What was the release date of LT Optima nova?

j_p_giese's picture

Hi all,

the subject says it: does anybody know when Linotype officially released their Optima nova? The article on creativepro (see the News & Events section) is from Nov. 3rd, but I think the font has been released somewhat longer ago (I found different dates in different sources). Some fellows and I are just wondering.


PS: Don't hesitate to post your thoughts about the revised Optima if you have some.

ali's picture

It was released in March of this year.

hrant's picture

I think the way the nova diverges from the original is very brave.
And the italic is amazing.


geraintf's picture

see http://www.linotype.com/6-1805-6-15525/pdf/00_home/images/home_06/home_06b/optnova/step.pdf

here's a quick comparison. comparison

[although i'm not sure i'm comparing like with like, as they've classified the weights slightly differently (old: roman, medium, demi-bold etc; new: light, regular, medium etc). i assume the old version didn't have a light weight.]

hrant, i'd be interested to see a list of what you consider to be nova's innovations. the 'beakification' of some of the the terminals for example. i assume kobayashi has done a lot of work on hinting and letterspacing

geraintf's picture

i love the bit where zapf says he had no time to design a true italic for the original release & had to do the slanted roman in a day!

hrant's picture

Could you please post a big sample of the new italic?


hrant's picture

I like it.


geraintf's picture

looks as if the above is a scan of some sort of promo lit from the release. anyone have more info?

(personally i prefer the 'duck beak' 1!)

j_p_giese's picture

Thank you for your replies.

Personally, I think that the old Optima (allow me to call it Optima classica) hasn't become obsolete and can still justify its existence. It's not that I didn't like Optima nova. I do. How could I not? The Optima nova family is really easy on the eyes (I do like those italics and Optima Titling), well constructed, significantly more complete than its predecessor and thus pretty versatile (as could be said - much to my delight - about the whole Linotype Platinum series).

But for me, Optima classica shows a pattern of elegance Optima nova hardly can come up to. Undoubtedly, Zapf and Kobayashi knew what they were doing when they (maybe bravely) redesigned Optima and possibly they had slightly different objectives in mind than Zapf has had back in the Fifties. The new, more serifed Optima obviously has some strong qualities of its own, but, IMHO, can't fully replace Optima classica (and perhaps was never meant to).

Again, your opinion is most welcome.


rs_donsata's picture

Optima Book?

j_p_giese's picture

Can you elaborate?


eomine's picture

> Optima classica shows a pattern of elegance
> Optima nova hardly can come up to.

AFAIK, the old digital Optima was a direct
'translation' from its previous phototype version.
The flares were exaggerated. In Optima Nova, the
flares are much more subtle, making the typeface
more elegant, IMHO.
OTOH, I don't quite like the new italics, especially
because of those 'f' and 'g'.

aquatoad's picture

I'd be curious how Thierry Puyfoulhoux's Option Italic stacks up against Nova Italic.
Anyone ever seen a complete sample?


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