If ever there was an award for the type foundry with the best italics then Pampatype would be amongst the front runners. It might come as no surprise then that when I stumbled over a piece they’d written about a new type family designed for Argentina’s Universidad Nacional de Córdoba called Reforma (which is simply beautiful in every which way) I was especially excited to see the italics:
Reforma comes in three styles, 1918, 1969 and 2018, each signifying an important year in the university’s history. And besides the italics (which should be declared as a national treasure for the nation of Argentina) I think it’s fascinating that the capitals look like the sort of characters you might find inscribed on the Trajan column…
…whereas the lowercase has an identity all its own; for example the lowercase y or the lowercase a where the top half of the character looms over its belly. These letters ought not to fit with the all others but, with some typographic magic that I fail to understand completely, they do.
There’s a system here, between what should be all these conflicting styles, and as my day job working on the design system of a large and unwieldy web app I find myself in awe of this line of work. How do they get so many odd ends to fit so snuggly together? And to do it all so consistently?
In short: Reforma is beautiful and I recommend you download the typeface for free and start experimenting with it as soon as possible.
What I’m Reading this Week
I had coffee with an internet friend the other day for the first time and I asked her what she was reading. She immediately started talking about a book set in Texas that she had fallen completely in love with but couldn’t recommend because it was written for people from Texas. There was something that was impossible to translate for anyone else and to be honest I huffed and puffed – what’s so special about Texas I thought.
With that said I’ve been reading On Beauty by Zadie Smith this past week and I feel the same way. A large part of the novel is about England and the way characters feel pulled and pushed by the random magnetism of the place.
There were many moments where I had to stop reading because it was too much to find my thoughts and feelings about a place I should call home, but don’t and never will, bundled up in a book. And so On Beauty is this wonderfully painful novel for me which I don’t think I can recommend for the same reasons as my Texan friend and her book, unless of course you happen to English and you’ve decided to live on the other side of the world and you feel horrendously guilty about it all and dread the thought of returning each and every time and yet somehow dread the thought of leaving once you’re there.
Anyway! I ramble. The reason why I bring it up is because the cover has this rather beautiful set of characters – I can’t quite tell whether they’re hand lettered or the work of an insanely dedicated and now entirely bankrupted type foundry. But they’re lovely all the same:
Check out those two capital A variants! And the H! The H!
Behold! My newsletter—sent infrequently—about new things that I’m working on. Every so often it’ll contain notes about web design and publishing things that I’m interested in, too.