M

ay is Deco month here on Rising Stars. Art Deco, that is: fonts inspired by early-to-mid-20th century hand-rendered display typography. There’s more of it on MyFonts than ever before, and with every release the interpretations get smarter and more technically savvy. Fortunately not everything that’s new is also retro: our text face of the month is brisk and contemporary. Brace up for May, a month of smiling faces.

 

This month’s Rising Stars

Pauline font sample

Pauline is Jeremy Dooley’s take on the geometric monolinear art deco genre. Pauline is simple and straightforward, but its curly endings and kiddy swashes make it more frivolous than other fonts in its genre. Think Estilo Script on a holiday. Pauline has tall ascenders, which emphasize its retro feel — it also means that the x-height is relatively small and therefore a larger point size may be needed to achieve optimum legibility. It’s a semi-script for interesting titling and short bits of body copy.

 

 
 
 
Metroscript font sample
 

The OpenType format, when used with layout programs that support its full functionality, allows you to set fonts in ways that haven’t been possible in any typesetting system ever. New York lettering artist Michael Doret realized that OpenType technology allowed him to make his trademark hand-lettering style come alive on the computer screen. Metroscript is a suite of fonts all in the same style and weight; with its wealth of ligatures, swashes, alternates, foreign accented characters and tails — all of which connect seamlessly — it’s almost indistinguishable from hand-rendered brush script. Its forms are an amalgam of many different scripts that were popular between the 1920s and the 1950s. Metroscript evokes American sports ephemera but is very appropriate for food and music packaging, book and magazine design, and entertainment branding as well.

 

 
Sympathique font sample
 

If Pauline explores the deco-geo idiom with some caution, Rebecca Alaccari’s Sympathique takes it over the top and beyond. Sympathique is in many ways the ultimate Deco font: extremely thin, impossibly tall, impeccably stylized, cheekily simplified: either it makes you laugh out loud, or you find it rather puzzling. In all its breezy extremity, is it useful? Well, if used wisely — and BIG, too — it can provide you with a most elegantly expressive voice for a poster or magazine page.

Sympathique comes in all popular font formats and a very extended character set. Plenty of alternates are included. Sympathique Pro, the OpenType version, combines all three fonts into a single one, tied together with programmed features for intelligent substitutions in programs that support advanced typography.

 

 
Alcira font sample
 

Andinistas is a Colombian-Venezuelan venture: the foundry’s name refers to the Andes mountains. With Alcira, founder Carlos Fabián Camargo Guerrero brings us another wild, funky script font. Based on an earlier font called Rosadelia, it explores calligraphic shapes in advanced stages of irregularity and chaos. If legibility isn’t an issue at all, try Alcira 3: it’s as narrow as Alcira 2 but it’s a tad more self-destructive and comes with automatic stains and blotches.

Try reading that!

 

 
 

Text family of the month

Marat font sample
 

There aren’t many precedents to what Marat has been pulling off. On the strength of its striking appearance alone, this highly original serifed typeface has been steadily climbing up the Starlets list and continues to rise… a remarkable feat for a new text face.

Designer Ludwig Uebele originally thought of Marat as a magazine face: its strong serifs and open character shapes are designed for good legibility in small sizes, its compact letterforms are optimized for narrow columns and tight headlines. But in the course of the working process, Marat evolved into a versatile family for a wide range of uses, from editorial work to packaging and corporate design. One of its great assets are its bold weights, full of character, which work beautifully as headline faces.

If you have serious plans with Marat, do consider choosing Marat Pro. It’s a very comprehensive family that includes oldstyle and lining figures (both proportional and tabular) and many OpenType features, such as ligatures, case sensitive forms, fractions, superiors and inferiors. Marat Std is the basic version, with only a reduced character set and limited OpenType features.

Marat was selected by the Type Directors Club of New York to receive a Certificate of Excellence in Type Design 2008.

 

 

Follow-Up

Rouge font sample
 

Although it’s not immediately obvious what Rouge can be used for, it’s continued to perform very well since its appearance in last month’s Rising Stars. Rouge is a font that defies categorization. Its characters are eclectic and paradoxical, its shapes evoke mystery and ritual. Rouge is like… crop circles turned typeface. Why didn’t we think of that last time?

If you like this font by Flat-It, check out some of their other faces:

Nothing font flag
Nothing

Nothing is a phenomenon. It was the #1 font in our 2007 Top 10, and it’s been going strong on our bestseller list ever since. Nothing is spontaneous yet balanced, confident yet unassuming, elegantly connected yet technically simple. A great informal script with a crazy name.

Daisy Lau font flag
Daisy Lau

Daisy Lau is another well-crafted script font from designer Ryoichi Tsunekawa. It has the lush shapes of a formal script, but its elegance is balanced with a certain roughness and casualness that can make your design look deceptively natural and spontaneous.

Chic Hand font flag
Chic Hand

Clearly a relative of Pauline (see above). What makes Chic Hand special is the fact that it has lots of sophisticated ligatures and comes in three really skinny weights, plus cursives. A great find if you have a lot of white space to barely fill.

 
 

Have your say

"Have your say" quote
 

—Lorelei from Texas, USA
6 April, 2008
 

Your opinion matters to us! Feel free to share your thoughts or read other people’s comments at the MyFonts Testimonials page.

Font credits

The Rising Stars masthead and subheading are set in Auto 3 and Bryant, respectively. The drop-cap M in the introduction is set in Orion Radio, and the “Have your say” quotation in Marat. The small pixel typeface used at the very top is Unibody 8.

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