Elena, a new serif typeface meant for extended reading, is an exercise in subtlety and restraint. It’s direct and unaffected, a modern serif typeface, quietly balancing warmth with a crisp, tailored tone. This low-contrast face of economical proportions, moderate x-height, and spare details shows influence of the broad-nibbed pen, tempered by a discreet reinterpretation of its shapes. Designed for double-duty typesetting, Elena is graceful in text for continuous reading and sturdy enough for display work of moderate size. As such, magazines, books and publications of all types are well served by this compact, two-weight family.
Elena: For text that’s meant to be read.
The design of a new serif typeface meant for extended reading is an exercise in subtlety and restraint. The type designer traveling this path is faced with a limited and abstract palette with which to build unique character – stem widths, counter shapes, proportions, terminations and so on. Elena is a manipulation of these subtleties in a direct and unaffected way to create a modern serif typeface quietly balancing warmth with a crisp, tailored tone.
Central to this typographic balancing act is a rejection of extremes. Serif typefaces meant for continuous reading quickly turn bookish and old-fashioned when rote historicism is the singular influence. On the other hand, a designer attempting to capture a contemporary voice may strip or exaggerate details only to find that grace and ease went with them. Elena merges these two ideological opposites by heeding the lessons of the past while taking advantage of formal possibilities no matter their origin.
The result is a low contrast typeface of economical proportions, moderate x-height and spare details. The influence of the broad-nibbed pen is conspicuous but tempered by a discreet reinterpretation of its shapes. Soft, brush-like terminations in the lowercase lend an
organic note while fluid, tense curves mixed with a strong horizontal movement create a structured counterpoint.
From its conception, Elena was designed to serve two basic typesetting functions: text for continuous reading and display work of moderate size. Following from this, the typeface was tested extensively for text sizes between 6 and 14 point and for display sizes between 14 and 48 point. As such, magazines, books and publications of all types would be well served by this compact, two-weight family.
As with all of our typefaces intended for complex typographic tasks, a suite of related parts naturally follows. Small caps, lining figures, tabular lining figures, small cap figures, tabular figures and arrows are all included in the full version of the design. If this sounds excessive for your job, we’ve also designed a basic version with – you guessed it – just the basics for simple tasks and web use with the CSS @font-face rule.