Fontsmith’s FS Brabo has won gold at the European Design awards in the Original Typeface category. The awards took place in Vienna at the weekend and celebrate ‘European design with all its regional distinctive elements as well as its common grounds’.
FS Brabo was designed by Fernando Mello in 2015 and is a classical serifed typeface, his personal interpretation of a garalde. Since its launch last November FS Brabo has received a certificate of excellence from Tipos Latinos, inclusion in Typographica and Typefacts favourite typefaces of 2015, and reached the finals of the Hiii Typography international typography design competition.
The font was inspired by Fernando’s time at the Plantin-Moretus Museum in Antwerp, Belgium, where he studied an expert type design course run by Frank Blokland. The museum houses the two oldest printing presses in the world and an archive of typographic and artistic material. Fernando was fascinated by the museum and started designing FS Brabo during the course, taking a further two years to finish.
Although classical in style the reduced contrast in stroke width seen in FS Brabo compared with the 16th century fonts which inspired it, and open counters, make it suitable for modern applications. Slightly chunkier serifs with square edges appear crisp at text sizes and extravagant ligatures and cursive italics offer options for embellishment and emphasis.
Fernando had this to say about the win, ’FS Brabo was a long time in the making for a relatively simple, 4-weight family. I spent a lot of time researching the readability of the Garalde model, and then crafting it to a high level of versatility for modern usage. The design impresses people by being calm and not-distracting at text sizes, but also for the drawing of each glyph, when these are blown up to big sizes, and that was exactly what we wanted to achieve. Winning the Gold prize at the ED Awards acknowledges this effort and the long journey I went on to complete the typeface.’