Tuesday, 12 March 2013

SR1 - Motter Festival

Designed in 2000 by the late Othmar Motter (1927-2012), Motter Festival is described on FontFont.com as ' born of the desire to forge an alliance of a universally legible serif face with the rhythm and elegance of a gothic.' The typeface first struck me as being uncommonly good for something that was offered free, but it made sense after learning about the designer for this exercise. Motter was also behind the type for the 1976 rainbow Apple logo and the Reebok typeface (both Motter Tektura). He is also sometimes noted as the first Austrian designer established in the international scene.   

Othmar Mottner (1927-2010) Retrieved from FontFont

Perhaps one might first notice the uncommon legibility of Motter Festival, despite its similarity to traditional blackletter. Elements that contribute to this are the san serif terminals, which reduce bulk. The connection between horizontal and vertical elements are also lighter, easily observed in the upper case 'F' and 'P'. This again reduces bulk and creates a more streamlined form.

Next, it is uncommonly dynamic, yet geometric and legible. The largest contributing factor to this are the upward sweeping leaf shape bowls, as most simply observed in the 'o'. This shape appears in the majority of glyphs, but remains tightly controlled, thus creating a striking tension.

Finally, as the form is such a successful lovechild of legible san-serifs and blackletter, there is a rich treasury of associations that can be made with Motter Festival. This results in a font that takes easily to a wide range of situations. Some of these include
  • Illuminated texts (such as the Lindisfarne Gospels)
  • Comic Books (Batman immediately comes to my mind)
  • Academic conventions (illuminated texts then bring scholarly monks to mind)
  • Bilingual uses (looks well with East Asian Heiti fonts, the equivilant of san-serif. Also refer to first image above.)
If any other associations come to mind, please leave them in the comments, it would be quite fabulous if you do. Motter Festival can be downloaded in three lovely weights (for free!) at Fontshop and FontFont.  









1 comment:

  1. Short and sweet! Very interesting typeface and well written.