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Bold Monday sails to new horizons

It’s Monday, so that means another batch of type from Bold Monday, featuring the just-released Brando Arabic, which adds yet another language to Type Network’s catalogue.

Overview of Brando Sans, Brando, and Brando Arabic
Comprised of sans serif, slab serif, and Arabic families, Brando is a powerful type system cut out for the most demanding contemporary design systems.

Brando is an extensive, multi-purpose family that was recently expanded to support Arabic. Mike Abbink originally imagined Brando as a slab serif balancing hard and soft characteristics for a functional yet approachable look. The family covers a wide typographic range: eight weights, from a razor-sharp Hairline to a strong Black, all with matching italics that cleverly combine true italic and oblique forms. Rather narrow proportions, a large x-height, and open apertures preserve the legibility of this economic typeface, even in the smallest sizes. While body copy is best set in the moderate weights, the lightest and boldest weights at both ends of the spectrum lend themselves well to display typography. The Type Directors Club of New York awarded Brando a Certificate of Typographic Excellence in 2015.

Specimen showing Brando Arabic in combination with Brando Sans
Instead of mimicking its aesthetic, Brando Arabic applies Brando’s design concept to the conventions of the Naskh script. Just like in its Latin counterpart, the contrast between thick and thin grows as the weight increases.

Brando Sans, Brando’s sans-serif sibling, was released in 2016, two years after the original Brando. The confident humanist sans’ eight weights correspond with their slab serif counterparts, making the two typefaces perfectly compatible. The Latin Extended character sets of both families support over 90 languages and are fully equipped with small caps, multiple figure styles, an extended set of ligatures, arrows, and all the typographic tools needed to tackle demanding, contemporary design systems. This makes Brando a powerful super family ready to be put to use in a wide range of applications, from corporate design and branding to editorial use, advertising, and more.

Specimen showing Brando Arabic in combination with Brando
Brando Arabic pairs equally well with Brando Sans (previous graphic) and Brando (this graphic).

Brando Arabic is the latest addition to the Brando type system. Khajag Apelian and Wael Morcos applied Abbink’s original concept of combining hard and soft characteristics to the conventions of Arabic script, specifically Naskh. The design alternates between constructed and calligraphic strokes to create a modern and sturdy typeface in the same eight weights as its Latin counterparts. The almost monoline Hairline gradually gains contrast between thick and thin as the weight increases towards the Black. Its character set not only supports Arabic Persian and Urdu, but also is outfitted with the Latin-1 character set to facilitate multilingual typesetting. Two versions are available: one paired with Brando and one with Brando Sans. There are no small caps or italics in Brando Arabic, and the Latin-1 character set supports fewer languages than Brando’s and Brando Sans’ Latin Extended.

Specimen showing Buendia
Buendia is surprisingly versatile for such a compact family, as its six weights transition between type classifications to offer a varied typographic palette with an impressive expressive range.

When at the KABK Type & Media master course César Puertas explored what a type family could be, he approached Buendia like an actual family. Puertas explains: “In Buendia, each member of the family is a different person, not just the same one who gained or lost weight.” The compact and surprisingly versatile series shares a unified skeleton while touching upon different type classifications. A Thin and Medium grotesque sans serif segue into an elegant serif in Regular and Italic, followed by a jovial Bold slab serif and a chunky Extra Bold rounded sans. With apertures curling into themselves, brush-like serifs, wavy tails, and gently bulging features, Buendia’s six styles come across as casual and friendly, with a hint of playfulness. The typeface looks great in packaging design and advertising, and adds warmth to book and editorial design.

In 2016, foundry partner Kontour’s Sibylle Hagmann picked Buendia for Typographica’s Our Favorite Typefaces of 2015.

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While its serif letterforms with a hint of typewriter flavor look decidedly modern, the delightful swash capitals reveal that Mala was originally inspired by the lettering on vintage charts and maps.

Another release to come out of the KABK Type & Media master course is Barbara Bigosińska’s Mala. Taking inspiration from cartography, she reimagined the lettering on vintage charts and maps for contemporary use. >Mala is a family of eight weights in Regular, Italic, Condensed, and Extended styles. The lighter weights are almost monoline like typewriter type; the contrast gradually increases towards the heavier weights. While the regular width can be deployed for body copy for immersive reading as well as set in large sizes, the Condensed and Extended weights are squarely geared towards display use, for situations where space is scarce or for setting generous titles and headlines. Swash capitals referencing Mala’s roots offer two levels of intricacy: Stylistic Set 1 brings up refined loops and curls while Set 2 offers exuberant ornamentation. Mala’s appeal for applications in branding, advertising, and packaging is obvious, but its moderate contrast and balanced proportions also make it an excellent text face.

In 2017, Type Network’s Marina Chaccur chose Mala as her Favorite Typeface of 2016.

Between the friendly, idiosyncratic Buendia family; Mala, inspired by vintage maps and charts; and the expansive Brando type system; this third wave of Bold Monday additions to the Type Network catalogue is sure to have something for everyone.

All Bold Monday fonts are available for print, web, applications, and ePub licensing. Webfonts may be tested free for thirty days; desktop trials are available upon request. To stay current on all things Bold Monday, subscribe to Type Network News, our occasional email newsletter featuring font releases, foundry happenings, type and design events, and more.