Font Family: GT Sectra, Number of fonts: 30*TTF, Type Foundry: Grilli Type, Designer: Marc Kappeler, Dominik Huber, Noël Leu, Design date: 2014
GT Sectra is a serif typeface combining the calligraphic influence of the broad nip pen with the sharpness of the scalpel knife. This sharpness defines its contemporary look. The family combines high legibility with a unique visual character.
The GT Sectra subfamily was originally designed for the long-form journalism magazine "Reportagen”, a publication containing interesting stories from all around the world. The Zürich-based design studio Moiré accompanied the whole production process, designing not just the magazine but also the typeface. For its release, they worked together with Grilli Type’s Noël Leu to expand the family to three subfamilies: GT Sectra, GT Sectra Fine, and GT Sectra Display.
What was needed to make the GT Sectra subfamily a truly contemporary serif was clear even before drawing the first sketches: The proportions of the letters should be more consistent than with classic serif models like Garamond, with the x-height and weight of the capitals more similar to a Grotesque than classic serif typefaces. The capital letters are also kept at a narrow proportion, better integrating them in text. The weight of the Regular style is relatively dark, reflecting the quality of today’s offset printing which generates little weight gain throughout the printing process.
The design idea was to start with truly calligraphic letters, but translate those into simpler, more straight-forward shapes. The cuts in the curves strengthen the appearance of sharpness of the typeface. The eye-catching cuts also inspired the typefaces name: Sectra is derived from the Latin for cutting, "secare”. The italic expresses this idea to even greater effect, containing all the classic design features of a serif italic, and combining them with strong angular lines.
The other subfamilies, GT Sectra Fine and GT Sectra Display, then add two further expressions of those design principles to the family.
GT Sectra Fine lives between GT Sectra and GT Sectra Display: it has a higher contrast than GT Sectra, approaching a more classical model. It can be used well both on its own and as a companion with either GT Sectra or GT Sectra Display.
GT Sectra Display takes all the design features to their most extreme, getting rid of curves wherever possible. The lowercase r for example is purely angular and does not contain any curves. Combined with a very high contrast and a more condensed design, this subfamily puts on a truly eye-catching show at larger sizes. Its weights are slightly more diverse, with the extreme Light and Super weights not found in the two other subfamilies.
All subfamilies contain GT Sectra’s compact accents and descenders feature. They can be activated through the OpenType stylistic set, allowing for headlines with a very short line-height, which is especially useful in editorial design.