Retiro for Madriz magazine

The magazine is not yet fully public, but a number zero is printed from few weeks now in order to attract adversiting for the real launch later.

This story started with a call from Louis-Charles Tiar from Madrid. Then, after several others long calls, we came to the final typeface based originally on my Ambroise. Weeks after weeks, my client learned a lot about typography and typefaces. We have been able quickly to go deep into some typeface design considerations. You can appreciate the typeface in action directly on the earlier version of the magazine website here.

The first presentation (extract above), showed a sort of neo-spanish didot based on my Ambroise into 2 different directions. The top version was just based on the Ambroise contrast with strange and bizarre serifs/bowls (by me) when the lower version (also based on Ambroise “structure”) was focusing a very high contrast (too high for sure for editorial use).

Later, the client accepted that the typeface shouldn’t be so contrasted as he seems to wanted (he love Vogue masterhead). A typeface for titling a magazine can’t be at a contrast of a masterhead like Vogue simply because a title (even a sentence) take more space than just 5 letters of a masterhead.
Above, its a comparison of the connection strokes: straight (top) or round (bottom). I tried to explain by this samples that on a typeface for titling, its better to be coherent and kept a relationship between how strokes connect in a ‘a’ or ‘n’ and how a bowl or serifs on a ‘E’ attach to the rest of the glyph. The bottom version was selected.

Indeed, at the end, a masterhead was done based on the typeface designed earlier. You can notice that serifs length, proportions of the letters are not the same compared to the quickly set MADRIZ in Retiro. A lettering job permit much more to compensate opticals troubles that a simple typeface can’t.

The final typeface feature various alternates easy to use via the stylistic sets (various levels depending the effect you looking for) in Indesign. What was difficult was to balance a style between something easily called spanish by strangers and not over spanish by locals. First reactions are good and promising.

Jean François Porchez, 9 May 2007

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