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Malabar is a type family for extensive text. Its design was developed with a nod toward newspapers. Malabar's characters are seriffed and of the Old Style genre. A strong diagonal axis is apparent within the curves. Sturdy serifs help strengthen the line of text in small point sizes, as well as define the overall feeling of the face. Malabar's x-height is very high, a deliberate choice that makes the most important parts of lowercase letters visibly larger in tiny settings. The height of the capital letters is also rather diminutive, allowing for better character fit, as well as eliminating a bit of clumsiness in German, which often includes quite a few uppercase letters.
Diacritical marks and additional alphabetic forms required by many Western, Central, and Eastern European languages are naturally a part of the character set, including those needed in the Baltic states, for Romanian, and for Turkish. Malabar's accents are bold and direct, sitting well with their base glyphs.
The family includes three weights, each with a companion Italic. Malabar Regular is equipped with small caps, and both it and Malabar Italic include oldstyle figures. All members of the family have both proportional and tabular-width lining figures, as well as special variants of certain punctuation marks vertically adjusted for all-caps text setting. Malabar is informed both by contemporary ideas of typeface design (sheared terminals, the wider-drawn s) as well as by 16th-century masters. Malabar Heavy and Heavy Italic are very loud; their blackness almost shouts out from the page. The Regular's wedge serifs become more slab-ish in nature as the letters' weight increases. Malabar Heavy and Heavy Italic are best relegated to headline use only. Malabar Bold and Bold Italic may be used for text emphasis, a job for which the Heavy is to dark.
Malabar received a Certificate of Excellence in Type Design at the Type Directors Club of New York TDC2 competition in 2009.
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