Menhart Manuscript & Italika
This is one of my two typefaces that were recognized in the Type Directors Club Typeface Design Competition in 2000. They were among the fourteen winners in a field of 135 entries from thirteen countries that year.
There are five family members: Manscript Regular, Italika, Bold, and Regular Drawn and Italika Drawn. The last two are more accurate representations of the printed samples from which these digital revivals were crafted and address the concerns of the judges as described below.
Robert Bringhurst, one of the judges, wrote for Typography 22: “The Czech designer Oldrich Menhart was, like Bartók and Cézanne, a master of subtlety and of ruggedness, both at the same time. He designed his Manuscript roman and italic during the Second World War, and the fonts were cut and cast in Prague after the war was over. We were delighted to see a digital revival of Menhart’s wonderful face, though disappointed that the revival is so clean. The deliberate roughness intrinsic to the foundry version of the type has here been smoothed away. ¶ All entries to the competition were judged blind, but of course reincarnations of existing types are difficult to miss. For this and another entry – a digital revival of Preissig type designed by Vojtech Preissig – we decided to create a new competition category which we called ‘historical revivals.’”