Marian Bantjes

Marian Bantjes is a designer, typographer, illustrator and writer who, born in Canada in 1963, spent the first half of her career as a book typesetter. She left the field of book typography to join the Canadian design studio Digitopolis in 1994, she flourished as a graphic designer there until 2003. She left the firm to pursue her own interests and style of work that she had become internationally recognized for. In the years since she has worked for Pentagram, Stefan Sagmeister, AIGA, The Guardian and The New York Times, among others.

Her unique style of typography and illustration includes extremely detailed letterforms and ornaments and has been featured in design publications all over the globe. Her work is also in the permanent collection of the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum. She has released her own typeface, entitled Restraint and is set to release a book in October of 2010 entitled I Wonder.

Fortune Money Alphabet

Brandona Kavulla at Fortune Magazine hired her to create a complete set of capital letters and the numbers 0–9 in the style of money for display elements in the magazine. She created two versions of each letter: a “clean” one, and one with some spirograph attached to it (as above).
Below are some layouts designed by Brandon, using the letters.
Screen Shot 2016-03-01 at 6.07.37 pm

Custom Lettering

Michael Bierut at Pentagram hired her to do this custom lettering for one of his famous Yale Architecture Lecture posters (She’s only sorry to be #41, and not in his book of the first 40). Then he and Michelle Leong did a beautiful job of the rest.This poster is in the permananet collection of the Cooper Hewitt Design Museum (Smithsonian) in New York.
Marian Bantjes’ background as an illustrator gives her a different perspective on the creation of a typeface. Where the majority of ornamental type begins with a typeface onto which swashes and decoration are added, the typeface Restraint, designed in collaboration with typographer Ross Mills, was built inside-out. The characters themselves have been defined by the negative space of the ornament, as if the letterforms are just a lucky happenstance. Ornate borders and swirly pattern based designs magically reveal themselves as words.

Marian Bantjes Portfolio
Eye Magazine
Creative SketchBook
Restraint Font
Behance Typography Brochure


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