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New Release: Marshmallow

Feb 8, 2017 | New Release, Typefaces

The development of Marshmallow has a winding, twisting path. Back in 2014, I began drawing a script typeface called Hedonist. I wanted to take many of the lettering experiments with mass and contrast I had been working on and put it into an overly indulgent script typeface. Incidentally, this research and letter exploration led to the design of the Love Script typeface produced shortly thereafter. Love Script was able to move forward faster and more resolutely because the forms had more room to move and express themselves in a legible way.

Running concurrently with the Hedonist Script typeface design, I received a request for an ultra high-contrast version of my popular Lust typeface family. Some additional needs (and styles) were requested. The work that was put into the Hedonist Script design evolved and subsequently leant its Hedonist moniker to what would later become the Lust Hedonist family; with that original script design being incorporated in this new family.

Let’s fast-forward to 2016 and me organizing old brush studies and pencil roughs in January. The original Hedonist script work just didn’t resolve itself the way I wanted. Digging in the back of my mind was the fact that I was never able to take the unconnected, flared ends of the script and produce a solution for a fully connected variant. In my opinion, we use the term ‘script’ way too loosely, but it’s sometimes easier to adopt misused nomenclature and help people identify the intent behind a design, than constantly be forced to redefine it. I really wanted this design to be a script despite the success I was slowly realizing in the initial work that led to Hedonist Script. In between client typeface work with the Girl Scouts custom typeface project, I went back to this design each week in order to cleanse my visual palette and take a breath. The extra time and perspective allowed for a more complex investigation of how to keep heavy mass moving fluidly at high contrast. I had hit the mark I wanted, and knew I could complete and deliver a typeface that people would like… or at least gasp at the almost painful amount of contrast. Ha!

“…we use the term ‘script’ way too loosely, but it’s sometimes easier to adopt misused nomenclature and help people identify the intent behind a design, than constantly be forced to redefine it”

So, this new typeface would have two variants: an unconnected version and a now, fully-realized connected script. With that mark hit, I decided to take the unconnected style (now, called Fluff) further because I saw potential to use it in digital products where the need for a simplified version of the script would be a better choice. As well, an unconnected ‘script’ still produces fewer, if any, typographic surprises (‘incomplete’ or ‘dangling’ letter connections), compared to heavily-OpenType infused script fonts being used online—Fluff would solve that. As such, I was left with two similar but very unique fonts for the typeface. The idea of using the Hedonist moniker for this typeface was abandoned—this new typeface’s personality, collectively, had changed drastically since its initial inception, and it just didn’t fit.

I laughed out loud when I settled on Marshmallow for the name. The Script style holding the standard for the connected font and Fluff for the unconnected. Naming it just seemed to fall into place and it inspired me to go back into each font and add even more details and additional characters to express the name and make it that much more fun and flexible for the designer. Marshmallow Script tops out at 820 characters, and both fonts feature a wide array of swash and stylistic alternates that complement the other, with varying options in the three additional stylist sets, titling alternates, ligatures and contextual ligature combinations. The fonts even contain ordinals, superior and inferior numerals, OpenType-generated fractions. All of these extras are produced with a sense of decadence and fun to expand the possible uses of the typeface. It can’t be used everywhere, but when it is used, it should be used with indulgent abandon… which is pretty much what happens any time we take a soft, gooey bite into marshmallow now, right?!

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