Arsenica Serif Font


Arsenica is a serif typeface designed by Francesco Canovaro for Zetafonts, and developed by a design team including Mario De Libero, Andrea Tartarelli and Cosimo Lorenzo Pancini.

The design of Arsenica takes its inspiration from Italian poster design at the beginning of the century, a time where typography, lettering, and illustration were closely interwoven. Dawning nationalist movements, rather than using the modernist language, pushed on traditional Old Style letterforms often imbued with Art Nouveau and Deco sensibility. Artists like Giorgio Muggiani not only illustrated posters for Cinzano, Pirelli, and Rinascente but also provided logo design for newspapers, like "Il Popolo d'Italia".

Starting from this mix of eclectic influences, Canovaro first developed the Arsenica Antiqua family, designed as a display typeface that keeps the original Old Style low-contrast, wide proportions, and quirky stylistic inventions. These were then distilled in high contrast, Arsenica Display family, expanding the weight range to include both poster, ultrabold weights, and lighter weights that give the design a distinct calligraphic flavor. Bringing the letterforms into contemporary taste meant also developing alternate letterforms that were included in the Arsenica Alternate family, which drops the art nouveau details in favor of a more controlled modern serif aesthetic. Finally, Arsenica Text was developed by expanding the design space in the optical size axis, creating a low contrast, strongly readable old-style typeface family, with a reduced weight set, oriented for long body copy typesetting.   


License: Free for personal use

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