. The result is a strong-minded font with a retro edge packed with a mindboggling near-700 swashes and character variants, which makes OpenType software like Illustrator or InDesign a must if you’re to get the most out of it.

The complete Bookmania family has 10 weights available, although I’ve just kept to SemiBold Italic for the demo below. The soundtrack this week is from everyone’s favourite robot-headed funsters, and you’ve got a choice of the original video or the internet sensation it spawned…

More samples of Bookmania in use are available on Mark Simonson’s store


Fonts: Bookmania (Mark Simonson)

Design Work

Font Friday: Bonbon

Font Friday is a series of posts showcasing new or interesting fonts that have caught my eye this week. This week it’s Bonbon, the latest swash-heavy script from the Fenotype foundry

Emil Bertell’s Fenotype font foundry is something of a star player when it comes to script fonts. The loops and swirls of the distinctive Mishka are to be found scattered around this and many other websites, and his vintage-inspired, brush-style scripts are rarely out of the best-seller lists.

Bonbon is the latest in what could almost be seen as a series of refinements on a theme, rather than distinct type families. It takes some of the wilder flourishes of many of Bertell’s fonts (hello again Mishka and Mercury) and tames them into a practical, legible display script with lots of scope for use. This isn’t of course to say that Bonbon is in any way diminished from its more overtly decorative siblings. With over 800 characters and variations available through OpenType-aware software like Photoshop and Illustrator, three weights of text, a decent ‘small caps’ selection and a set of useful ornaments, the Bonbon family is a useful addition to anyone’s font folder.

I’ve put together an example of the font in use below, and anyone from the UK who spent their formative years shouting in exasperation at the TV will know exactly what the inspiration this week was

More samples of Bonbon in use are available on the Fenotype MyFonts store, and there’s an introductory 30% discount if you’re quick!


Fonts: Bonbon (Fenotype)

Design Work

Font Friday: Savu

Font Friday is a series of posts showcasing new or interesting fonts that have caught my eye this week. This week it’s Savu, from the hand of Finnish design studio Hiekka Graphics

Sometimes you can have enough of swirls and swoops and twiddly, fancy bits in a typeface… OK, I’m fooling no-one – I can’t get enough of them. But nevertheless, sometimes you just need something simple. Step forward Savu, the latest from Ossi Gustafsson’s Hiekka Graphics. Savu is an exceptionally well-balanced hand-lettered font, with the consistency and order of a conventional sans serif but retaining just enough personality to give a warmth to the lettering. The font is available in four styles (regular, bold, condensed and condensed bold) and its simplicity means it can be combined with ribbons, badges or overlaid on photos without looking over fussy. Expect to see this one a lot in the future on food packaging, menus, adverts and websites!

I’ve put together a quick example of the font in use below, with today’s soundtrack Desperately Seeking some classic 80’s pop

More samples of Savu in use are available on the Hiekka Graphics MyFonts store, and best of all you can pick up the condensed version of the font absolutely free!


Fonts: Savu (Hiekka Graphics)

Design Work

Font Friday: Sheldon

Font Friday is a series of posts showcasing new or interesting fonts that have caught my eye this week. This week it’s Sheldon, the latest from the prolific PintassilgoPrints

A new release from the Brazilian type foundry PintassilgoPrints is always cause for celebration. Over the past few years they’ve managed to amass a consistent collection of hand-drawn typefaces with a distinctively latin twist and an effortless grasp of late-50s/early-60s print and motion typography.

Sheldon is the latest addition to the collection, and like their previous releases is a deceptively clever font, with automatic substitutions of alternative characters in OpenType software to ensure a suitably hand-finished look. Available in three weights and a heavily stylised picture font, Sheldon is extremely readable and would be great for poster and print design. Equally the font would look good at larger sizes online, although being uppercase-only would be less suited to large blocks of text.

The designers suggest Sheldon is strongly influenced by Polish poster design, but to my mind it also gives more than a slight nod to the iconic Saul Bass. Either way, the end result is all Pintassilgo.

A couple of examples of the font in use are below, and I thought we ought to go a little bit old-school today with the audio inspiration

More samples of Sheldon in use are available on the PintassilgoPrints MyFonts store, with the font currently at a special introductory price.


Fonts: Sheldon (PintassilgoPrints )