Courtesy NM Type.

Name: Meister
Designers: Noel Pretorius and María Ramos
Foundry: NM Type
Release Date: April 2018

Back Story: Jägermeister has just released a new global identity and advertising campaign for the first major rebrand in its history, currently being rolled out worldwide in TV, print, and web. That’s right, a liqueur often mixed with Coke and sipped by teenagers under the unflattering glare of 7-11 parking lot lights has a new look—with a proprietary typeface from NM, in collaboration with ad agency Opperman Weiss. In homage to the brand’s German heritage, inspiration for the face came courtesy of 19th century Bauhaus typography. The blocky sans-serif boasts a precise geometry livened up with enough personality to provide a visual counterpoint to the strong flavors of the deep brown herbal liqueur. Very Herbert Bayer!

Why’s it called Meister? Who doesn’t love a good diminutive as a nickname? On a side note: why’s the product called Jägermeister, anyway? The brand’s inventor, Curt Mast, named the liqueur to honor the centuries-old profession of Master Hunter (in German, Jägermeister) and the forests they roamed. The booze contains only natural ingredients derived from flowers, roots, spices, and herbs.

Courtesy NM Type.

What are its distinguishing characteristics? The text has a deliberately chunky appearance, with uppercase letter proportions closer to a square than a rectangle, plus diacritic alternates to help maintain the solid shapes in different languages. Some curves (the bowl of the capital B, the lower part of the U) mirror the shoulders on the iconic Jägermeister bottles. To fit smoothly with the design of the current advertising campaign, where type is set on a dynamic 45° slant, the K and R letterforms feature 45° angle diagonals. The terminals of characters like C and S are cut at that same angle, for visual stability when the text is rotated. The typeface also features “twin” ligatures such as two capital N’s or other identical letters merged into a unique shape.

What should I use it for? As yet, it has not been released for general licensing. Dream on.

What other typefaces do you like to pair it with? Meister’s calm yet sharp Bauhaus vibe fits nicely (if a bit obviously) with blackletter types like Fette Fraktur. (See how great it looks with the Jägermeister logo?) For a more subtle match, have a look at Molto, coming soon from Type-Together.