Malik: The New “King” of Sans Serifs from Zetafonts

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Malik: The New “King” of Sans Serifs from Zetafonts

December 5, 2020


For nearly 20 years, Zetafonts has been releasing some of the most beautiful typography available on the commercial market. Based in Florence, Italy, their type designs have remained consistent in quality and aesthetics, featuring letter sets that are as close to flawless as possible and incredibly versatile in the design workspace.

Their studio is one that prizes collaboration, innovation, experimentation, and creativity that knows no bounds. No matter what project they’re working on, their goal remains the same: to imagine and create type families that graphic designers can use to realize the full potential of their own work.

For Zetafonts, fluidity in design is vital to any font family’s success. Most of their typefaces straddle the line between display and text, giving graphic designers plenty of flexibility in their design projects. While Zetafonts offers a wide variety of type families on the retail market, they also provide bespoke type design services and branding consultations to a selected international clientele.

Founded by Cosimo Lorenzo Pancini, Francesco Canovaro, and Debora Manetti in 2001, Zetafonts became part of Ligature in 2019, a brand that focuses on type design culture.


One of their more recent releases through YouWorkForThem is Malik, a flared sans serif type family designed by Andrea Tartarelli in 2020. 

“The designer wanted to find a way to bridge the classical letterforms of Roman Old Style typefaces with the readability of contemporary sans typefaces,” the foundry said. “This was achieved by using the so-called flared serif that emerges gradually from the stem of the letter, ending in a sharp angle.”

Zetafonts said that this style is also reminiscent of “the Simoncini Method,” a technique invented by Italian type designer Francesco Simoncini that results in a sharper definition of letterforms.

Blending classical elegance with modernist expertise, Malik carries the subtle calligraphic influence of modern masters that include Ed Benguiat and Frederic Goudy, Zetafonts said. These elements are most notable in signature details like the calligraphic lowercase “k” and the reverse contrast uppercase “B.”

A “new king for sans serifs,” Malik borrows its name from the Arabic word for “king.” Also translating to the word, “owner,” this type family rules any design it graces. Malik is bold and expressive in its heaviest weights for display use, yet it retains a high degree of comfortable legibility in text use — a hallmark of Zetafonts’ familiar design style.

Malik’s Heavy display weight features a smooth texture that is balanced by deep ink traps for stunning logo and display designs. The family also includes a Book alternative for fine-tuning its readability in long passages of text. 

The entire family is offered in Extralight, Light, Book, Regular, Medium, Bold, Extrabold, and Heavy, with corresponding italics for each. For designers using software and platforms that support it, Malik is offered in a Variable version for both the upright and italic character sets that provide designers with every subtle iteration of the entire family.


Malik is beautifully suited to everything from strong displays and signage to eye-catching logos, headlines, editorials, print and digital publishing, product packaging and informational inserts, merchandise, marketing materials, website designs, mobile applications, and so much more. It’s a fantastic choice for branding and identity projects that need a versatile sans serif on full display.

In true Zetafonts’ fashion, Malik offers extensive versatility through OpenType, providing capitals to small caps, case-sensitive forms, fractions, standard ligatures, discretionary ligatures, alternate annotation, ordinals, subscript, superscript, oldstyle figures, tabular figures, small caps, titling alternates, and stylistic alternates. 

Its multilingual support extends to Basic Latin, Western European, Euro, Catalan, Baltic, Turkish, Central European, Romanian, Vietnamese, Pan African Latin, Dutch, Pinyin, Igbo Onwu, Basic Greek, and Basic Cyrillic for far-reaching accessibility in design projects intended for a wide international audience.

If you love Malik but you’re still not entirely sure about purchasing it, you can try Malik’s Book weight for free!

Zetafonts currently offers 72 products through YouWorkForThem, an incredible array of stylish display fonts, sophisticated serifs, contemporary sans serifs, and expressive script designs to suit projects of any kind. Visit their portfolio to take a look at their complete body of work and if you love what you find – and we’re sure that you will – bookmark it so you can check back for new additions later on!

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