Karloff Neutral in use: Payment aggregator Mercuryo

Navigating Alice in the world of crypto currency transactions — made possible by design bureau Shuka

March 18, 2021


  • Ivan Velichko
  • Creative director at Shuka

Mercuryo had an idea of a product: to make paying in crypto currency as easy as paying with regular, ‘fiat’ money. At the time, everyone was mostly buying Bitcoin or Ethereum, but you couldn’t use those in your daily life.

We had little knowledge of crypto currency problems, but it sounded amazing. One of the founders looked like a true British dandy —  in a waistcoat and beautiful socks, which gave us an idea of Alice in Wonderland with the trickster White Rabbit whose ears are sticking out of a hat.

To complete all this we needed a typeface, something Clarendon-like. Kazimir and Robert are too smooth and fancy, they made everything look rather boring than as an identity, — even though a ‘right’ and ‘quality’ typeface was exactly what we were looking for.


We tried Karloff right away, even before we considered the two aforementioned typefaces, and yet we were attempting to replace it all along — this typeface is not very convenient with its long ascenders and descenders. However, it did have this trickster vibe that we needed.

This entire time I bore it in my mind and at some point just realised that those long, old-fashioned ascenders are giving the right feeling, too. At the very least, they are rhyming with the rabbit’s ears, and Karloff is an excellent complement to the boring and mechanistic sans serif used for body text.

ws3EN wsLEN

Karloff is an attempt to resolve the irreconcilable differences between modern serifs and whimsical ‘Italian’ reversed-contrast typefaces. The collection combines two polar opposite typefaces, Positive and Negative, and the less contrasting result of their breeding, Karloff Neutral.

Karloff was designed by the Dutch foundry Typotheque that authored Brioni, Parmigiano and many other great typefaces to be found at type.today’s storefront. The collection was developed by designers Peter Biľak, Pieter van Rosmalen, Nikola Djurek, Maria Doreuli (Cyrillic and Greek).

Mentioned fonts