New release: Tanja


The latest collaboration between Paul Barnes and Christian Schwartz, Tanja is a dot version of our hairline typeface Marian 1554, which is in turn derived from the typefaces of Robert Granjon and Claude Garamond. Typefaces made from circles are an intriguing proposition for graphic designers. Many are created for technical reasons, such as for dot matrix printers, or for large screens at sports events. Usually these are simple sans serif forms, but Tanja is something unique; a Renaissance dot typeface, with no underlying grid and varying size of circles.

Based on the monolinear Marian 1554, Tanja began life as the proposed logo for a German publisher. Though the idea is simple, a seriffed dot typeface, in its details it reveals a complexity as the dots vary gradually in size. Like Marian, it closely follows the historical models of Garamond and Granjon, but has a contemporary aesthethic, a remix of a remix of a classic.

Designed as a display typeface for sizes above 30 point, it comes with a full complement of numeral styles, small capitals, swash letters and ligatures. The production of this typeface was made possible by a special tool developed by Frederik Berlaen, though it still took a great deal of manual labor to tweak and adjust the dots for smooth transitions and optically even inter-dot spacing. Though we think it’s silly to judge a typeface by its number of characters or kerning pairs, we were curious to know the total number of dots in Tanja Roman and Italic. It turns out the family contains precisely 63,364 dots.


Post No Bills: Tanja in use

Our neighborhood in New York is full of construction sites, so we made some stencils to see how Tanja would work in a more utilitarian setting.

New release: Marian Text by Paul Barnes

Paul Barnes's Marian was designed for large sizes only, but the concept for the family was always about reduction to the underlying skeleton, rather than size, so Marian Text applies these principles to make a family that works for small sizes. Suddenly Marian is no longer just a beautiful series of display faces, but a useful text family.

New release: Marian by Paul Barnes

Commercial Type is pleased to announce the release of Marian, a new typeface family in 19 styles designed by Paul Barnes. Marian is a series of faithful revivals of some of the greats from the typographic canon: Austin, Baskerville, Bodoni, Fournier, Fleischman, Garamont, Granjon, Kis and van den Keere. The twist is that they have all been rendered as a hairline of near uniform weight, revealin...