Malabar

Malabar claims German Design Prize Gold

We have posted some photos from the award ceremony. Have a look!



On Friday, February 12, 2010, Linotype’s Malabar™ typeface received the design prize of the Federal Republic Germany. Presented by the German Design Council and the Ministry of Economics and Technology, Linotype is very pleased to receive one of just five Gold recognitions in the 2010 competition’s Communication Design category. Dan Reynolds, the typeface’s designer, as well as Linotype GmbH Managing Director Frank Wildenberg, received the award in person at a ceremony held at the Ambiente trade fair, on the grounds of the Frankfurt Messe.

“Linotype has successfully created a font that is as timely as it is timeless,” praised Robert Klanten, member of this year’s jury, who also mentioned “the outstanding typographical quality of [Malabar’s] letters and individual font styles.”

The German Design Prize is the country’s highest distinction in the field. No other design award sets such strict criteria on entries: a company can only enter the competition of its product has already been recognized in another national or international competition. Before receiving its German Design prize nomination, Malabar earned a Certificate of Excellence in Type Design at the Type Directors Club’s TDC2 2009 contest. Malabar also took home a silver prize from ED-Awards 2009, the annual European Design competition.

Over 1,200 Communication Design and Product Design items were nominated for the for this year’s Design Prize. The contest’s jury granted 35 of them Silver awards. Just five pieces in each category were recognized with Gold prizes. Other typeface designs – including Linotype’s Ginkgo family – found themselves among the nominees, but Malabar is the only one among this year’s winners.

Dan Reynolds’s Malabar family grew out of Martel, a multi-script design that he initially created in 2008 on the MA Typeface Design course at the University of Reading. The Latin component is currently distributed by Linotype, and you can buy it here. The Devanagari is still under development, and will be released soon.


Regarding Malabar’s design, here is the competition’s complete jury statement:
“The Malabar typeface was developed as a mass text font for Indian newspapers. This is why the typeface is available in a roman version and also in Devanagari, the script most commonly found in India. The robust impression given by the Malabar font is particularly impressive, while remaining extremely legible. ‘Shrinking’ the upper-case letters and the ascenders on the lower-case letters is a trick that is as simple as it is sophisticated. This means that the Malabar letters do not just look bigger, they are very easy to distinguish from each other through small, scarcely noticeable adjustments to curves and serifs. Some letters, for example the lower-case ‘k’, look almost playful, but this in no way impedes legibility. On the contrary, these features make it possible for newspaper readers to read even long passages set in small point sizes without getting tired. The Devanagari variant of the font works with the same design concepts and is a fine example of how masterly typography can support the written word in all written languages.

“In Malabar, Linotype has successfully created a font that is as timely as it is timeless, appealing through the outstanding typographical quality of the letters and individual font styles, and through the perfect harmony of the font styles in combination.”

– Robert Klanten, Die Gestalten Verlag