Mistral, a brilliant yet widely-abused typeface that could rise again


Originally published at: http://boingboing.net/2017/07/28/mistral-a-brilliant-yet-widel.html


Feel the hate of tacky typography flow through you! Good.

Honestly I don’t actually hate comic sans as much as people who use it in totally inappropriate ways.


Wasn’t this font called “Tokyo” on the original Mac?


I love the Mistral font, the way it flows across the page, it’s sophisticated line, and the way it always makes me think of the O. Henry story about the three leaves that the crabby old artist paints on the wall to inspire hope in the sick young woman living on the other side. Mostly when I hate a font it’s because I can’t stand the guy who’s just used it …


21st Century? This typeface, and ones similar to it, have been abused since the 80s.


All this negative talk about Mistral, Comic Sans and Papyrus.

And yet no mention of HOBO.


Hobo is a timeless classic of the Arts and Crafts Movement. Don’t blame the typeface because it was over-used on bad posters in the 70s!


I wrote all my 90s bad poetry in Mistral. It was suitable, I thought.


The article is much too kind. “…sleek, sultry, sexy, and sophisticated”. Um, what? It’s an ugly font.


Many of my direct mail advertising clients liked to use Mistral as their signature instead of sending an actual digital signature.
Other times I would use it as a placeholder until they would stop being so lazy and just sign something and fax it. And then they wouldn’t and it would get printed that way.


Can’t compare Mistral with Comic sans or Papyrus, imo. Mistal’s a great font when used right, the other two are downright horrid no matter the context.


Mistral is a beautifully crafted typeface, and I’m in awe of how it was originally created – a casual handwritten font made for hot metal type. Bonkers. It’s still one of the best handwriting fonts ever made.

All-caps Mistral? Crap on a plate.


Truth be told, Comic Sans even sucks as a typeface for comic book lettering.


If beauty is in the eye of the beholder, then ugliness, fatigue and hate are too.
Roger Excoffon’s fonts are still bold and unusual, they are really efficient in different settings but it’s their weakness too, they are so recognisable and omnipresent that it’s easy to grow tired of them.

It’s a question of cycle. And misuse.


I use something very similar to Comic Sans when giving talks on my work:
It is both easier to read on the big screen and a nice change from the Computer Modern in which most mathematics papers are drafted nowadays.


There have been times when it seemed as if all of life was a conspiracy to make me hate Palatino.


The main reason why I don’t think your font doesn’t earn the hatred is because it is cleaner, easier to read. Closer to real handwriting. Subtle differences which the human brain groks.

As for Mistral, the biggest difference between it and Papyrus and Comic Sans is that it wasn’t one of the default fonts on a lot of systems like Papyrus (Mac OS X) and Comic Sans (Microsoft). Papyrus was OK, but overused so much simply because it was free. Mistral was often included in bundles, but IIRC it isn’t installed by default. Oh, and it does have the whole Eighties vibe since it was used so much then.


That looks like Tekton. It was designed for technical documents so using it in a maths paper isn’t really misusing it.

Probably because it is based on an architect’s actual writing.


Yup, an other great font victim of its success.


The company I bought it from describes it as “loosely based” on Tekton.