Rund zwei Jahre arbeitete Hubert Joacham an einer ungewöhnlichen Antiqua. Es begann als einer Display-Version mit Haarlinien und feinen Serifen. Lange wusste er nicht, wie es mit den Entwürfen weiter gehen sollte. Ungewöhnlich für ihn, denn eigentlich beendet Joacham seine Entwürfe in Rekordzeiten, weil es »Leben und Charakter in die Konturen bringt«. Doch für Alida musste er neue Wege beschreiten, und daher dauerte es weit länger als üblich.
Auf seiner Internetseite beschreibt Hubert Jocham den Prozess in großer Ausführlichkeit, noch mehr Informationen für Off-Line-Leser enthält dieses PDF.
»A sans serif is easy in one way. You have a vertical stroke that ends like a square. Most of the time the outline is even. There is not much happening at the border of black and white. In the 19th century when the sans serifs got popular people called them Grotesques. Not used to the forms of the sans they might have thought, there is something missing, something cut away, not complete.
In the last few years I worked more on serifs then on sans serifs. One of the first things you discover when doing this, is that the spacing is completely different. The serifs and other elements create other shapes and a much more complex system of proportion. Many more decisions have to be made and many more form components have to be designed and be harmonized.
For me as a designer who still grew up in this German Bauhaus/HFG athmosphere where less was always more, this experience is very interesting. When your approach is always less is more you loose the ability to design complex compositions. You tend to take things out that might have been important. Don’t get me wrong. I still love sans serifs and I am working on a new one at the moment. But serifs are much more challenging.
Alida for text has got 7 different weights with italics and smallcaps and a display version with 7 weights and italics.
Aus dem Alida-PDF:
Example 1 (Leaf) with the small x-height follows classic proportions. The early roman typefaces from the Renaissance where structured like that. The ideal of geometry shown in the Capitalis Monumentalis influenced the capitals and the lower case. The O, almost a geometric circle has a massive counter. The letter next to the O therefore needs to step away. Classic proportions only look good with much space inbetween and arround. Books with wide and open columns are the best places to be for this typefaces.
Example 2 (Voice Serif) with the big x-height follows classicistic proportions. Younger typefaces from the 18th century like Walbaum stand at the end of a transitional period that not only influence the stroke. The width of the capitals is more similar here. The O is narrower then a circle. Neoclassical proportions seem to deal with space more effectively. Because columns can be narrower these typefaces work best in newspapers, magazines and as a corporate typeface.