Valentin Brustaux


Valentin Brustaux

Font 'Tiina'

Graphic Design

Jury report

Lettering Affinities
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'.
Peter Stohler


Valentin Brustaux
Born in
Typeface Designer (MA of Arts in Typeface Design)