Designing type revivals

Handbook for a historical approach to typeface design

What do we need to design a type revival? Looking beyond the limits of a definition, this book will help you understand what a revival is, how to analyse a historical model and how to approach the design from a contemporary perspective. The authors, experienced designers and educators, provide reflections and processes for designing a historical type – such as the roman cut by Francesco Griffo for the De Aetna (1496). They show insights on a method, with illustrated examples to support the work of both designers and scholars, and offer a modus operandi which can be applied to any project.

As part of the project, a revival of De Aetna roman has been designed and it can be downloaded under the Open Font License (OFL) here.
There are few good texts on the process of contemporary typeface design, and an even smaller number that are concise and accessible at different levels of expertise. From that point of view, Designing type revivals is more than discourse on Latin typeface design: it is a model for thinking about typeface design, and one more step in the emergence of a fully-fledged discipline within the applied Humanities. And a manual for teachers and self-directed learners. And a detailed documentation of practice for digital outputs – which itself is a contentious matter in design. Not least, and despite its importance, it manages to be a pleasure to read, with exemplary visual documentation. A treat throughout.
Excerpt from Gerry Leonidas’s foreword
Type designers and researchers Riccardo Olocco and Michele Patanè graduated from the University of Reading, and since 2015 return annually to contribute workshops on the design of type revivals. Their shared interest in history is central to their design work, and underpins their approach to contemporary design with lessons from historical models. With Designing type revivals they aim to share ideas, procedures and practices distilled from that experience.