The Role of Lowercase in Typefaces

Fontribute Review of the Fonts Mislab by Typofonderie and Jubliat by Darden Studio

Jan 14, 2017 · 5 min read

Uppercase H

What should strike the reader in this slide is how similar these uppercase /H’s are. There are differences, but I would not fault anyone who, on a quick glance, would mistake which /H belong to which font.

Lowercase /a

Looking at the lower case /a, the designers have taken their respective project in radically different directions. Notice how open the aperture of the Mislab /a and lack of ball terminal compared to Jubliat. Also notice how the bowl of the /a is flat on the top in Mislab, compared to the angled top of the bowl in Jubilat. Mislab’s /a counter is more symmetrical in shape than the teardrop shape in Jubilat.

Lowercase /s

Moving on to the /s the different approaches of these designs reveal themselves. Mislab open aperture contrast with the enclosing terminals in Jubilat. Also, the narrower width of Mislab’s /s compared to Jubilat.

Lowercase /g

Mislab’s proportions are more closely related to a Humanist than the Clarendon typeface. You can think of Mislab’s /g as more of a box, compared to a triangle for how the Jubilat /g is proportioned.


When we started looking at the /H, I dunno about you all reading, but I was surprised to see how different the lowercase are from each other. When taking all these points into consideration here are some of my conclusions:


  • Jubilat’s tight default spacing and closed apertures suggests this is better used for headline usage.
  • Its smooth transitions of strokes mixed with a large x-height give it a warmth great for projects that want that downtown sandwich shop vibe, but would like the structure a slab serif provides.


  • Its looser default spacing and open apertures suggests this font is better used for text and perhaps subhead usage.
  • The texura/ abrupt approach to complex strokes gives the design a more serious, rigid and modular tone. Dare I say this font could be used for a project about science, logic, engineering but would like the warm and more contemporary approach a slab serif provides.

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Kara in discussion with Michelle about her lettering project at GoogleNYC

Type Thursday

A meeting place for people who love letterforms.


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A meeting place for people who love letterforms

Type Thursday

A meeting place for people who love letterforms.