Barbara Bigosińska is a type designer, typographer and illustrator. Her latest typeface (which began as her graduation project from KABK) has just been released by independent type foundry Bold Monday.
Mala is a gorgeous type family designed for cartography and atlases. (when I first saw this face I thought immediately of Charles Darwin's scientific expeditions)... and the adventurous spirit of Christopher Columbus provided inspiration for the design. Barbara writes "The idea of designing the typeface dedicated to use on maps came to me naturally as I have always had an interest in visually complicated matters. Maps, no matter what kind, are definitely complex and structured sources of information and — unlike books, they use the type in a completely different way."
Mala provides a carefully chosen (extensive) number of widths and weights – enough to create a clear difference between certain groups of information and enable clear layering.
Mala has both traditional and contemporary characteristics. Embued with all the personality, charm and warmth of the oldstyle calligraphic genres but with the cleanliness, precision and functionality of a modern font. Mala is a versatile typeface with an extended character set (suitable for multiple languages).
The caps also have a diverse range of swash alternates, the flourishes look like a natural extension of the gesture and are included not only for their playful beauty and visual interest but also for the functional purpose to fill broad spaces, such as oceans or seas. Barbara explains "I have been always a big fan of handmade quality and its — sometimes awkward — uniqueness... Handmade means more freedom. Freedom in the term of typography on the map may be translated into the variety of different styles as well as into the variety of alternative characters withing one style. One of the most beautiful features of the early printed maps that I wanted to bring back into the digital typeface were swashy characters."
Courageous, adventurous, elegant, playful and unique - Mala is stunning work - and I extend my most sincere congratulations to Barbara!