Zangezi Sans


Although Daria Petrova’s Zangezi Sans[1] first appeared on the Future Fonts platform in 2018, most of its developmental releases happened in 2019. I appreciate the energy and idiosyncrasy of these letters, which I have been using for display text in presentations and screen-based designs during the dark months of 2020. An off-kilter typeface feels right for these twisted times.

Zangezi Sans is the serif-free sister of Zangezi[2], a weird and perky typeface with wedge serifs and diagonal stress. Zangezi Sans doesn’t come across as just another naked sans or neutralized friend of a serif family. Varied stroke weight, fluid counters, and spiky tails give Zangezi Sans a nonbinary vibe. This typeface bridges the serif/sans divide with shapes that borrow from calligraphy, stone carving, and snakes in the grass. Zangezi is named after a poem[3] by the Russian Futurist Velimir Khlebnikov; perhaps the typeface’s alluring K is an homage to him as well.

Petrova is offering free Zangezi licenses to folks who are committed to using it on a gravestone. So, go there. If not now, when?

Ellen Lupton[4] is a writer, graphic designer, and curator of contemporary design at Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum. Her book Thinking with Type[5] is a basic guide to typography directed at everyone who works with words.


  1. ^ Zangezi Sans (
  2. ^ Zangezi (
  3. ^ a poem (
  4. ^ Ellen Lupton (
  5. ^ Thinking with Type (
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