How does one develop a typeface that is particularly suited to reading longer texts? The graphic artist and typeface designer Valentin Brustaux graduated from the Geneva Ecole des arts décoratifs. He developed his typeface 'Tiina', the result of 'rhythmic research', with the objective of providing a new, interesting, graphically coherent and easily legible typeface that is different from existing ones. Brustaux's method is based on the teachings of the Dutch graphic designer and professor of typeface design Gerrit Noordzij, whose The Stroke of the Pen: Fundamental Aspects of Western Writing (1982) is widely read. Brustaux designed the 'Tiina' font family for his Master of Arts in Typeface Design at the University of Reading (UK). In keeping with the teachings of Noordzij, he is interested primarily in the systematics of forms. In the course of his research, he adopted a specifically 'calligraphic' style, which he then simplified and systematized until he had come up with the formal idiom of 'Tiina'. The letters are devised so that they share a maximum of common properties. Brustaux illustrates this by superimposing the letters he has created: 'e' and 'n' are the basis of most of the other letters. The curves of the 'e' yield the curves of the other letters; the letters 'q' and 'b' coincide with the exception of the serifs; the same applies to 'd' and 'p'. It does not take an expert eye to appreciate such subtleties and the independent character of this typeface. 'Tiina' does not seek the limelight; it is discreet, its aim being to give priority to the text and its legibility. Its perfectly self-evident appearance is the consequence of time-consuming, extremely complex and careful development. Awarded a Certificate of Excellence by the Type Directors Club in 2008, 'Tiina' is available from the digital type foundry 'OurType'.
Typeface Designer (MA of Arts in Typeface Design)