TypograFriday: Mostra Nuova

mostranuevo

Type designer Mark Simonson’s 2001 Art Deco type Mostra has been in our sights for some time now, ever since we got a few weights with our Indie Fonts 2 book (probably the only type we’ve used from the book.) The classic elegance of a Futura, Nobel or Kabel but with far more deco/period display quirkiness: it looks fantastic and interesting from light to black. Now he’s expanded the family into Mostra Nuova, not only OpenTyping his bevy of alternates into single typefaces but adding a fashionable hairline thin weight and a lowercase (imagineered without too much help from his original Italian poster sources, which rarely had lowercase.)

Simonson was smart to revisit this type. Since his original release of Mostra, deco-bordering modern sans like Neutraface, Gotham and Chalet/Comprime have become amazingly successful. And on the other side of things, deco display faces are being created and revived all the time. Mostra was in danger of becoming the godfather of a typographic revival trend but not a relevant player in it: Mostra Nuova corrects that.

It’s still got those arch-modernist elegant-but-odd proportions throughout, so don’t expect it to overtake Neutraface or Gotham in omnipresence. But I’m super-glad that its been added to the modern sans options: I recently made a poster that used Neutraface 2 for its “posterness” but found it came off a little more cold or generic than I wished. Next time I’ll be spec’ing Mostra Nuova.

Myfonts’ Interview with Simonson here. My wishlist for a Mostra Ultra Nuova, preemptively: ahistorical ligatures a la Avant Garde, a more regularized text variant a la Neutraface 2, a layerable 2-color cut a la Bifur, a sketch/irregular form a la the German and Austrian posters of the same period – Lucian Bernhard et al.

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