‘A’ from Elfreth with Service Gothic’s manicules
This is Adventures in Typography and I, Robin Rendle, am your incredibly late newsletter-writer. Sadly for the last few weeks I’ve had to anxiously gather some visa documents together but now that that’s over we can get back to the show! Here come the fonts!
Okay—so as I’ve been workin’ on the book I’ve had a million tabs of Fernanda Cozzi’s work open and zoomed in to every letter she’s ever made. It’s all remarkable stuff. Like, just take a look at Gabriella, “a wide, emotional and striking typeface” which is an understatement to say the least:
Oh oh oh and check the R and lowercase d here, too:
That leg that just immediately, harshly juts out and the rectangular counter of the d! Extremely good stuff: each letter looks as if it’s been pulled to the breaking limit, but that’s perfect for big display work.
Oh and scrolling through the specimen I just spotted the excellent symbols that are hiding away down here:
Continuing on this thread, I’m pretty sure I’ve written about Cozzi’s Tomasa before, a script face set in all capitals that has these great swirly bits that are odd but definitely have a logic to them all.
Make sure to look closely at the alternate F and Y below:
I don’t think in my previous post I ever mentioned the capital K or the fabulous Q though, which I feel like I must apologize to my fans for missing the first time round:
That K! What a K! It looks like it’s taken the first big step before it kicks off a barn dance. Also, I am certain that Fernanda had an absolute blast designing these beautiful numbers:
I love that Fernanda’s work is so exploratory, never taking the easy way out or doing anything predictable. It’s genuinely inspirational, like her type family Aimé which has this bonkers display face but then a much more reserved (but still fun) text face:
Gah! Sadly it looks like Aimé is not available yet so I will patiently keep hitting refresh on this tab until it’s ready. Also unavailable just yet is Aidé, a thin, shocking typeface that has such extreme contrast that it looks like it’s shining or that it was carved into stone and is reflecting the light at an angle…
Here’s one bananas idea for Aide: a variable font version that changes contrast as if the sun is cast at different angles upon the letters, or as if the light source aimed at it is moving. That would be neat! (And also likely a technical font-making nightmare.)
Anywho, like I said, Fernanda’s work is inspiring even though I’m no type designer. All this stuff makes me look at my own work and wonder how I can make it all less…boring. Less obvious. Never do the easy thing! Make everything weird!
It also reminds me of the mantra of the podcast 99% Invisible, that when you’re new to a city and you’re walking around for the first time you should then always read the plaque. When it comes to typography and letter-loving, I hereby create a new mantra for us all: we should always read the type specimen.
Because down here there do be wonders.
Until next time!