Page 1

Event: TYPO BERLIN // Season Font: LFT ETICA // A type face: JOS BUIVENGA // Project: FLAMINIA // Report: MECHANISMS FOR READING //

issue #01  summer 2010

Mrs Eaves Just Ligatures

Fonts used:

Auto 2 & 3 (Underware, 2004) Calluna (exljibris, 2009)

Page size:

mm 210 x 254

Grid System:

10 columns, 12 pt gutter 52 rows, 12 pt leading

Editorial Until we meet again Issue n°1 Welcome on Ligatures. What you have in your hands is a journal of typography about typography. As you may have already noticed, this is a magazine with a double reading: Contextual and Discretionary. We want to clarify this crucial point. The magazine’s soul is the typeface. All the people who turn these pages are somehow tied to the world of typography. Some for work, some for dedication and some just out for curiosity. In this part of the magazine, we wanted to put all our passion in the old form of art called typography. We will pursue our goal with the curiosity of a child, wondering what lies behind the winding of each glyph. We’ll talk about some famous type projects, as “lft Etica” by Leftloft, along with other works unknown to the major public, like the “Flaminia” project by Andrea Bergamini; we want to give space to famous and important designers as

well as young talented students. Just one thing they must have in common: the passion for their work as typeface designers. Not only have we put together famous personalities of the field, but we also collected some interesting news on events that are considered a must for professionals. Typoberlin 2010 is an example: we were at the Festival of German typography and we gathered some interesting comments to open new horizons on the issues of type design. Always keeping an eye on new trends. There will also be some case studies. A true highlight of this issue is the report on the mechanisms of reading. As Bruce Mau said, the work of a designer is made of 49% practical skills and 51% curiosity and education. But let’s not dwell too much upon this page. Hopefully this is just the beginning of a long journey through the rediscovery of typography. Demetrio Stratos

Discretionary Ligatures



Issue #1  Summer 2010 on cover: Mrs Eaves Just Ligatures, Zuzana Licko

Deep down in typo

event report


Typoberlin An inside view on the best festival of typography, ready to satisfy your thirst of news.


mechanism of reading It may seem old fashioned to talk about reading, especially if we focus on continuous text: most of the text we deal with every day doesn’t have such a structure.

16 The eye in the process

of reading

Understand the structure behind the factors and contexts that affect readability.



20 AsYmmetry Discover how our asymmetrical viewing field influences our perception of reality.



Flaminia The project is based on the thesis by Andrea Bergamini, which reacts to the chaotic and poorly executed road signs seen in Italy

Year 1, issue n#1 – Reg. trib. of Milano number 1537 of September 28, 2009 Responsible director Demetrio Stratos

Director Demetrio Stratos executive editor Paul Di Anno Editorial Chief Joe Strummer

A type face


Jos Buivenga

The way Dutch typographer Jos Buivenga rose to prominence on the type scene is quite remarkable; his best project? Museo!

Editorial staff Dom Howard Chris Wolstenholme Matthew Bellamy Philip Morris Valeria Farina Andrea Gessa

Graphic & Art Direction Alessandro Dallafina Valeria Farina Andrea Gessa Infographics Alessandro Dallafina Valeria Farina PHOTO EDITOR Gianluca Chilenzi TYPOGRAPHY EDITOR Stefano Meroni

Office Manager Lita Ford

Contributors Andrea Bergamini Giò Fuga Big Lebowski Aegir Hallmundur Andrea Braccaloni Jos Buivenga

management via Stradivari 8 – 20149 MI Phone: +39 02.2233456

Contacts via Stradivari 8 – 20149 MI Phone: +39 02.2233456

printer Magazeen Print s.r.l Jackson street 8 – 20149 GB Phone: +31 0223.2233456

distribution Hatzeel Unliever street 28 – 20344 GB Phone: +31 0223.2233456

Photographic Research Giorgio Canali

A font for every season


LFT Etica

LFT Etica, the moralist typefamily by LeftLoft. A tasty sans serif with tons of alternates.

62 The Glyph Discretionary Ligatures


The Germans say that you have to be on fire yourself to light one. Bringing passion to the job is the key to success. Passion gives us the power to act. It is the foundation of change and success.


Event Report

TYPO BERLIN ↑ Typoberlin Logo This is the “Passion Logo” that reveal all the passion for typography

Discretionary Ligatures


The Future of Reading Berlin, May 20, 2010. The 15th annual design conference TYPO Berlin, with this year’s theme “Passion”, looks at the future of the written word. It’s a future destined to play out not on paper, but onscreen. Mobile devices, Internet standards and dedicated web fonts are turning publishing and Internet typography upside down. Web fonts are digital typefaces developed and sold specifically for reading on the Internet or onscreen. Since last summer, there have been standards for these fonts supported by all type manufacturers. The web browsers Mozilla, Google, Microsoft and Opera can all display web fonts or have agreed to support them. This week, TYPO Berlin will be the focal point of new graphic upheavals. In an echo of how desktop publishing (dtp) revolutionised pre-print at the end of the 1980s, digital communications are on the verge of a quantum leap. Who is behind it? Apple? Google? TYPO programme director Jürgen Siebert compares the situation today with that of 25 years ago by saying, “one company cannot start a revolution. But when several players are all pulling in the same direction to fix a problem, the light turns green”. The “problem” is the typographic barriers that existed on the Internet until one year ago.

His own experiences lead FontShop founder and designer Erik Spiekermann to agree: “When I bought my first Macintosh at the beginning of 1985, my colleagues called me a traitor and it a toy. A few years later, they were calling up to ask for help because their typesetting shops were going out of business”. These days, e-books and the iPad are criticised for threatening printed books, magazines and newspapers. But as Siebert says, “even today, a lot of people get more information from a screen than from printed materials. That development will continue. Anyone who doesn’t get with the programme is soon going to lose readers”. Now designers and their clients have to embrace the new situation with passion and use it to their advantage. At the moment, that means trying things out, playing around and learning in leaps and bounds. And where better to do that than at TYPO Berlin, where this year once again, the best and most progressive minds in the world of typography will meet.

let’s celebrate passion! More than 50 international experts in design, the graphic arts, the web and art delivered presentations at Europe’s largest design conference. The professionals took the conference motto »PASSION« to heart. At TYPO Berlin 2010, they demonstrated how simple to achieve success can be if you trust yourself and follow your passions. Berlin’s House of World Cultures welcomed more than 1200 visitors between May 20 and 22, 2010. The opening speaker was Bremen-based Internet philosopher Peter Kruse, who recently received a storm of applause at the re:publica 2010. American typographer and designer David Carson was also among the speakers. An expert web surfer even as a teenager, he made a name for himself despite the lack of formal training. With groundbreaking work for Levis, Nike and the music magazine Ray Gun, the selftaught designer has become a graphic design legend. Also in the mix were Berlin media designer Joachim Sauter, graffiti legend Niels Shoe Meulman, Erik Kessels of KesselsKramer, the ad agency famous for its subtle humour, design strategist and musician Candy Chang and YouTube phenomenon Julian Smith. His self-produced videos quickly made Smith a darling of the US media, with “25 Things I Hate About Facebook” alone getting 1.6 million hits on YouTube so far.


The speakers

Jonathan Barnbrook

Erwin K. Bauer

David Berman

Hartmut Bohnacker

Veronika Burian

David Carson

Candy Chang

Jan Chipchase

Malte Christensen

Christoph Dunst

Andreas Frolhoff

Ivo Gabrowitsch

Daniel Gjøde

Ralf Hermann

Fons Hickmann

Richard Kegler

Rob Keller

King Bansah

Eike KĂśnig

Peter Kruse


Event Report

Julia Laub

Alessio Leonardi

Wolf Lindau

Martin Majoor

Laura Meseguer

Niels “shoe” Meulman

Jan Middendorp

Sébastien Morlighem

Yves Peters

Oliver Reichenstein

Dan Reynolds

Joachim Sauter

Frank Schomburg

Piet Schreuders

Carlos Segura

Julian Smith

Erik Spiekermann

Torsten Stapelkamp

Andrea Tinnes

Bastian Unterberg

Erik Van Blokland

Paul Van Der Laan

Thilo Von Debschitz


Discretionary Ligatures



Event Report

carlos segura Carlos Segura presented his lecture on the topic: (My) Type of Life and told about his first youth. He was the drummer in a band, but to the tour driver and the person who designed the flyer – all drawn by hand. He then introduced the Type Foundry T26 and some special font catalogues, which are each placed under a particular theme, and will never be reproduced. A catalog was titled Typerware like the well-known plastic boxes designed. The most fun he prepare his blog series – especially Cartype. All typographical issues surrounding the world of automobiles examined the site: advertising, logos, advertisements, letters to Amaturenanzeige, street signs and even homeless people on the roadside signs can be found on the page. Segura always put out again by what criteria he works: “Do not let things happen to you, make things happen to you” “It’s not how you make it, it’s how you make it better” “Simple is usually complicated”

Then put forward several Carlos Segura Inc. works his agency. Cover a series of comic books, which should not look like typical customers on comics. Furthermore, a redesign for the bicycle brand Rock Zock. The company kicked my wish for the agency to position the brand new, especially as their identity in China has been copied in large quantities. Under the new claim the earth is not flat, Segura produced a threedimensional catalog. Most recently, he presented the work ahead for the stock photo company Corbis. Segura developed to present a new approach to photos – individual images were compared on specific topics, illustrated large-format, with special print techniques produced. A good client, he ruled as Corbis it allowed them to exploit the full potential of graphic design. 

Discretionary Ligatures


veronika burian Veronika Burian was just her lecture on Typographic matchmaking, in which concerned the combination of different fonts and use. Before opting for a font, you should first check the following points: *1st Function / Application of Scripture *2nd Technical requirements and limitations *3rd Aesthetics *4th Economic factors Using many examples, she showed what font combinations work and which tend not to. Often, optical size, spacing, the printing process or the appearance of the fonts used are responsible for determining whether an aesthetic plan rising. But not only the combination of fonts in the same size was difficult, but especially when text in hierarchy (eg title, subtitle, etc.) would be used in different sizes. A good alternative are typefaces from the same family. But here one must proceed cautiously with very different thicknesses. Overall, a very interesting lecture, which was also held by Veronika very persuasive.

Veronika Burian is one of the few women who have made it this year as a lecturer at the Typobühne. She was born in Prague, where she now works and lives again. In between are an industrial design studies in Munich, working as a designer in Austria and Italy and with distinction in 2003, the Master Typeface Design in Reading, United Kingdom, for her essay “Maiola” (2004, the TDC Certificate of Excellence in Type Design). Until 2007 she worked as Type designer in at DaltonMaag in London.

Together with José Scaglione, whom she met during her studies at Reading in 2006, she founded the Type Foundry TypeTogether . They develop writings guarantee for a clean read and bring on the other hand a high level personality. Also, we were able to convince us already and reported late last year about their Font Catalog. TypeTogether received the 2007 and 2009, each one Asszeichnung at the EDAwards for her writings Karmina and Bree. 12

Event Report

alternate ampersand

Bree 48 pt regular

Bree 48 pt bold & extrabold

Karmina 72 pt bold

Bree 48 pt light & thin

Karmina 36 pt regular

Karmina small caps 36 pt bold Discretionary Ligatures


Vista Sans

Mechanisms for reading


Deep down in Typo:

Part I: The eye in the process of reading 1. The structure of the eye 2. Eight letters at a time 3. Eye movements 4. Consequences on the process of reading Part II: Asymmetry 1. The spacing 2. Asymmetry in the perception of typefaces 3. Asymmetry within the word 4. Different characters for different bodies 5. Additional considerations


It may seem a bit old fashioned to talk about reading, especially if we focus on continuous texts: it is clear that the texts we deal with everyday don’t have, in most cases, such a structure. The purpose of this opening is not to make a guide that outlines the criteria, parameters on which to evaluate what is readable and what is not, or a manual for design texts more readable. The aim is to reflect on the concept of reading trying to field a number of issues and various points of view. The objective is to open a discussion on design. The graphics can become the of encounter between different disciplines. It is thought that this is a way in which possible to develop a cultural context in which charts and graphs-can form through exchange and contact continuous. You can question a number prejudices, can open up new areas search and you can find a point operational contact between scientific research and design which serves solely to promotional graphic design element already developed. Conversely, the scientific research can enjoy the contribution made by the Deep down in Typo


ITC Officina Serif


graphic and for some problems on of view, is to meet and to compare the relationship between communication and knowledge. Having a range of scientific topics to be addressed in a magazine for graphic made us think that could have been an opportunity to try to treat the text itself in an experimental form, even if the embryo. For this reason we have involved some graphs have tried to interpret some chapters focus more on the denotations of communication to those expressed in the daily practice of the graphics we have become accustomed. Is a missed opportunity that there are common trans laboratories, where mixed groups of students develop a wide range in thematic areas. We preferred to focus on the concept of reading rather than on the question the “readability”: that of “readability” is a vague concept. What is truly readable? How do you assess how a text is readable? What is the limit we can evaluate a precise read performance in a specific context, in an area with the specific defined, but this does not imply that the Discretionary Ligatures

text allows a more fluent reading is necessarily the most effective. If we take the case of programming, for example, where each character has a specific value and a single error is the failure of the program, maximum effectiveness is achieved if the text is designed to force people to read each single element. If the text is perfectly laid out, if the character is perfectly “smooth”, you trigger mechanisms for fast reading, individual characters are skipped words and phrases. The focus could fall in some parts of the text, especially if the player is tired or has to play in the samewhen other tasks. Perhaps, if the aim is to get the reader dwell on every word, character less “smooth” may paradoxically be more “visible”, if legibility is defined as “the ability of a text to be read”. Obviously this is a paradox but a practical problem arises not so obvious how to force the reader to slow down without overfatigue or frustrated? In these terms we can understand the difficulty in establishing what it means “readability”. 15

The eye in the process of reading Deep down in Typo: part I

Luigi Farrauto

Luigi Farrauto, 24, graduated in Visual Communication at the Polytechnic of Milan with a thesis on the signs to the old city of Damascus. The project, proposed to the Syrian Ministry of Tourism, has been approved and is now in progress. He worked at the Bureau Mijksenaar Amsterdam, and now is dedicated primarily to information design, with a focus on maps, diagrams and the wayfinding.

1. The structure of the eye Ascertained the existence of factors and contexts that affect the readability, we now understand the structures and processes which underpin reading psychologists, to maximize the potential of the process. For this reason, our review is now proposed to provide a description – albeit brief – of the visual processes, the structure of the eye and its behavior during the actual reading. The retina is the initial part of the optic nerve and consists of neurons located on the back of the eye. These cells are used to convert the light radiation in neural activity. It consists of neurons and interneurons, which permit the passage of visual information, and photoreceptors, which are real computers of light radiation. There are two varieties of photoreceptors: rods and cones.


Cone cells, or cones, are photoreceptor cells in the retina (between five and seven million) of the eye that function best in relatively bright light. The cone cells gradually become sparser towards the periphery of the retina. Cones are less sensitive to light than the rod cells in the retina (which support vision at low light levels), but allow the perception of color.

Rod cells, or rods, are photoreceptor cells in the retina of the eye that can function in less intense light than can the other type of photoreceptor, cone cells. Named for their cylindrical shape, rods are concentrated at the outer edges of the retina and are used in peripheral vision. On average, there are approximately 92 million rod cells in the human retina. More sensitive than cone cells, rod cells are almost entirely responsible for night vision.

Deep down in Typo


The area of the retina at the center (on the opposite side of the pupil) is called the macula and is home to the cones. This area has been dedicated to vision and central visual angle subtends an arc equal to twenty-five degrees. When we fix an object, its image is projected into the fovea, an area of 2 mm in diameter in the center of the macula, where the maximum concentration of cones is and, therefore, where the definition of the images is maximum. Away from the fovea, the number of cones in relation to the surface decreases rapidly. The operation whereby we take an image at the fovea, for maximum visual acuity is called “foveazione”.


Iris Pupil




Optic Nerve

Macula Fovea Discretionary Ligatures


2. Eight letters at a time The arc visual angle subtended by the fovea is about ten degrees, but for complex visual tasks such as reading, the amount of visual material that our perceptual system can process is less than that available within the fovea. This quantity, called span, is around 18 characters in Simoncini Garamond 11 points in the body. It is as if the fovea in the tasks of reading is “narrowed” (up to two degrees), because in this difficult task, attention is concentrated on a small portion of the visual field. In a foveazione there are about eight points (two on the left of the fixation point and 6:00 to 7:00 right) you can hear in some detail. From these considerations it may be noted that a key feature of the perceptual span in reading is asymmetric of the center of fixation. Significant is also noted as the span of those who read the Arabic script (which runs from right to left) has the closest center for setting the right end of the perceptual span. The visual process that takes place outside of the fovea or in parafovea, although weak, is of considerable importance in reading. The head portion of which falls in parafovea may be seven characters to the right and two left.

span foveazione

Simoncini Garamond size 11 fixation parafoveazione

3. Eye movements It’s actually very difficult to accurately measure the physical variables of eye movements and the amplitude of fixations, as many factors of linguistic, environmental, and subjective, difficult to keep constant, interact. During the exploration of a visual scene, the eye generally does not move fluidly, but performs rapid movements (called saccades) alternating to fixations (in which it is almost immobile). The saccades have a term of between twenty and forty milliseconds, causing inhibition of vision, called saccadic suppression, due to the speed with which the eye movement occurs (up to nine hundred degrees per second). The second, however, have a term of between two hundred and three hundred milliseconds, up more than ninety percent of the time reading and deputies to extract all the information needed for fluent reading. While reading, however, eye movements do 18

During the exploration of a visual scene, the eye generally does not move fluidly, but performs rapid movements (called saccades) alternating to fixations (in which it is almost immobile).

Deep down in Typo

not proceed only from left to right: very often in fact, proceed in the opposite direction and the eyes show the previous word. These movements called regressions allow to explore again a piece of text when you need information that in the first step has not been extracted. For the high automation of the process of reading the regressions, such as saccades, occur involuntarily, such as if our eyes know where to find information. At the end of each line there is a movement that brings the eye at the beginning of next, this movement is called return sweep. It may be noted that if the text is right-aligned or centered, or if the rows are longer than twenty characters, the return sweep becomes inefficient because its eye is forced to search for the beginning of the next line in a different position each time. Over twenty-five degrees of travel corresponding to approximately one hundred and twenty characters, body eleven) comes naturally accompany the eye movements with head movement. In this regard it is interesting to note that the printing is considered good practice to not exceed eighty characters per line.

Low Vision condition where there is a marked and permanent reduction of the visual acuity and/or of the vision, field not correctable through lenses.

Eye diseases

glaucoma Vision

While reading, eye movements do not proceed only from left to right: very often in fact, proceed in the opposite direction and the eyes show the previous word. At the end of each line there is a movement that brings the eye at the beginning of next line, called sweep. Discretionary Ligatures

Some factors enhance readability, the choice of character its text/background contrast OR AN ALL CAPS TEXT not to mention spacing.


Low vision

Some factors enhance readability, the choice of character its text/background contrast OR AN ALL CAPS TEXT not to mention spacing.



Asymmetry Deep down in Typo: part II

1. The spacing First, it must be emphasized that the phenomena of benefits on foveal and parafoveal affect studies for proper spacing between words. If the spaces are too small, the words are no longer distinct from one another because they are lost in the beginning and the end, beginning and end that have a role in speech recognition as a unit and that, being strong poles of attraction, guiding eye movements. If, however, the lines have a too small number of characters (two or three words per line) the process of reading is penalized because the text portions from statistical analysis are less often at the edge of the fovea. Their failure to perceive, therefore, greatly reduces the benefits from data collected in parafovea portions of text, with obvious consequences for the benefits. Will suffer, and that even leading the saccade motor pattern to fall in a portion of text less significant, because the place could be occupied by other letters is replaced by white space. In a text with spaces between words excessively reduced speech recognition is very difficult because they are missing the attraction points, start and end, for the eye while reading.


Daniele Balcon Francesco Pia

Daniele Balcon, who was born in Belluno in 1981, trained at the Faculty of Arts and Design at the university Iuav. From 2003 he worked alone or with Francesco Pia in graphic design in which typography plays a major role. From 2004 to collaborate on multimedia projects for Studio Altermedia Mestre and publishing projects with Polystudio Francesco Messina. After working at H-Farm is about to build a studio., integrated visual design: two-dimensional and applied in motion. Following the Master Degree in Visual Communication and Multimedia getting in touch with some of the masters of Italian and International Graphics. Work in the States of Kyle Cooper at Prologue he works with in his business also to return to Italy. In 2006 is “iDesign� together with D. Balcon.

In a text with a number of words per line really reduced the reading process is heavily penalized. Deep down in Typo

2. Asymmetry in the perception of typefaces Do not forget that human vision is asymmetrical (we have an oval and horizontal field) and this affects in particular graphics applications and necessitates some design features of a character, to facilitate the process of reading and learning. When we look a figure on a sheet, in fact, the vertical components appear to us larger than their actual geometric size and especially compared to their horizontal dimension. For the same reasons curvilinear shapes are distorted: if you draw a geometrically perfect circle, the horizontal part of the lines seem too thick. If we look at a curved and a straight stroke of the same thickness, for example, the curved section is too thin compared to the rectum to make the two sections visually homogeneous, it should instead expand the curved section. For this reason, when designing a font, we should take account of our visual feature to prevent disorders like optical hyphens, which appear disproportionate or unequal among themselves, although identical. We should also be able to assess the critical points that are intersections in the white interior (loops) and the sharp points of some letters of Latin alphabet. Although some characters seem to consist of uniform thickness lines, in fact, they conceal a very complex design, where a series of irregularly shaped and asymmetric solutions, give the illusion of a perfect regularity.

If we put the same rectangle horizontally it will look shorter and thicker

Should take into account this phenomenon to make perceptually constant thickness of the lines.



3. Asymmetry within the word It also appears that in the recognition of a word there is an asymmetry, a preponderance of the top on the bottom. Experiments on Brian Coe as part of a character could be eliminated without affecting readability, seem to confirm that the top characters have greater significance in word recognition. This feature has been known since the nineteenth century, but to date this phenomenon remains unexplained, although it is easily found in various everyday situations. If you put a small square in the geometric center of a bigger picture, the first square seems too low, but if you try to place it in the center Discretionary Ligatures

this text isn’t legible this is much better There is a text without the top and one with no bottom. It can be seen in the first case the writing is more difficult to read, while in the latter case the situation improves significantly. Yet the most articulate letters at the top are not many more than either symmetrical or more articulate than the bottom 21

The desktop publishing programs allow you to change the body of a character at will and without difficulties. When you change the body of a character, it is reduced proportionally at all sizes: in this way the character is always identical to itself. At the variation of the size our perception changes and the characters can look very different (though mathematically identical). In addition, some characteristics (such as those inspired by the characters Bodoni or Didot) have very fine features that are problematic if reduced to very small bodies (eg the tip of serifs tends to disappear, for which the serifs themselves seem smaller). To overcome these problems and to ensure that characters are resemblant with different bodies, it is customary to make some tiny but significant design changes. To reduce the font size, for example, the size of the height of “x” is increased compared to the ascending and descending. Not only are strengthened and contrasts the features of reduced thickness. The interior space of the letters is increased in inverse proportion to the decrease of the body (and thus widen the letters as a whole), to compensate for the increased thickness of the lines, therefore the space between letters is increased. Not everyone agrees on the idea that letters should be widened to decrease the body: some designers prefer to only increase the spacing between letters. In the nineties it has also been attempted to develop typefaces that allowed multiple matrix to 22



4. Different characters for different bodies



“eye”, the small square will appear in the center, while it is slightly shifted higher than the true geometric center: if then you turn the paper ninety degrees, you can check, visually, that one has moved away from the exact center. The same asymmetry applies to the font, if you take a letter that appears symmetrical at first glance, like an “s” or an “x”, it can be seen, turning the page, that the upper part is considerably smaller than the lower. If the two sides were exactly the same, the character would seem “macrocefalo.” The role of this asymmetry is also relevant in the design of white spaces open up or down.

Auto Avenir Calluna

Arno Pro Display Arno Pro Subhead Arno Pro Regular Arno Pro Small Text Arno Pro Caption Arno Pro, 30/36

Arno Pro Arno Pro Arno Pro Display, 70/84

Arno Pro Caption, 70/84

Deep down in Typo

interpolate the variant display variant for small bodies in order to obtain a potentially infinite range of variations, for every body. This process has proved to be too complex to use, since it would have defined a new character for each project based on numerical parameters, and quickly fell into disuse.

Legibility Benchmark Benchmark Legibility What are the most legible typefaces in the world? All the following text is written in size 8pt.

Frutiger Roman Frutiger Ultra Black

5. Additional considerations Each character, therefore, gives his best in a particular dimension, and sometimes, paradoxically, regardless of how it was conceived by the designer. This is especially true for characters with serifs. The design of a character involves a series of choices that will never be optimal for all purposes: each typeface is the result of a series of compromises between perceptual issues, function and formal features. It should also be noted that apparently the design of a typeface would seem more important than the detailed overview. Conversely, in fact, whether the order of priorities between the two is not reversed and if the word does not become predominant compared to the single glyph, the character will not be an isolated set of letters, perhaps good, but not satisfactory when used in text. In a typeface every detail substantially influence the appearance of the character as a whole and not because it is repeated many times. Most of the interventions are not recognizable characters from the reader; they are even designed to disappear, to offset the effects of perceptual quality to be “negative”. The eye is, therefore, the national character, one who evaluates the consistency and the overall result, so that the progress “eye” seems better than the scale a character according to the proportions “linear” and calculated arithmetic from your computer. 

Officina Regular

Helvetica Ultra Black

Futura Medium

Officina Bold

Futura Heavy

Museo 500

Avenir Roman

Museo 900

Avenir Heavy

Titillium 400

Fedra Sans Book

Titillium 999

Fedra Sans Bold

Arno Pro Regular Arno Pro Bold

Jenson Pro Regular Jenson Pro Bold

Bodoni MT Regular

New Baskerville Regular

Bodoni MT Bold

New Baskerville Regular

Garamond Premier Pro Regular Garamond Premier Pro Bold

Discretionary Ligatures

Helvetica Roman

Simoncini Garamond Roman Simoncini Garamond Bold


Flaminia a type system for road signs

The Flaminia project is based on the MA thesis of Andrea Bergamini, which reacts to the chaotic and poorly executed road signage system seen throughout Italy. The core idea of the project is that lettering for traffic signs should always be tested in real-life environment, and the final solution must always be based on such testing. This led to the design of the Flaminia type system, which allows users and designers to test and interpolate a variety of letterforms using four Multiple Master axes. Flaminia is a tool for designing high-quality, well-legible type for road signs, and it will be available for free. 24

Project Story

Follow the directions, you can’t miss it... If you hear this when trying to find your way in Italy, you can just as well give up and put up with the fact that unless someone else helps, you will get lost for sure. Although Italy was ↓ In colore blu il tracciato originale della via one of the first European countries to intro- Flaminia, via consolare romana che collega duce traffic signs (the first traffic signs were Roma a Rimini, fatta iniziare nel 220 a.C dal placed along approximately forty kilometers console Caio Flaminio. long stretch of the Via Flaminia road back in 1895), the recent poll by 3M revealed the inefficiency and poor state of most Italian road signs. One of the reasons for this is that an official authority in charge of traffic signs and their replacement is missing. Far too often, this task is undertaken by the manufacturers, traffic police members, or private customers. They are often in charge of the whole process beginning with design and ending with the installation of road signs. In a field where so many areas of expertise meet, this is unacceptable; a single body should exist to take charge of the process. Related and inspiring projects Jock Kinneir and his colleague Margaret Calvert were typographers and graphic designers who designed many of the road signs used throughout Great Britain, as well as the Rail Alphabet used on the British railway system and an early version of the signs used in airports. Their system has become a model for modern road signage.

Discretionary Ligatures

Before the Flaminia project was launched, the author researched a variety of related road signage systems. Obviously, the 1957 project for British roads and motorways by Jock Kinneir and Margaret Calvert couldn’t be ignored. It was a milestone in information design which defined the method to be used from then on. Kinneir and Calvert understood the need to test the typefaces in real-life conditions, and the resulting Transport typeface thus has ideal proportions of width and height. One of the revolutionary aspects of Kinneir’s and Calvert’s work was that it was systematic. They designed a number of characters and solutions for a variety of applications. Their prototypes employ a clear system of spacing, easy to reproduce by anyone. At the time, the results of the project were extraordinary and unique, and their work remains breakthrough up to this day. 25

The M.O.L. typeface was designed by Gerard Unger for the Amsterdam underground system (until today, it was preserved at about ten stations). On his website, he says:

↓ M.O.L alphabet

“As a fair proportion of the signs are illuminated from within, using fluorescent tubes, the principles of optics were taken as the basis for the design. Whatever form an opening has – triangular, square or polygonal – the light shining through it onto a surface always tends to form a circle. mol is rounded throughout as a device to make illuminated lettering more even and legible”.

↑ An Amsterdam metro station signal using M.O.L typeface.

Optica was designed by a group of Chilean stu- dents led by Miguel Hernandez. They made use of the fact that some irregularities in letter shapes do not harm legibility. On the contrary – they might make it easier to read, because they even out the errors of vision when reading from a long distance. This theory was confirmed in a series of simulations involving purposefully dissolved contours of letters. The resulting typeface does have more distinct character than Clearview Hwy, which makes it easier to distinguish letters from one another. Although Optica is an interesting experiment, it is not yet scientifically verified whether its principles really do work. The functionality of ↓ Clearview Hwy (1) compared to Optica (2); a typeface designated for use in road signs can- at increasing amount of blurriness Optica gives not be tried unless we take into account real a bigger differentiantion between glyphs. conditions of installation and the used materials. James Montalbano also points to another significant obstacle designers of such typefaces must take into account: “Another thing to keep in mind when dealing with these sorts of fonts is their acceptability to the general highway engineering community. One of the reasons Clearview looks the way it does was that it was designed to solve problems of legibility and readability without scaring the very conservative highway engineers with a radical design solution.”


Project Story

bold Clearview Hwy typefamily was designed by James Montalbano to replace the Highway Gothic font, still seen at some American highways today. The Clearview Hwy font family has six weights in two different versions, one for standard and one for inverted use. The letters try to solve the problem of halation caused by car headlights, which makes it difficult to distinguish round letters from one another unless they are open enough. Halation is further emphasized by thick strokes of letters needed to accommodate for the needs of the reflecting elements of the button copy system. The resulting typeface was tested for over ten years on trial traffic signs. Several characteristics were taken into account: the weight in both standard and inverted styles, the width of letters, the letter spacing, the size of the sign border, and the x-height of the letters, which was significantly increased when compared to the font’s predecessors.

wide x-height

white gaps

rounded angles ↑ Proportions of the Clearview Hwy

Road Signage

 If you are interested in the on road signs and you analyze the look and feel, you should also read the article in the section of Contextual Legatures. You will find further information on the wide road signs and issues related to it. at page 24 of Contextual

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↓ Clearview Hwy alphabet


Flaminia, a system of characters Based on the analysis of the above-mentioned typefaces, the author was able to set a system of variables which may modify the appearance of glyphs. The manufacturing conditions were also taken into account. * * * * * * * *

roundness of letter width x-height weight alternating characters roundness of stroke serif / sans-serif irregularities in construction

The first four variables were defined primary and they were used in a Multiple Master file. Varieties on the opposite ends of a scale were then designed (high vs. low x-height, extraextended vs. extra-condensed styles, light vs. black styles, angular vs. round strokes). These pre-defined samples may then be interpolated, thus producing a number of various fonts. Letter width is one of the key variables influencing the utility of letters for use in road signs. Too narrow letters might be difficult to read, because free space between and inside the letters is extremely limited. Too wide styles, on the other hand, require more space and thus lead to increased costs of manufacture. Further varieties were created by increasing the x-height of letters. This process helps define the ideal x-height for good legibility, as larger x-height is known to improve it. The last variable used in Multiple Master was the weight of each stroke. This parameter is crucial for defining the perfect difference between weights designated for regular and inverted use. The author also took into account that on road signs, the letters will seldom appear in extra black weights, the most common weight being medium or semi-bold. 28

Letter width is one of the key variables influencing the utility of letters for use in road signs. Too narrow letters might be difficult to read, because free space between and inside the letters is extremely limited. Too wide styles, on the other hand, require more space and thus lead to increased costs of manufacture.

↓ Increasing variables




weight Project Story

The Flaminia is not as a character for signage, but rather as a system that can scientifically analyze the factors affecting the readability of this type of character, so it was to take into account any possible variations of reading derived from the shape of the glyph.

In each tweenable master were designed different versions of those glyphs that were considered ambiguous, and some other stylistic alternative glyphs.

alternative serifs thin strokes

alternative serifs

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In each tweenable master were designed different versions of those glyphs that were considered ambiguous, and some other stylistic alternative glyphs. This is because the Flaminia is not as a character for signage, but rather as a system that can scientifically analyze the factors affecting the readability of this type of character, so it was to take into account any possible variations of reading derived from the shape of the glyph.

Flaminia – arrow system After this, the author focused on creating a system of arrow symbols, relevant in weight to each style, yet variable as well. Thanks to this, custom-fitted arrows can be designed for each road sign, which is important as arrows in road signs carry the same information as the text itself. The set of variables for arrows differs a little from the text Multiple Master – there are only three variables in total: * the degree of openness of diagonals * weight * x-height The first variable is entirely independent of the text face, while the other two are strictly bound to the corresponding values in the text Multiple Master. Degree of openness of diagonals may be compared to the degree of opening of terminals in letters: the more open the diagonal strokes of an arrow are, the larger is the inner white space, which could, in turn, influence the clarity of more open vs. more closed arrows. This variable is independent of the text face variables; one version of text face may thus be paired with different versions of arrows. Weight is an important characteristics which helps to pair arrows with corresponding font styles. The last variable simply takes into account the varying x-height of letters and matches the height of arrows to it so that they would lie in the optical center of the letter. This interpolation does not serve as much for exploring legibility as it should help maintain coherent relationship between the text and the arrow sign.


Project Story

↓ Starting alphabet: the four primary variables

squared strokes

are set to minimum

small x-height

thin strokes


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Alternative versions of characters In each variation of the Multiple Master grid, more versions of certain ambiguous characters were designed, as well as additional stylistic versions of some other letters. Flaminia is not to serve exclusively for road sign usage; it should serve as a system for exploration of various agents which influence legibility of this type of lettering. This is why it was important to take into account the variations in reading. The first, Rounded version was designed in the second stage of the project. It was inspired by the M. O. L. typeface by Gerard Unger and it springs from the idea that letters illuminated from the inside could react in the same way as letters illuminated from the outside. The second version points to the commonly accepted idea that sans-serif fonts are more suited for use in road signs than serif ones are; this reflects also the practical aspects of road sign making, as it is much easier when linear, simple forms of letters are used. The Flaminia project tries to address the issue without bias and so it also contains one slab-serif style. The third version of the second stage of the project is based on Miguel Hernandez’s experiment. To verify his hypothesis, Flaminia contains one style with marked irregularities in letters, which matches the other styles of the face perfectly. It has to be said that the variables used in the Flaminia system may be altered arbitrarily; for example, variables which were considered secondary in this project may be emphasized, further variables may be added, etc.


Project Story

Traffic signs or road signs are signs erected at the side of roads to provide information to road users.


Flaminia is not to serve exclusively for road sign usage; it should serve as a system for exploration of various agents which influence legibility of this kind of lettering.


Legibility is the degree at which glyphs and vocabulary are understandable or readable based on appearance.

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alternative rounded termination

Flaminia Rounded



Project Story

� Flaminia Slab 1 is bracketed

� Flaminia Slab 2 is a Neo-grotesque model

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↑ Flaminia Irregular


Project Story

Open Source

Open source describes practices in production and development that promote access to the end product’s source materials. Some consider open source a philosophy, others consider it a pragmatic methodology. Before the term open source became widely adopted, developers and producers used a variety of phrases to describe the concept; open source gained hold with the rise of the Internet, and the attendant need for massive retooling of the projects source code.

The last stage of the project focused on the possibilities of growth, further modification, or alteration for other uses than in road signage systems. The project is not yet finished, but it is fully open to designers worldwide; more likely, it attempts to be a starting point for further research into legibility and reading. The .vfb file as well as the Open Type versions of Flaminia may be downloaded from the website as well as at The website is run by Michele PatanĂŠ, Marco Kisic, Luciano Perondi and Stefano Minelli since 2003. Flaminia is an open source project which can be further modified, adjusted and used (with a Creative Commons license) for further research of legibility and reading. î ”

Graphic designer Andrea Bergamini graduated from the Faculty of Design of Politecnico di Milano. He designed the Flaminia system where typographic elements meet with information design for road signage.

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A Type Face interview with Jos Buivenga


A Type Face

The way Dutchman Jos Buivenga rose to prominence on the type scene is quite remarkable. For years, his online friends and fans could follow the development of his typefaces via his website, and download the results at no cost. When his one‑man foundry exljbris began selling his first commercial typeface Museo through MyFonts last year, several weights were offered for free. The generosity paid off: Museo became a meteoric bestseller. Eighteen months, five typefaces and one bankrupt employer later, he finds himself a full time type designer – and doing very well, thank you. Meet Jos Buivenga, going with the flow on the river of life. Jos, you joined MyFonts in early 2008. By then, you had already created quite a following on your website and blog, where people could comment on your type design process and download beta versions of your fonts. When did it all start? Was there any kind of master plan behind it? It all started back in 1994 with the wish to make a typeface of my own. I just wanted to see what it would feel like to use a font of my own on my first Mac. Of course this isn’t the best brief to start a font. So I considered making my first typeface, Delicious, to be just a learning process. I was completely new to type design, which is the main reason why it took me two years to create a font family that I was happy with. It sounds like a long time but it was a great experience, being in a creative process, doing highly concentrated work, exploring caveats and finding solutions. It never really crossed my mind to sell it because I didn’t know if it was good enough. My second typeface, Fontin, which I began a decade later, still felt like a typographic exploration that I preferred to share rather than sell. Another reason for preferring to give it away was probably that I still didn’t consider myself a real type designer. After I had finished Fontin, my fonts got listed on several blogs. That’s when things really took off. I realized that people really liked my work, fortunately not only because I offered it for free. Site traffic started to build up and grew steadily year after year. At that stage I still worked full-time but the thought of selling some fonts to be able to work a day less each week began to occur more and more often. Discretionary Ligatures


So as a type designer you’re completely self-taught. Have you missed education, once you became serious about type, or do you think that designers who are talented and interested will always be able to figure things out on their own? You won’t hear me say that ignorance is bliss. But as a non-intellectual person, when creating things I need to find a sound balance between knowing and not knowing. I found out long ago that this is the best way for me to explore my creative capabilities, and make the design process worthwhile. With wonderful online resources like Typophile, I never really felt I missed education. My experience is that if you’re interested, the effort it takes to figure things out is reduced drastically. And that’s really a blessing for someone like me who is otherwise lazy by nature. Also – and this is not out of laziness, but to have more time for type design – I am always exploring the possibilities of outsourcing technical stuff and repetitive tasks. For my latest fonts I’ve been using iKern, the kerning and spacing service of Igino Marini. That proved to be a big time saver, which is great because time really is probably my most valuable asset. I have so many ideas that I want to fulfill, that if I were able to split myself into three entities I would still have enough type design work for years to come.

«It was kind of a remarkable coincidence that Igino contacted me with a reworked version of (my first) Anivers just at the moment that I was working on extending it to a complete family. The example he send me looked stunning. It made music to my eyes and I was instantly convinced of the fact that iKern could save me a lot of time. Igino and iKern did a wonderfull job on Anivers and also on the recently released Fertigo Pro. I hope our collaboration will last a life time, because I wouldn’t want to design type any other way». And then followed Museo Sans, Calluna, Museo Slab …


A Type Face


If I were able to split myself into three entities I would still have enough type design work for years to come


Type design is performed by a type designer. Regardless of the method used to specify type design, characters of different sizes have slightly different shapes for improved clarity and, above all, artistic consistency. There are many subtleties of shape so that no character looks too small or large.

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You’re in your mid-forties, and as a type designer you were a late starter. Do you think things would have been much different if you had begun getting serious about type earlier on? I’ve always regarded life as a river on which I don’t try to canoe upstream too much. Things have always happened to me at their own pace. The one thing I always try to do is to keep an open mind towards everything. I started my first font at 29 – which might already be regarded as late. Then for a decade I did not feel the urge to make a new one because I wasn’t inspired. It all changed with a little sketch which finally resulted in Fontin. From then on I was hooked. Before diving head-first into type, you worked in advertising for fifteen years. Looking back – what were the things you liked most about the advertising world, and what did you hate about it? Ever since I was a teenager I wanted to be an artist. After I graduated from high school, the right place to go seemed to be art school, but my father wanted me to learn a “proper” job. So we compromised and I got to go where I wanted, but to study graphic design, not painting. After four years – I didn’t graduate – I decided that it was time for me to become an artist. I did that for about 6 years until it became more than clear that I wasn’t able to make a living out of it. So I bought a Mac, taught myself the basics of desktop publishing and arranged an internship at an advertising agency. After a few years I got a job as an art director. Working in the advertising business never really was my cup of tea, mainly because of the commercial attitude and the fact that all the work was based on very specific assignments. The best thing about it was the puzzle-solving aspect of commercial projects. But creating something and being in a creative process is what makes me feel alive, so I always made sure that I had something to do “on the side” that interested me. That could be painting, writing or type design. 42

A Type Face

Museo is a spirited semi-serif typeface with lucid, open forms and highly original details, especially the pipe-like, bent half-serifs. It supports a wide range of languages and comes with several extra ligatures and alternates.

When you joined MyFonts with Museo, you were the first designer to offer most weights of an extended family for free. On the strength of the paid fonts alone, Museo became one of the best selling fonts of 2008, and Museo Sans did even better. What made you choose this strategy? Did you expect that kind of success? Before Museo was ready for release I often thought about what would be the best pricing strategy. I had to take into account that most people who knew me, knew me for my free fonts, so my guess was that it would be best to offer more free than paid weights. Next thing to consider was which weights should be free. I myself always hate it when free things are not complete or not as useful as they could be, so I decided to offer the three middle, most common, weights for free. And that was received better than I could have imagined. I had a bit of a hunch of Museo’s potential success because of all the positive feedback I got on my blog, but I didn’t expect it to be this big. The two fonts I released later that year – Anivers and Museo Sans – were also received very well. When the advertising agency I was working for went bankrupt in April this year it was clear that the time was right to become a full-time type designer. In the close-knit landscape of Dutch type design, you were completely unknown until a couple of years ago. Now you’re probably one of the country’s best-selling designers. Do you still feel like an outsider? Yes, sometimes it feels like everything I’ve done has led up to the point where I’m at now, creating type in a world where it is not so necessary any more to relate to other type designers in order to function well. Besides, I am a person who really likes to do things his own way. On the other hand, I do feel connected to everyone who loves type and type design. Also, I immensely enjoy working together with Martin Majoor on a project at the moment. Discretionary Ligatures


Questa lovely ligature

That project is Questa, a new “modern face”. Could you tell us a bit more about the typeface and about the way you collaborate? Early April this year I was asked to give a lecture at the 33pt symposium in Dortmund, as was Martin Majoor. We knew each other way back from art school in Arnhem, with the difference that I wasn’t into type design then. It was great meeting each other again and we both felt that the time in Dortmund was too short for all the things we wanted to share. Back in Arnhem after a few meetings we decided to do a type design project together. Going through the options we stumbled on Questa, a squarish Didot-like font that I originally had planned in one display style only. Martin saw enough possibilities to use that as a basis to create a text version too, as well as a sans-serif, all with true italics. We both have busy schedules and Martin spends a lot of time in Poland, but when he’s in Arnhem we try to team up twice a week to work on Questa in harmonious collaboration – although fortunately there is also some healthy discussion going on. Because I’m self-taught it’s great to witness closely how another type designer handles the whole process of making a large font family. During the past few years, you’ve made exemplary use of online communication and networking tools to get your fonts out there: a blog, a free fonts website, a Flickr pool, Twitter, contributions to… What’s more, it doesn’t feel like a calculated strategy. You seem to thoroughly enjoy this kind of communication. In the early days people had to e-mail me to get my free fonts. Soon I started to receive more than 20 requests per day, so I decided to offer the fonts as a direct download. The e-mails still kept coming in, but now from people who just wanted to comment on my work. A blog is of course the better place for that, plus it also offers me the opportunity to have a direct response to type designs in progress. That’s also the reason why I embrace Flickr, Twitter and the like. To be able to interact like this is a thing I value tremendously. Later – with the release of Museo – I discovered that it also works very well to help market my fonts. 4444

A Type Face

Questa √√

Historic �arfun. qa’fligéz stacguw �e Close Ranks Struck Forward. Discretionary Ligatures



Calluna, Buivenga’s first full-fledged roman for text and display, grew out of the Museo design process. Calluna makes for comfortable reading even at very small text sizes; its striking details ensure that it can also be used as a display font with personality. As for Calluna’s name: it’s simply the name of the street in Arnhem, the Netherlands, where Jos happens to live and work.

A detail for type geeks: your latest typeface, Calluna, has a sloped crossbar on the “e” – one of the primary characteristics of early Venetian or “Humanist” typefaces, as the history books never tire of teaching us. Did you actually look at Jenson’s type as a model for Calluna? Do historical models play a role in your work at all? One day when I was playing around with Museo to see if I could make a slab serif out of it, the bent serifs with the newly attached slabs resulted in a serifed roman letterform that had a nice forward direction. I used that little accident as a base for Calluna. Not only did this determine the shape of the regular serifs, it also shaped lots of other details like for example the bottom serif of “p” and the crossbar of “e”. I wanted the proportions of the capitals to be classical, therefore I had a glimpse at Garamond capitals. I don’t really look at other typefaces as a model; I only look at what other type designers’ solutions are for specific things I’m struggling with at that moment. You’ve been working with MyFonts for a year and a half now. What are the main things this collaboration has brought you? When I was ready to release Museo I was still working four days a week so I needed a partner that would relieve me from the hassle of setting up and maintaining a shop. MyFonts looked ideal to me because of the fact that I was able to do my own marketing and because MyFonts gives a fair commission on sales. MyFonts offers good possibilities for people to try out type before buying – which has gotten even better with the new site – and also the opportunity to set up one’s own foundry page. Because of that I could keep my own site fairly simple and that saved me time… precious time to design more type. Dankjewel, Jos! As you are obviously one of the hardest working type designers in the Low Countries, we are looking forward to seeing something new from exljbris soon!  46

A Type Face

Fertigo Pro regular 31 pt and 100 pt

raffinate ligature

Anivers regular 21 pt and 108 pt

exaggerate inktraps become a decorative element

Diavlo medium 124 pt, Diavlo book 60 pt and Diavlo light 51 pt arabesque junctions

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Fontin and Fontin Sans 94 pt

Delicious roman 64 pt, Delicious italic 113 pt and Delicious bold 104 pt


strong bends

A Type Face

A font for every season LFT Etica

A strong yet delicate Sans LFT Etica, the moralist typefamily project, was born at the end of 2000, but its development is ongoing, overcoming many hurdles and diversions. The starting point for the designers at Leftloft were the common “cold” grotesk sans serifs, ubiquitous and often badly applied in their everyday visual environment. The challenge was to obtain the same force, versatility and colour, but with a much warmer feel. The resulting design has soft strokes, open counters and terminals;

Aesthetically resting somewhere between a grotesque and humanist sans serif, it successfully combines masculine force with female delicacy LFT Etica’s wide range of styles, together with a large character set and OpenType features, such as 4 sets of numerals, fractions, several stylistic alternates and a set of arrows and dingbats, allows for a vast variety of applications, be they editorial or corporate. What do we like about Etica is its relaxed mood, fresh but with a personality. It has a very simple design, but without the swiss rigidity. In the heavy weights Etica has a soft look, that feels like Bree, from Marina Mario, and Ronnia, from Chewbacca Delorean, in a perfect TypeTogether style. LFT Etica full set of weights and opentype features make this family a good choice for large projects. 50

A font for every season

LFT Etica Display Thin

LFT Etica Extrabold

LFT Etica Regular with alternate “a” and “y”

LFT Etica Bold

LFT Etica Light

LFT Etica Display Heavy

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Ascendent and capitals have the same height.

ascendent capital




“R� crossbar stays much under half the x-height, which gives the counter a great legibility even with heavy weight.


Terminals are slanted, so that the letterformes stay open.

A font for every season

“i” dot is ellyptical and lays over the capital height line.

“t” cross bar is aligned to the x-height.

Descendent strokes are slightly longer than the ascendents.

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LFT Etica, Light – 50/65 →


A font for every season

LFT Etica comes with several alternates that make this font even more precious and desirable, an irresistible detail for every type geek.

The most common ligatures are included as an Opentype feature.

LFT Etica has a regular width, about 3/4 of the height. Regular weight is 1/12 of the height. The crossbar is at 2/3 of the total height. Width: 3/4 Weight: 1/12

LFT Etica has Old Style Figures, which come handly for use in text. Discretionary Ligatures


The designer Leftloft is a visual communication studio based in Milan since 1997. The studio has grown to a staff of 16 people with multi-disciplinary skills, able to provide solutions for all information and communication needs. Leftloft creates projects that aim to improve and implement successfull communication channels for companies, institutions and cultural organizations. The studio has been established by Andrea Braccaloni, Francesco Cavalli, Bruno Genovese and David Pasquali. All are members of AIAP (Italian Design Association for Visual Communication) and BEDA (Bureau European Design Association). In addition to their design activity, the partners teach at the Milan Politecnico Faculty of Design. Leftloft is also a promoter of the Graphic Ministry, a cultural association promoting design culture. In autumn 2008, Leftloft opened a new additional office in New York City, USA.


A font for every season

LFT Etica, Extrabold

Etica vs. Helvetica

Helvetica Neue, 95 Black

LFT Etica, Extrabold

Ronnia, Heavy

Bree, Extrabold

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LFT ETica Extrabold LFT Etica supports over 50 languages using latin alphabet





A font for every season

↓ LFT Etica – 10/12 pt (bodytext), 11/13 pt (title)

Veronika Burian gave a lecture at Typo Berlin 2010. Read the report at page D10.

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A font for every season

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The Glyph can you recognize the font for each &? note: the tiny cyan circles are hints to help you guess. Enjoy!






















The Glyph

Discretionary Ligatures 1. Baskerville italic 2. Diavlo 3. Arno Pro italic 4. Eurostile 5. Cholla sans 6. Latinaires bold italic 7. Auto3 italic 8. American Typewriter 9. Hoefler Text black italic 10. Bello Pro 11. Electra 12. Chino ITC Pro 13. Garamond italic 14. Amplitude ultra 15. Scala Sans 16. Bree 17. Candy Script 18. Auriol 19. Marat Pro black italic 20. Giddyup 21. PF Champion Script Pro 22. Affair 23. Cooper black 24. Foco bold 25. Quadraat italic 26. Ronnia italic 27. Calcite pro 28. Bodoni black 29. Sneaker Script 30. Cochin bold italic 31. Vista Sans alt black 32. Fedra Sans italic 33. Goudy heavyface 34. Democratica 35. Klavika medium italic

Check you answers below. If you guessed at least 15 fonts, you can enter the Type Geeks League!

63 If you’re not sick with ampersands, you may want to check Coming Together font. 400 designers from all over the world partecipated in the project “An ampersand for Haiti” to raise funds for the reconstruction of Haiti. at page 52 of Contextual

coming together

















C6 0 *

Fr a n ce s co

In te rv ie w s


Fr a n ch D14



c Fa nt

A * Mechanism of Reading The Eye Asymmetry

* Readability & Legibility


D3 8

Jo s B ui v e n ga





a ic e Et h yp T yp l eT LF bl * eG 9 ea D4 Th ov * 3 M D6 of ue ag 6 C4

The Glyph


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Ty p in





* e

Th yp




* Road Signage


Good Signage Requirements

Signs of Design

History of signage





je ro











a Fl

g in

n to

m Co

ew N

ia in

e g To

r e th

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Welcome on Ligatures. What you have in your hands is a journal of typography about typography. As you may have already noticed, this is a ma...