Studio René Bieder’s Multima reimagines Antique Olive as a multifunctional font for the modern day
Berlin-based type designer René Bieder, creator of custom and retail typefaces, has kept to his 2022-2023 commitment of releasing a complete typeface each month for eight months. For his second release, Bieder has clashed the classic and the contemporary through his modern revival of the 1962 classic, and expressive counterpart to Helvetica, Antique Olive. Named Multima, Studio René Bieder’s punchy sans serif is a multifunctional workhorse, available in 10 weights, with corresponding italics cuts, finessed for a wide array of applications – a feature that culminated in Multima’s naming, (Multi)ple (Ma)terial.
Discussing the choice of Antique Olive as his starting point, Bieder tells us, “the powerful and impressive appearance of the typeface has always fascinated me,” following his discovery of Antique Olive’s bold styles as a young graphic designer. “The more I learned about the typeface, the more interesting it became,” he continues, noting its position as “the anti-Helvetica,” alongside its unique approach to emphasising the upper half of it’s characters. “It made the typeface very interesting to me as a starting point for design,” Bieder recalls, “I asked myself what a modern interpretation of it would look like and whether it would be distinctive enough to stand out in the market,” to which the answer seems to be a resounding yes.
Approached initially through examining Antique Olive’s ‘Compact’ cut, Bieder sought to embody the font style’s expressive, elegant and energetic spirit in a more pragmatic contemporary imagining. “In contrast to Antique Olive, which has a slight quirkiness,” Bieder explains, “Multima is clear and precise,” featuring a more extensive and rigorous character set with over 20 individual styles. “It has many OpenType features and with its eight alternative character shapes,” he continues, “it can adapt to any situation and brand voice,” providing whatever application or context with unbridled humour and technical rigour. “Last but not least,” he details, concerning its contemporary credentials, “it stands out with its distinctive ‘g,’ which combines both elegance and sportiness,” Bieder concludes, “the two cornerstones of design.”
As part of Bieder’s monthly releases, he is collaborating with a notable studio to create a typographic poster in celebration of each new typeface. To that end, Multima is no exception, turning to Australian creative Mike Giesser to craft Multima’s poster design – a silver-foiled, 1970s-inspired monochromatic poster that’s free with the purchase of a full family license. If you’d like one once your order is placed, please email your receipt and contact details to h[email protected].