Malabar claims German Design Prize Gold

Designpreis der Bundesrepublik Deutschland – Gold
This year’s German Design Prize jury has selected my Malabar typeface as one of ten works from across the nation to received the coveted design prize of the Federal Republic of Germany in gold.

In June, the German Federal Ministry of Economic and Technology nominated my Malabar typeface for the 2010 German Design Prize. The design prize of the Federal Republic of Germany is the country’s highest distinction in the field of design. No other design award sets such strict criteria on entries. A company can only enter the competition of its product has already been recognized in another national or international competition. Over 1,200 items were nominated for the 2010 judging.

Earlier today, the German Design Council published the 45 winners for 2010 at I am very pleased to announce that Malabar is one of ten works awarded with a gold prize.

How are the competitions results? In the product design category, five works received gold, and 18 others silver. In the communication design category, five more works received gold, with 17 silver awards. Although other typefaces were nominated, Malabar is the only typeface design among this year’s winners. Congratulations to this year’s other prize recipients, as well as all of the 1,200+ design pieces that were nominated!

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Malabar typeface released

Malabar, a new oldstyle typeface from Dan Reynolds

Malabar™ is a new type family for extensive text available at This study oldstyle serif face currently includes six fonts for the Latin script. The family grew out of Martel, a multi-script project that I created on the MA Typeface Design course at the University of Reading in 2008. Malabar received a Certificate of Excellence in Type Design at the Type Directors Club of New York TDC² competition in 2009, a silver recognition at the ED-Awards 20009, the Design Prize of the Federal Republic of Germany in gold for 2010, and first place in the type design category of Design Austria’s Joseph Binder Award 2010 competition.

Today’s release includes the following fonts:

A Devanagari extension is underway, and will be released at a later date.

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Malabar receives TDC Award

Malabar at the TDC2 2009

My typeface family Malabar received a Certificate of Typographic Excellence in Type Design at the Type Directors Club of New York TDC² competition in January 2009. Malabar grew out of Martel, a multi-script design that I initially created in 2008 on the MA Typeface Design course at the University of Reading. To date, Malabar is just the Latin component of Martel. However, the complimentary Devanagari is currently in progress, and will be released at a later time. Malabar is not yet commercially available. Please be patient with me. The typeface is finished, I promise.

Congratulations are also in order for Mathieu Réguer, a classmate of mine from Reading currently residing in Paris. His Cassius was a winner in New York as well. Cassius was part of Cassius & Ali, a matching Latin and Arabic design. While Mathieu did not submit the Arabic Ali to the judges, this award will hopefully spur him onward toward completing it.

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What you would do today, do now

Saying by Kabir the Weaver, from Christopher Chapman, in Martel Devanagari

काल करे सो आज कर आज करे सो अब ।
पल में परलय होयगी बहुरि करोगे कब ॥
— कबीर

What you would do tomorrow, do today, what you would do today, do now.
Disaster may come in a moment, when will you do all that you intend?
— Kabir (the weaver)

Christopher Chapman posted the above saying on my Facebook profile last night, in response to a status update in which I had asked if I could put off answering a number of emails until the next morning. Good advice, I think! The Devanagari typeface that the image is set with is the one that I designed at Reading. As far as that goes, I should heed Kabir’s warning, and finish its character set immediately.
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Mountain and the Prosanova festival

After returning to Germany from Reading last September, I had to wait around Frankfurt and Berlin for a few days before I could move into my new Offenbach apartment. While spending a few nights in a friend’s study, I noticed a small brochure for an annual literary festival in Hildesheim, Prosanova. At least in 2008, the festival’s logo was set in Mountain, a small type family I produced for Volcano-Type in 2006. While the fonts do at least sell a little bit, this was the first example of Mountain in use that I’ve discovered, apart from materials that Volcano-Type and its sister companies have created with it.

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Morris Sans on FontShuffle

Morris Sans sample text in FontShuffle

I have reached a new level of geekdom now that I can lovingly stare at Morris Sans, a display typeface family I designed for Linotype two years ago, on my iPhone. All of this is thanks to FontShuffle, a free iPhone font shuffling app released by FontShop on Friday.

What is “font shuffling?” Well, FontShop has devised a simple tiered-system of font classification (more here). First you select a general classification category, e.g., sans serif, serif, slab serif, script, blackletter, or display. Each of these categories has its own sub-categories. For instance, inside the sans serif category, you can select from grotesque, humanist, geometric, gothic, decorative, or hybrid sans serif styles. Once you are inside one of FontShuffle’s 36 sub-categories, the application will show you six randomly-selected fonts fitting that genre. If you don’t like these, just shake your iPhone or hit the “Shuffle” key; FontShuffle will show you six more.

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Typeface submitted

343px teaser for Martel

Monday July 7th was the submission deadline here in Reading, and I uploaded my files about an hour or so before the noon requirement. The typeface, pictured rather briefly above, will still need ages of finishing before I could call it properly complete, but I guess that I am proud anyway.

Here are the details: a text face optimized for small-sized running text, supporting both the Latin and Devanagari scripts. This means that the languages supported run a long gamut from Western Europe (English, French, German, etc.) to points further East (Romanian, Slovakian, Turkish) to India (Hindi, Marathi, Nepali, etc.). Variants include Regular (with small caps), Italic, Bold, and Heavy. The fonts have a healthy accoutrement of figure options and a few ligatures added in for good measure. During the typeface’s development as part of the MATD course, I also experimented with a Condensed Roman and Heavy. Hopefully, these will soon see the light of day, too.

For the course, I’ve given the design the name Martel (मार्टेल), after that cheery French fellow Charles Martel. Of course, the world already has at least one display uncial font with the same moniker, so upon eventual release I’ll try something more clever and trademark-able.

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First Morris Sans application found

front cover

Linotype released my Morris Sans typeface about a year ago, but until a the day before yesterday, I hadn’t seen the fonts in use anywhere. Since I spend most of my time walking through the streets looking at letters anyway, I always held out a little beacon of hope that I might one day run into Morris Sans in the wild.

On my way to Dunkin’ Donuts two days ago, I stepped into a rather enormous tourist book shop on Berlin’s Unter den Linden. After spending a few minutes looking at a model reconstructing the historic city center that was sitting in the back of the shop, I made my way for the exit. That is when this book cover caught my eye.

The title is FBI, CIA & Co., and it was written by Klaus Steiniger and published by Das neue Berlin, 2008. Since it was the first time I’d ever seen Morris Sans in use, I bought a copy of the book straight away. I think that it was about 15 euros, or about one-third of what one weight of the family costs to license. I’m also afraid to say that I didn’t read any of the book before I paid for it, and I can’t agree with all of the author’s politics, or even that this book is my typical historical reading fare. But I’m still a bit giddy about the design nonetheless.

My thanks certainly go out to, who are credited in the book for having designed the cover. I guess they are the ones who put in Morris Sans Medium and Morris Sans Com Heavy. More images of their design follow below…

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