Quimera is a natural consequence of our admiration for the work of French designer Roger Excoffon, specially for his (in)famous type Antique Olive, published in 1962. However Quimera has its own personality. Its simple anatomy, open counters, and unique thin serifs make it very legible in small text bodies, both printed and on screen.
Horizontal stress and delicate serifs
Reverse contrast typefaces contradict the traditional calligraphic modulation in typography, that is, thicker vertical strokes and thinner horizontal strokes. They give wordshapes a horizontal stress. Characters tend to be generous in width and with open counterforms, all of which performs better in small bodies and in screen reading. Despite its reverse contrast, Quimera has a delicate character. Although its stroke modulation is similar to that of a sanserif, its characters carry a very thin, capricious serif. This genetic contradiction is reflected in its name, as if it were a ‘sanserif avec’. Base serifs help to keep the visual continuity of words along the text line and while this can help the eyes of the reader, it also allows for a reduction of the leading space, in comparison with a sanserif type.
Figures slightly taller
How uppercases, lowercases, and figures relate to each other in type design is always matter for personal opinions. Quimera’s figures are slightly higher than lowercases’ x-height. Considering that Indo Arabic numbers constitue a group of signs of diverse origin in respect to the Latin alphabet, we decided to emphasize that difference. Some researchers claim we read figures in a very different manner than words. Therefore a slightly larger x-height seemed appropriate to help us distinguishing ‘figures images’ from word-images.
Quimera has only five fonts: a roman declined in four weights, plus a compact extra-black version for space-saving settings. This typeface is being seriously extended. Stay tuned!