Once upon a time in Germany there was a magazine. I, a graphic artist, was there. For the headings I designed »Die überschrift« (The Heading), a font consisting purely of capital letters. A half year later the magazine no longer existed. Left behind was the idea to create a complete font from the successful ”überschrift,“ a typeface including lower case letters, accents and everything else which belongs.
All of the letters are recognizably narrow, almost ”condensed,“ the forms being very functionally shaped. The construction of the ”triangular“ upper case letters A M N V W as well as v and w, especially catches the eye with the shafts joined together as beams are stacked upon each other. With this construction JOSEF displays a down-to-earth touch.
Contrary to the classical sans serifs, a few letters were given light echoes of serifs which promote fluency: a d l are displayed below the line in a reading direction and end in a compressed but also very short serif style; on m n p r the upstroke is gently displayed and on u the downstroke.
For all the typo-maniacs among you designers there are alternative forms for a number of letters in Josef: A B D G I M R W and a d f g j l ß u. Even an antiquated ”long“ s and an upper case ß is available.
Plus, Josef includes numerous ligatures which can save that little bit of space where required and which allow the typeface to appear more variable: ch, ck, ct, fi, fj, fl, ff, ffi, ffl, ft, mm, ti, tt, tz.
All additional functions can be activated and deactivated as OpenType-Features:
replaces the letters A, B, D, G, I, M, R, W, a, d, f, g, j, l, ß, u in each case with the alternative variant.
replaces the letter pairs ct, fi, fj, fl, ff, ffi, ffl, ft, ti, tt, tz with the respective letter combination.
replaces the letter pairs ch, ck, mm with the respective letter combination and SS, SZ with capital-ß.
replaces the normal numbers by means of tabular numbers with identical sign width.
replaces the glyph combinations 1/2, 1/3, 1/4 etc by the according fractions.
replaces the normal »open« 0 by the slashed version.
replaces the small letters by capital letters in x-height.
replaces s with ”long s“ and SS i.e., SZ with capital-ß.
Stylistic Set 1:
replaces the »round« form of a and g by the »two storied« alternate form; the cyrillic а and д are replaced by the alternate form.
Stylistic Set 2:
replaces the short form of f and ß by the alternate form with descender; the cyrillic г and т are replaced by the alternate form.
Stylistic Set 3:
replaces the capitals B R M W by the narrow alternates and the minuscules d j l u by the version without the displayed downstroke; the cyrillic В and М are replaced by the alternate form.
Stylistic Set 4:
activates all alternative letter forms; identical with stylistic alternates.
Stylistic Set 5:
replaces the numbers 1 to 20 by circled numbers.
Stylistic Set 6:
replaces the numbers 1 to 20 by negative circled numbers.
character set: A—Z resp. a—z only
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