Mistral



Mistral is a script typeface
designed in 1953 by this man







Mr. Excoffon 7 September 1910 - 1983
He was a french typesetter and graphic designer who was born in Marseilles, studied law but ended up moving to Paris to study painting. There he became an apprentice in a printshop where he developed a special love and care for graphic- and type design. At age 36 he formed his own advertisement agency and became the design editor of the Fonderie Olive. Later in his life he co-founded the Studio U+O. In 1972 he founded his second agency Excoffon Conseil where he produced numerous designs for Air France, Bally Shoes, Dunlop, Sandoz and SNCF. And designed very striking typefaces.


Fonderie Olive
Chambord (1945 - 1951)
Banco (1951)
Choc (1955)
Diane (1956)
Calypso(1958)
Antique Olive (1962 - 1966)



He was recognised by his natural handwriting in his strokes, and the various range of work he did. Loved and hated for reaching the borders of wat typedesign should be like. But he did create the most used script font.





The original version was made for the Fonderie Olive type foundry in Marseilles. But the Amsterdam foundry released their version in 1955.

The contours are raw and give the feeling of a pencil drawn letter on paper. The irregularities of the ground shape increase the usability of the script in the practice of the letterpresses.









The tail of each lower case letter, is ended in such a way it connects to the beginning of the next one. This way a fluently written word appears while being used. This was quite unique back in the days of letter- pressing since all the letters usually stand on their own.



The typeface is used by many different people, and used in a lot of different media. It is mostly known for signs on smaller stores, village hairdressers and restaurants because of it's informal and approachable look. And the fact that it came as a standard font with your mac or windows made sure it is on a lot of home-made businesscards. That's probably why a lot of people don't consider it as a serious typeface. Even though it is not taken seriously in the eyes of most graphic designers, it has been used for a rap album, big tv shows and a hollywood movie. It obviously does the trick in every style it has been used.


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