New Additions: February 2024

29th February 2024

From the hundreds of fonts we add to the Identifont database every month we chose a selection of the most interesting recent additions, and interviewed the designers about their approach to each design:


Classique Italic

Classique Bold

Classique Black

Paulo GoodeClassique (Paulo Goode)

Classique is a revival of a typeface originally released in 1785 by the London type foundry Elizabeth Caslon & Sons. What inspired you to work on this revival?

Some years back I was researching the classics with the aim of releasing my own Garamondesque or Caslonesque type family. At the time I plumped for Garamond and that lead to the creation of Evoque and Evoque Text. I kept the scans I had discovered of various Caslon samples in my “Inspiration” folder for future reference. The one I was really drawn to was entitled “Eliz. Caslon’s New Pica”. After completing PG Gothique last year, I was deciding what to create next and I discovered that this typeface, to my knowledge, had not been digitised, so I thought “ah sure, let’s give it a lash!”.

What sources were you able to work from in producing your designs of Classique? 

The only reference I had was from A Specimen of Printing Types published in 1785 containing Caslon’s typefaces, musical notation, ornaments, etc. This book is held at The New York Public Library and four scans from it appear as part of their Digital Collections. There is a single-page scan of Eliz. Caslon’s New Pica and this was my sole reference for creating Classique. 

You’ve extended the family with Classique Text and Classique Display optical sizes. Were these based on different cuts of the original fonts, or did you extrapolate from the main Classique typeface?

I made as faithful a reproduction of New Pica as I could – this became the Regular and Italic weights of Classique. From there on I set about creating heavier weights, relying on my intuition and type design experience to achieve the best balance and aesthetic for such a classic typeface. I really struggled to transfer the italic ‘x’ glyph from New Pica into a heavier style; I kept going back to it to try and make it work but nothing was truly satisfactory to my eyes. In the end, once the typeface was almost complete, I decided to drop it and draw a new italic ‘x’ that was more legible in the darkest weights.

With the standard weights completed, I saw scope immediately to adjust each style that would be more appropriate for Display and Text purposes. It’s an extremely beautiful typeface on its own, but I felt that anyone using it would want greater scope from a full family. I feel that the Display weights could perhaps be even more extreme in their contrast for elegant typography at very large sizes, so I may work on that in future – depending on demand.

You've described Classique as a “Scotch Roman”. Is this a description that was used by the original foundry?

No, this term was not being used back in 1785 at the time of New Pica’s release. This high-contrast serif style was defined during the 1800s and is said to be derived from a style of typeface known as “Pica No 2” released by the Edinburgh-based foundry of William Miller in 1813. Perhaps this was because Caslon’s similar range of New Pica, Double Pica, New Canon, etc. that all pre-date Miller’s typeface were not well known or used at the time?

Ciclo Display Thin

Ciclo Display

Ciclo Display Bold

Antonio Mejía LechugaCiclo Display (Antonio Lechuga)

Where did the inspiration for Ciclo Display come from?

In the 70's my great-grandfather published a book about our hometown, and a few years ago, while looking through the library, I noticed on the cover that the font used by the printer at the time had replaced the capital ‘I’ of the word “HUAUCHINANGO” with an upside-down ‘1’ of the same font (I wonder if anyone noticed this at the time). It was then that I noticed the details and shapes of the rest of the letters and realized that it was Bernhard Modern. I was intrigued by the steep angles of the ‘C’, ‘G’, ‘O’, and ‘A’ and their characteristic serifs. So I looked closely at the hole characters and variables in the family and thought I might be inspired to do a new project based on a reinterpretation of it.

Ciclo Display is reminiscent of Gustav Jaeger’s classic typeface Catull. Did that influence you in any way?

I honestly did not know this family and I see that it is very nice. The intention with Ciclo Display was to keep the tilt angle as consistent as possible. As I mentioned above my starting point was a reinterpretation of Bernhard Modern.

Ciclo Display is very calligraphic in style; in particular, the ‘C’, ‘M’, ‘Q’, and ‘U’ look like they must have been drawn in ink with a nib. Did you start by sketching the font on paper with a pen?

My first sketches are almost always done in pencil, emulating some tool or feature. In the case of Ciclo Display, I started by imitating the shape of the ‘C’ a little, with the idea of internalizing Bernhard's spirit and finding something interesting. The ‘O’, along with round letters like ‘D’, ‘P’, and ‘R’, made me go back to paper and try to follow a calligraphic flow with a flat nib and the characteristics of its ends. Then I explored the belly of the ‘a’ at a similar angle, and so on. So I wasn't doing it from scratch, but I was using a flat nib to understand how I would solve certain things.

You’ve called it Ciclo Display, suggesting that you may add a Text optical size in the future. Is that correct?

At first, I had no idea if I would make a system or a simple family, but later I decided to make a system with optical variables, and started working with the Display family. I defined different vertical proportions than Bernhard Modern, but kept the contrast high and the slant angle more or less consistent in the rest of the characters. The plan is to create a Text family with a little more vertical and traditional angle, and see how the slant axis interpolates to create a subhead variant. We'll see what happens.

Thermal Text

Thermal Text Italic

Thermal Bold Text

Thermal Black Text

Fernando DíazThermal (TipoType)

What were your inspirations in designing Thermal?

Well, typography is always rooted in history; the italics were inspired by one of our favorite books from our studio: Augustini Mascardi Siluarum libri 4 (Augustine Mascardi of the Forest, Book 4), printed by Christophe Plantin. Besides the wonderful frontispiece by Rubens, this book has an exquisite typeface from Robert Granjon called Ascendonica Cursive cut in 1571. This typeface served as the direct inspiration for Thermal’s italics. Many type designers have made revivals of this typeface, so our goal was not to be historically faithful, but to create a respectful contemporary interpretation that generates a captivating contrast with the rest of the family. 

The upright version was conceived not with one typeface in mind, but as a blend of the wood type pantograph's precision and the psychedelic movement’s boldness, resulting in shapes that are both nostalgic and contemporary. For us it was important that this serif typeface was versatile and readable, so the Text styles have adjusted contrast, thicker serifs, and fine-tuned spacing to work better in paragraphs.

Thermal has a much wider range of weights than were usual with classic typefaces. What were your influences in designing the heavier weights, such as Black?

In the early stages of Thermal’s design we started by drawing the heavy display styles, trying to pay homage to the enduring letterforms that have captivated type designers and viewers alike for centuries, taking inspiration from the past but reinterpreting classical letterforms for our times. The 19th-century wood type revolution brought warm and robust display characters with organic serifs. These were designed and cut using the pantograph, a new tool that allowed for a higher level of precision across different sizes. Those bold letterforms resonated with the readers of the time and left a lasting imprint on type history.

A century later, in the psychedelic 1960s and 1970s, those organic serifs found new meaning, capturing the spirit of freedom and vibrancy of those decades. They were used in concert posters, album covers, and were a visual synonym for the era's avant-garde mindset. The wide range of weights is a result of the variable design system; we always try to provide the user with the most versatility possible to be able to adapt to any project.

Thermal includes three optical sizes: Text, Headline, and Display, which are provided as an optical size axis in the variable fonts. What inspired you to design it?

Originally when typefaces were made of metal or wood they had different drawings for each size. For small sizes the letterforms were simple and robust; in large sizes they had a great deal of contrast and detail. When type became digital, there was a need to preserve those design differences between sizes, so optical sizing was a way to keep its design intent at different sizes. 

However, Thermal uses this axis not to preserve the design across sizes, but to enhance its personality. It changes shape dramatically according to the optical size you choose. The Display styles have a lot of contrast between thick and thin strokes, less spacing, and hairline serifs, and the Text styles are more robust and neutral to be readable. The advantage of being a variable font with two axes is that the user can play and choose the right point of each axis to achieve the perfect mix.

Italic typefaces such as Plantin Italic typically have a slant of 15°, but you’ve given Thermal Italic a steeper slant of 20°. What was the thinking behind this decision?

We love experimenting and trying to push the boundaries. For this typeface we tried to focus on making the most extreme contrast between uprights and italics, that's why we experimented with a 20° inclination (a significant inclination by any standard), and we played with razor-sharp calligraphic strokes that provide a sense of dynamism and energy.


Julie GreenBlomma (Up Up Creative)

Blomma is a charming decorative font in which the characters are constructed from vines and berries. Was it designed for a particular project?

Before I was a type designer I was a letterer. Blomma started as just one word: the word “JOYFUL” hand-lettered for a holiday card in 2018. Over the years, I've returned to that lettering for inspiration for other projects, and I've always thought that maybe I would try to turn it into a font, despite the fact that it probably would never sell enough to pay me for all the hours it would take to create. In that way, it was definitely more of a passion project than a commercial one, so I knew I’d have to tuck it away and save it for just the right time.

2023 was a strange year for me and I spent much of it working on administrative and generally non-creative endeavors, so it was the perfect time to pull out that word JOYFUL and see if I could play with it in between less fun stuff.

Given the intricate detail in each character, did you start by drawing large versions with a pen and ink before converting them to a digital font?

In terms of how it was actually created, the original six letters were drawn on paper with ink at a much larger size and then cleaned up, finessed, and vectorized. When it came time to start playing with the letters for the font version, I turned to my iPad Pro and the Procreate app where I was able to create the brush I needed and draw the details of each letter quite large before exporting and vectorizing from there. Doing it that way (with one custom brush that I could control) helped me keep each and every stroke consistent and made the vectorizing job a lot easier.

I can imagine that it was difficult to get the vines to fit well in every character of Blomma. Did any characters cause particular problems?

I think the hardest characters to draw given the constraints of using only leaves and little berries weren’t the letters but the punctuation. The challenge was, of course, “How do I make this look like a comma without just drawing a comma?” but then also “How do I make the comma different from the bottom of the semi-colon, each single quotation mark, and each piece of each double quotation mark?”. While I certainly could have reused shapes and glyphs, my goal was to create as much hand-lettered authenticity as possible, so reusing elements was off the table. This is the same reason I ended up choosing to draw a second version of every single letter (in the lower-case positions) so that when it came time for a word with double letters, each of the two doubled letters could look different. 

All that said, the hardest character of them all was definitely the ampersand, which I must have drawn twenty times before I settled on something that felt right. Ampersands are tough enough to draw without trying to make them out of leaves!