Many Latin-script typefaces in our library are multi-purpose designs. Created for branding, editorial work, or immersive reading on-screen, they fit as many solutions as possible. Other kinds of type, however, are needed for attention-catching headlines, book jackets, and point-of-sale designs, etc. Good display fonts can’t be used everywhere, but when they’re called for, they help turn a good piece into a great one. This week, ITF is pleased to introduce two unique display faces, Tidy Script and Zina. Tidy Script is from two Porto designers, Joana Correia and Natanael Gama. Zina was developed for us by Theo Guillard in Paris.
Tidy Script is a cursive-style constructed sans. Sound like a contradiction in terms? Despite a slick, almost monolinear appearance, this is a true connecting script. Almost all letters connect with one another. Tidy Script’s inspiration calls back to letters drafted by engineers, and also to secondary (or emphasis) typefaces created for typewriters. Characters each have mild slant; about 7˚. Tidy Script’s structure is based on handwriting. Most of its counterforms are large, and its capitals are more decorative than the lowercase. As a family, Tidy Script includes four different weights: Light, Regular, Medium and Bold. Each font’s character set has 496 glyphs, which is several dozen more than in most sans serif fonts. In addition to many ligatures and other contextual or stylistic alternates, Tidy Script’s fonts include full ranges of numerators and denominators for fraction-building. As for its standard numerals, these each align with the tops of the capital letters.
Where Tidy Script serves up a soft graceful touch combined with an industrial style, Zina is stately and elegant. Its letters have vertical contrast, with quite a bit of difference between the weight of their thick strokes and thins. At its heart, Zina is actually an early-nineteenth century Didone-style design. The serifs are light and only slightly bracketed onto the main strokes. The ‘J’ and ‘Q’ have prominent ball terminals, as do ‘a’, ‘c’, ‘f’, ‘g’, ‘j’, ‘r’, ‘y’ and the ‘2’, ‘3’, ‘5’, ‘6’ and ‘9’. Apertures, including the lower loop of the ‘g’, are slightly open. Most of the symbol glyphs in the font are drawn with monolinear strokes whose thickness corresponds with the main characters’ inlines. Other special glyphs have high contrast, and blend in with the letters. Zina includes an alternate lowercase ‘g’, which is used in those diacritical combinations where the ‘g’ takes an accent. There are also ligatures for the Dutch ‘ij’ combination. Zina’s capital IJ glyph is quite stunning.
The inline strokes in Zina’s letters are really the typeface’s most prominent feature. While there are several inline serif faces available on the market, very few of them include lowercase letters. Zina’s inlines run through the middle of each letterform’s thick strokes, creating a jewell-like appearance. In order for Zina’s inlines and the thin serifs to shine, the typeface should only be used in applications that are subheadline-sized or larger.