Marathon Zen
Marathon Zen




Type Design


Marathon Zen is a text typeface that is designed to perform best at reading long blocks of copy. I created the typeface as a final project for the condensed typeface design program at Type@Cooper. It was born and inspired by both Japanese ‘Running Monks’ and Uncial letters. The concept was to create a typeface that finds harmony between contrasting qualities - energetic yet calm, focused yet dynamic.

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The Challenge
Design a regular text typeface that combines the elegance of translation contrast calligraphy with improved readability for a seamless reading experience.
The Outcome
Marathon Zen is a versatile typeface meticulously crafted with translation contrast calligraphy, tailored for use in both digital and print mediums. Specifically designed for running apps and running communities, Marathon Zen offers a harmonious blend of style and readability, elevating the visual experience for users.
Inspired by Ivan Olita's captivating short film "1000 Days," I embarked on a creative journey to design a typeface that would capture the essence of the film. The result was "Marathon Zen," a typeface that symbolizes the endurance of the human spirit and the serenity found within moments of introspection. Drawing inspiration from the captivating aesthetics of translation contrast calligraphy, I meticulously crafted each letterform to achieve an elegant and harmonious balance. By mirroring the film's portrayal of life's ups and downs, the typeface embodies the resilience and beauty of the human experience.
Challenge & Future Consideration:

The project began by exploring the relationship between an imaginary brush tool and broad nib pens. Modern typefaces are based on calligraphy, thus calligraphy tools decide the serif designs of the typeface, influencing the entire look and feel. The brief of this project was to create a typeface based on broad nib pens, nonetheless, I wanted to challenge myself with more experimental and unconventional serif designs. After spending a long time sketching and imagining the hybrid tool, Marathon Zen was developed using a hybrid pen that has characteristics of a broad nib pen with smooth and sharp brush-like endings. It consists of only 1 style, Roman, at the moment, however, I am planning to continue developing the typeface and add more styles.