DATARAMA

Cyclura

April 9, 2016

Cyclura is a serif typeface for body text. It is designed to be robust enough to be highly legible on screen, but with enough detail to have personality. It is used as the main body font on Datarama.

Its chief inspiration comes from Czech expressionism, particularly the works of Oldrich Menhart (and fellow Menhart fans Veronika Burian and Carl Crossgrove). As such, it is angular, severe and abrasive. It's probably not the kind of thing you'd set a wedding invitation in, but for most of my subject matter, I find it works very well. Proportions are based on Venetian renaissance faces, with rather tall ascenders and deep bowls. Like most expressionist faces, it looks more written than drawn, giving it a "dynamic" feel. There are a few touches of Nordisk Antikva in it, but not as much as I had initially envisioned: During the design process, it sort of took on its own life, evolving in a completely different direction than originally anticipated.

There's a regular, italic and bold version available — I haven't made a bold italic, since I regard bold italic as a misunderstanding. All three have a variety of ligatures (including the ubiquitous fi, fl, fj and ff), and support the entire Unicode Latin-1 Supplement block. The regular and bold also have smallcaps — the italic is a true cursive italic, and has calligraphic touches in its uppercase letterforms that makes it rather unsuitable for all-caps or smallcaps. I don't particularly mind; whoever would use italic allcaps would probably do unspeakable things to farm animals too. All three have oldstyle numerals; the regular and bold also have lining numerals.

It is named after a genus of large, herbivorous Caribbean lizards.

 
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