31 May 2018

Tove Script – the new font mirrors Tove Jansson’s handwriting

The first official Moomin font saw daylight in 2015. The designed font was based on the typeface used on Tove Jansson’s earliest comic book covers. Now, three years later, the new calligraphic font – Tove Script – is ready.

The project was started in November 2017, when Emil Bertell, who is specialized in font design, was chosen as designer of the project. The leading art director of the font design was James Zambra, Creative Director of the designer-driven creative agency, Kobra Agency.

Zambra, specialized in branding, explains the reason for the new font: “It is important that Tove’s physical handprint is maintained as a strong part of the Moomin brand. It acts as a highly recognizable element, even if the Moomin characters themselves aren’t always present.”

The reference text samples included, among others, the first picture books of Tove Jansson ‘The Book about Moomin, Mymble and Little My’ (1952) and ‘Who Will Comfort Toffle?’ (1960). The new beautiful font mirrors Jansson’s typeface and functions as a coherent whole.

Bertell, who grew up with the Moomin books, cartoons, and animations, saw the given design work as an honorary task: “As a starting point, together with Kobra, we decided that the font should imitate the feeling of Tove’s handwriting, but in a neater and more homogeneous way. It was not the intention to simulate the handwriting directly, but to seek a more ‘moominous’ and ‘tove-like’ feeling.”

Bertell’s specialty is “connected scripts”. The challenge in these works is the continuity of handwriting, how the letters are connected with the following letters, taking into account the numerous different letter combinations. During the four-month creating process, Bertell first drew the sketches by hand and only then digitally. The font draft with a few letters and words was first approved by Kobra as well as by Moomin Characters Ltd, who had ordered the font. The drafts were edited until the font features; x-height, “pen” thickness, letter width, and the letter spacing, were decided. After finishing all the basic characters, Kobra took a big role in the fine-tuning.

“By fine-tuning, we strove for everything to work, and above all, to work superbly. We perfected numerous combinations of letters so that the text was natural and nuanced,” Bertell sums up.

Familiar names are also behind the Moomin font created in 2015. Back then James Zambra worked together with Emil Bertell’s brother Erik Bertell.

“I think we are the only Moomin font brothers in the world,” Emil Bertell laughs.

 

 

Photos: Kobra Agency

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