A typeface is a tool.
Sure, there are frilly fonts that are more art than craft, showy faces that exist merely to call attention to themselves. But, in the end, any functional typeface worth its salt lives to serve one thing first: the text, the content. Everything else—the fashion of the moment, the allure of individual words and letters—is secondary.
MVB Solitaire epitomizes this universal typographic mandate. As a tempered sans serif somewhere between a humanist and a gothic, MVB Solitaire captures a 21st-century neutrality. But practical doesn’t have to mean banal. MVB Solitaire has a soul. While some “neutral” type is dead the moment the ink hits the page, MVB Solitaire delivers text that feels lively, contemporary, relevant. Readers will not tire of this type.
Behind the useful exterior is an arsenal of thoughtful technical features. It’s no surprise that this family’s creator, Mark van Bronkhorst, was first a graphic designer before becoming a type designer. Mark built all the goodies into MVB Solitaire that he would appreciate as a user: case-sensitive punctuation; alternate forms that can be invoked individually or together; oldstyle and lining figures in both tabular and proportional widths; slightly shorter lining figures that don’t stand out in running text, but also cap-height figures for all-cap settings; and the ability to speak nearly any Latin-based language.
MVB Solitaire aspires to be the sort of workhorse that a designer keeps installed on their system at all times. It is a family bound to have a permanent spot in the font menu, always at the ready for projects (those most common of all) where the typography mustn’t mask the message. It has that quality that all truly useful typefaces have: the capacity to get the job done without getting in the way.