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New Zen

The rounded sans-serif typeface New Zen shown on a mobile phone in a headline, body text, a pull quote and the labels of a button and navigation.

Sans-serif typeface

by Miles Newlyn & Elena Schneider at Newlyn

14 styles

Thin to Extra Bold with matching italics

License for web/app usage

Web: from $ 25, per style and year
App: from $ 200, per style and year

Best for

  • Headings (display text)
  • Long reading text (body text)
  • User Interfaces (functional text)


Its versatility for all kinds of applications.

My thoughts on New Zen

I became aware of the foundry Newly, when Miles Newlyn commented on one of my FontFriday recommendations. That’s when I discovered their beautiful catalogue that’s covering several typographic styles, executed with precision and heart. New Zen stood out to me for its approachability, friendliness and warmth. This sans-serif has a rounded terminal, elegant proportions, and open shapes. In the light and regular weights, the stroke seems even. The bolder it gets, the more contrast is introduced. It becomes livelier, showing some tradition calligraphic stress while remaining its friendly blobbiness.

elegant & open. It will carry serious subject matter with heart. Contrasting & lively
The first line is set in New Zen Thin showing its elegance. The second line displays the beauty and friendliness of this almost upright italic. The third line set in Extra Bold is contrasting and confident.

This all makes New Zen ideal for headings, body text, but functional text as well. I can definitely imagine it giving a user interface or app that certain touch of humanness and comfort. You can activate it via Adobe Fonts for free, licensing is rather affordable, but requires annual payment for web and app usage.

What do you think? Is New Zen something for an upcoming project? Tell me in the comments below!

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  1. Regular version: Look at that smilin’ hEart, E. It’s effortless, it feels trustworthy. Dancing I, legs are in the waltz flow.
    Light version: we have an emotional couple G and A, perfect chemistry! Even it’s light, it feels more grown-up and I love when T is straight, without curves.
    But I’m more prone to a regular version. It’s versatile and applicable. It feels reliant buddy. Friendly. The only thing which doesn’t go is naming. Pardon my professional distortion.🤔 I’m all about identity naming, taglines, creative wording. This one is not total zen. Yes, it owns tranquility, but not so calmness.
    I wish if people who create typefaces consult other professionals from a creative field to sense their work of art. They’re not subjective, will provide a user’s perception, and come up with a creative+strategic naming.
    But New Zen is Bookmarked in Jana’s house😊
    Thank you, Oliver, for always interesting Newsletter delivery!! ✨

    1. “Look at that smilin’ hEart, E. It’s effortless, it feels trustworthy. Dancing I, legs are in the waltz flow.” Brilliant, Jana! Yeah, the name is ab bit misguiding, since I would not associate with Zen or what I think Zen is, either.

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