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, thin serif, and charm
Due to its reverse contrast Antique Olive has a strong horizontal stress, which contradicts traditional calligraphic consistency in type, that is thick verticals & thick horizontals. Quimera has a delicate caracter and a charming personality, its counterforms lead to good legibility on screen. But while having a typical sanserif stroke modulation, the letterforms of Quimera wear a very thin, capricious serif. This genetic contradiction is the reason behind its name (khimera), as it was a “sanserif avec”! The baseline serifs help keeping the words’ visual continuity across the textline, and we believe it may help the reader’s eyes.
How uppercases, lowercases, and figures relate to each other in design is always matter for personal opinions. Quimera’s figures are slightly higher than lowercases’ x-height. Considering that Indo Arabic numbers conform a group of signs of different origin in respect to the Latin alphabet, I decided to emphasize that difference. Some researchers claim we read figures in a completely different way than words. Therefore a slightly larger x-height seemed appropriate to help us distinguishing ‘figures images’ from word-images.
Quimera has 5 fonts: a roman declined in 4 weights, plus a compact extra-black version for space-saving settings. We are making a big expansion of this type family. Stay tuned!