With its well-defined characters that are readily legible even in the small font sizes, Mantika Sans by Jürgen Weltin is ideal for typesetting. The elaborately designed and highly individual set of italics enhances the attractiveness of the font.Jürgen Weltin developed the Mantika™ Sans sans serif font using older designs for an serif font as his inspiration. Nothing more than the merest suggestion of the original serifs has survived. Bevelled line endings and the slight variation in thickness of verticals, in particular, provide Mantika Sans with a very dynamic character that evokes manuscript. Short ascenders and descenders give the font a compact appearance that is also underscored by its condensed proportions. Weltin has achieved his aim of producing a typeface with excellent legibility even in small sizes not just by means of the x-height, which is tall in comparison with the capital letters, but also by using clearly defined and well differentiated designs for critical letters, such as i", "I" and "l". Lower case "i", for example, has a serif while the "l" has a curved base.In addition to uppercase numerals, Mantika Sans also has lowercase or old style numerals that have been designed so that they can be used in both tabular and proportional settings. The uppercase numerals are slightly shorter than the uppercase letters, ensuring that the latter can be sympathetically incorporated within continuous text.The Mantika Sans italics are very unusual. They are inclined at only 4.5° (the usual angle for italics is 10 - 12°) and so appear to be almost upright. In addition, they also have quite distinctive forms. The overall effect calls attention to their curvilinear, manuscript character, enhances contrasts and further emphasizes the terminals. Weltin explains: "Within the variety of forms of the italics there are many contrasting terminal elements that create dynamism. The result is a diversity of interaction between the rounded and angular forms". Mantika Sans Italic thus has all the features of a display typeface, but can also be happily used on its own to set longer text passages. Mantika Sans is available in two weights; Regular and Bold, both of which have corresponding italics sets. Mantika Sans has been designed so that the widths of the four related cuts are identical, meaning that a change of font within a single layout will have no effect on justification. In addition, the members of the Mantika Informal font family, designed by Jürgen Weltin in 2010, also have the same thickness. Other font families having weights with equal thickness can be found in the "Linotype Office Alliance series".The Mantika Sans character sets are paneuropean. There are characters for setting texts in Eastern European languages, Greek and Cyrillic. There is also a range of special symbols, including right-angled brackets, subscript and superscript lower case letters, together with numerals, arrows and many different bullet points.As a vibrant and highly legible text font, Mantika Sans has a broad spectrum of potential applications. Its unusual italics are not just perfect for use in display text. The fact that it has only four cuts means that Mantika Sans is particularly suitable for office use or for the setting of business reports. Its excellent legibility even in the small font sizes also makes it ideal as a text for electronic reading devices; this also applies to Mantika Informal.At the 3rd International Eastern Type Design Competition Granshan 2010, Mantika Sans was awarded in the category Greek text typefaces."
Weltin drew the first member of the family, Mantika Informal, in 2010. It was designed primarily with the typesetting of children’s books in mind. The highly legible letterforms seem friendly, creating clear word-images while avoiding the hard-edged mechanical shapes typical of many typefaces used in books for young readers.
The Mantika Sans typefaces that followed two years later are an expansion of Weltin’s original vision. The new, highly legible typefaces widened the range of the family’s use. Character shapes are clear and easy to read – even at very small sizes – while the humanistic undertones give Mantika Sans a far broader reach than many sans serif typefaces.
The Mantika family is also versatile in that it can be set attractively by just about anyone. All the designs have common character widths. This means that letters or words set in any face in the family are interchangeable, having no effect on page layout or line endings. Even inexperienced graphic communicators can combine designs within the family with confidence.
Born near Lake Constance, which borders Austria, Germany and Switzerland, Weltin studied at the Technical College in Würzburg. This training netted him early stints as a graphic designer in publishing houses, design studios and industrial design firms. His love of letters, however, led him to pursue a career in the typographic arts.
Weltin’s first typeface, Finnegan, was licensed into the Linotype typeface library in 1997. A short time later, he joined The Foundry, in London, where he worked on many of the company’s custom and commercial typeface design projects.
Having left The Foundry early in 2000 to embark on a freelance career in graphic and typographic design, Weltin licensed the Balega typeface to Linotype in 2002, followed by the very large Agilita family in 2007.
Where Mantika Informal has solid organic roots, Mantika Sans is more structured and finds its base in old style, humanistic letterforms. Several design traits contribute to the high level of character legibility Weltin achieved with Mantika Sans. Subtle variations in stroke thickness and sheared terminals give the design a demeanor that evokes pre-Renaissance manuscript calligraphy. The short ascenders and descenders also provide a compactness that is underscored by the typeface’s condensed proportions. This, combined with an ample x-height, and differentiated designs for letters such as the i and l, help create a typeface with high levels of character legibility.
Mantika Sans Italic is marked by a subtle angle, distinctive character designs and flowing strokes. “Within the variety of forms of the italics are many contrasting terminal elements that produce dynamism,” explains Weltin. “The result is a distinctive interaction between rounded and angular forms.” All this makes for a typeface that can do double duty, both as a complement to the Roman designs and as a stand-alone design.
In addition to an extended Latin character set, the Mantika fonts have Pan-European glyphs, enabling the setting of Central and Eastern European languages, as well as Greek and Cyrillic. The fonts also benefit from a wide range of special symbols, including arrows, brackets, subscript and superscript lowercase letters, and multiple collections of numerals.
While primarily intended for setting blocks of copy, the Mantika family will be equally at home in advertising, signage, packaging – and even interface design. And its consistent character widths allow bold and italic designs to be switched in and out of text set in the basic weight, with no change in display line length or text column width.