Juvenis Font Family

Category: Fonts, Date: 3-05-2017, 18:37, Views: 32


Designs of characters that are almost forty years old can be already restored like a historical alphabet – by transferring them exactly into the computer with all their details. But, of course, it would not be Josef Tyfa, if he did not redesign the entire alphabet, and to such an extent that all that has remained from the original was practically the name. Tyfa published a sans-serif alphabet under the title Juvenis already in the second half of the past century. The type face had a large x-height of lower-case letters, a rather economizing design and one-sided serifs which were very daring for their time. In 1979 Tyfa returned to the idea of Juvenis, modified the letter "g” into a one-storey form, narrowed the design of the characters even further and added a bold and an inclined variant. This type face also shows the influence of Jaroslav Benda, evident in the open forms of the crotches of the diagonal strokes. Towards the end of 2001 the author presented a pile of tracing paper with dozens of variants of letter forms, but mainly with a new, more contemporary approach: the design is more open, the details softer, the figures and non-alphabetical characters in the entire set are more integral. The original intention to create a type face for printing children’s books thus became even more emphasized. Nevertheless, Juvenis with its new proportions far exceeds its original purpose. In the summer of 2002 we inserted all of this "into the machine” and designed new italics. 
The final computer form was completed in November 2002. All the twelve designs are divided into six variants of differing boldness with the corresponding italics. The darkness of the individual sizes does not increase linearly, but follows a curve which rises more steeply towards the boldest extreme. The human eye, on the contrary, perceives the darkening as a more fluent process, and the neighbouring designs are better graded. The x-height of lower-case letters is extraordinarily large, so that the printed type face in the size of nine points is perceived rather as "ten points” and at the same time the line spacing is not too dense. A further ingenious optical trick of Josef Tyfa is the figures, which are designed as moderately non-aligning ones. Thus an imaginary third horizontal is created in the proportional scheme of the entire type face family, which supports legibility and suitably supplements the original intention to create a children’s type face with elements of playfulness. The same applies to the overall soft expression of the alphabet. The serifs are varied; their balancing, however, is well-considered: the ascender of the lower-case "d” has no serif and the letter appears poor, while, for example, the letter "y”, or "x”, looks complicated. The only serif to be found in upper-case letters is in "J”, where it is used exclusively for the purpose of balancing the rounded descender. These anomalies, however, fit perfectly into the structure of any smoothly running text and shift Juvenis towards an original, contemporary expression. Tyfa also offers three alternative lower-case letters *. In the case of the letter "g” the designer follows the one-storey form he had contemplated in the eighties, while in "k” he returns to the Benda inspiration and in "u” adds a lower serif as a reminder of the calligraphic principle. It is above all the italics that are faithful to the tradition of handwritten lettering. The fairly complicated "k” is probably the strongest characteristic feature of Juvenis; all the diagonals in "z”, "v”, "w”, "y” are slightly flamboyant, and this also applies to the upper-case letters A, V, W, Y. Juvenis blends excellently with drawn illustrations, for it itself is modelled in a very creative way. Due to its unmistakable optical effect, however, it will find application not only in children’s literature, but also in orientation systems, on posters, in magazines and short-stories.

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