Eskapade from emphasis despotism

hrant's picture

http://www.type-together.com/Eskapade

I think this is more significant than most people might realize. We need more ways to emphasize text than merely via Italics, and I can imagine numerous types of projects where this "system" would be a godsend.

Bravo.

hhp

viko's picture

Thank you Hrant ;-)

Nick Shinn's picture

It’s always been possible to mix typefaces for emphasis.
This seems at first to be more about harmonizing type proportions in a document.

However, when I have provided diverse styles in a matched super family, purchases of the complete family have been rare (Modern Suite, Sense and Sensibility, Brown and Worldwide).
But those were big families—this is pointedly focused on emphasis (fraktur as the “bold” weight) in a small family of four.

Nice idea, nicely done!—Good luck with your Eskapade, Veronika and José.

oldnick's picture

Gee, Nick—

You never seem to miss an opportunity to pat yourself on the back. Super, dude…

viko's picture

Just to clarify, the Eskapade design is by Alisa Nowak, a German designer living in France.

quadibloc's picture

I like the idea of a Fraktur light as well; while I don't find traditional authentic Fraktur legible, I like the idea of having an additional choice that is usable, and I approve of calligraphic faces also.

LexLuengas's picture

Nice.

It's a shame that the decorative twin lines are too thick.

Andreas Stötzner's picture

> the decorative twin lines are too thick.

It seems the same to me.

Nonetheless, a most worthy exploration.
When making kinship of Sans and Serif, why not making kinship of Serif and Fraktur?
The game may well get played further. Have we seen a superfamily Fraktur-serif/Fraktur-Sans?

In the old days, using Roman inside Fraktur for emphasizing (or vice versa?) was common practice.

Nick Shinn's picture

You never seem to miss an opportunity to pat yourself on the back. Super, dude…

Admitting that my superfamilies are rarely licensed in toto is patting myself on the back?

The point I was trying to make was that the modestly-sized Eskapade family package is a better strategy for getting disparate styles used together.

But then again, perhaps other foundries have had a different experience with superfamilies than I have.

hrant's picture

Nick, I'm not claiming that Nowak can be credited with inventing the idea of using non-Italic styles for emphasis*, and for all we know that wasn't even her intent (noting that the Roman was not released concurrently with the Fraktur**). However there's a difference between designing different cuts under a single umbrella that can be intermixed, versus simply getting lucky mixing totally unrelated fonts without ruining readability. Look at the famous works of Avital Ronell for example: inventive, expressive, but not highly readable. This is a different animal, and quite a rara avis - in fact I only know of one single very good example "on the ground":
http://www.daidala.com/intlife.html

* Even when I made the Daam Entity over a decade ago I doubt I was the first.

** Which however could have been an Excoffon-style cleverness (where he released the Nord weight of Olive first, in order to get attention, even though it was less versatile than the other weights to follow).

Comparing it to something like Sense and Sensibility (great name BTW) I have to wonder if those two can effectively serve as emphasis for each other; I think they're just too close - and the same goes even for virtually any Serif-Sans system. Also note how unworkable upright Italics are for emphasis.

As an aside I personally don't mind it when Nick cites his own work; it must be admitted (and I've said this before) that he's one of our most innovative designers (of which there's been a shortage lately).

BTW, one other way Eskapade is innovative is -what I consider to be- a classy implementation of rotalics (see the second half of http://typographica.org/on-typography/a-fruitful-discomfort-the-face-of-...). In fact it would have been nice if the Roman also had a rotalic-style Italic, at least as an alternative cut.

hhp

daverowland's picture

http://typemedia2012.com/#leda
I know you're not big on KABK, Hrant, but what did you think of this one for using a more fraktur like style which is in keeping with the proportions of the roman?

hrant's picture

That puppy sent my Firefox into a burning spiral! Which is very rare on my system. Is it in HTML5?

I had only seen photos of this year's KABK stuff on Flickr* so I actually didn't realize that Leda does the same sort of thing - nice. Since that's its best attribute I hope they promote that aspect more. And of course a texty weight would be most welcome.

* http://www.flickr.com/photos/ninastoessinger/7482436752/

BTW I think Leda's blackletter is properly* termed a Textura.

* According to Bain & Shaw's book, if not everybody.

hhp

daverowland's picture

Mote and Blanco http://typemedia2012.com/#mote do the complementary sans and serif thing, but I doubt one could be used for emphasis with the other because the proportions are so similar you hardly notice the change, which is quite strange. What's more interesting about these is they were made by different people.

hrant's picture

Like it says the two designers decided to "synchronize" their designs, which is a nice idea (although like you I'm not sure how far the intermixing can be taken, functionally).

hhp

quadibloc's picture

It is true that using Roman inside Fraktur, or vice versa, was a relatively common practice in the really old days; sometimes later on, sans and Roman were used that way too, although, as noted, a visible difference in weight was usually needed.

While the Roman/Fraktur case was initially used as we would use italics today, later on Fraktur or sans-serif tended to be used as an alternative to bold, as opposed to either a replacement for italics, or a third level of emphasis beyond bold, IIRC. This could have been because many typefaces had a complementary italic, but no boldface.

I don't think this really counts as an example of the same phenomenon, but an even more common response to the lack of a boldface in a Roman font is to use a Clarendon as the bold - this was done in many Linotype layouts.

Nick Shinn's picture

Clarendon was the original bold for Roman text, when Scotch was the style. High contrast bolds were a later development.

Interestingly, I originally provided a conventional, high contrast bold for the Globe and Mail serif faces in 2006. Then, when I extended the family in 2009, I added a heavy slab for display, because it’s a contemporary look; as an afterthought, I wondered what an interpolation of that and the Regular serif style would look like—it turned out nicely, and this slab bold has become used by the paper’s designers more than the high contrast bold, they especially like it for Bold contrast in body text.

So, just as one may have two italics for a roman (italic and slanted), one may have two bolds (slab and contrasty). It’s a problem for style-linking and layout apps, which are predicated on only one of each.

LexLuengas's picture

Leda does a really good job matching the roman and fraktur structurally. Is there a regular weight? I guess there's not. I could really see it working, not only as a display face, but also on running text.

The question is how this new fraktur instance would interact with the roman and italic (if I may anticipate such triad will ever be used together). I have a feeling that it has been mostly assumed fraktur will serve as an alternative to italic. There's also a natural temptation to use both. We would have two emphasizers, italic and fraktur, in the same block of text (and bold as an intensifier). Using both, italic and fraktur seems just unnecessary. The problem here is to find a reason for the fraktur, which I think is the most interesting question.

The question is not whether Eskapade or Leda are innovative, they are a priori. Nor whether fraktur is usable nowadays. I truly believe that is a customary matter. If someone can read it, it can be read and adopted by everyone. John already indirectly pointed it out. The question is how can this roman-italic-bold-fraktur tetrad (or three of them) be used meaningfully together. Fraktur could be used instead of bold italic, for example.

If think it would be incredible if it was possible, for once, to break the roman-italic marriage, and combine faces in a much more freely way. What Nick tells about style-pairing, it's just... goose bumps.

hrant's picture

to find a reason for the fraktur

Indeed, it has to make sense as a particular "voice". In a way that Italic -which connotes among other things informality, ironically not what emphasis is about- so often fails at. This can be the case simply due to the way it looks, or preferably due to its cultural connotations - for example to set passages about Germany, or gangs, or Picasso, or...

I would again point to the sample from the otherwise unassuming novel "The Interior Life"* where the Modern face is used for passages about the heroine's suburban life while the "fauve humanist" face is used for passages about her medieval fantasy life. And then there's the Italic too!

* http://www.daidala.com/intlife.html

Style-linking: A document can have tags (similar to language tags) that could trigger a change of font, no?

hhp

LexLuengas's picture

Thanks hrant. I hadn't seen the link. It's surprising how well the three faces blend. I used to look at the task of matching different typefaces with different contrast as an arduous try-and-fail ad infinitum. Slowly, you're all making me reconsider ;-)

Frode Bo Helland's picture

Related: Espinosa Nova

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