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Neacademia by Sergei Egorov is a Latin and Cyrillic type family inspired by the types cut by 15th century Italian punchcutter Francesco Griffo da Bologna for the famous Venetian printer and publisher Aldus Pius Manutius. Text-size romans are modeled after Griffo's Roman #3 (Colonna) and #4 (Leoniceno). Text italics are modeled after Italic #1 (Virgil) and later design for Soncino (Petrarch).
The family is designed for lengthy texts of an appropriate nature such as classical literature and art. Different versions of the typeface are optimised for specific point sizes as was traditional in metal type. Whilst the display sizes maintain a visual link to its calligraphic roots, text sizes exhibit more typographic qualities, following the moves of the carver’s, not the calligrapher’s, hand.
Recent history of digital type left us surrounded by regularity and perfection in text fonts—a trend that will only intensify with a switch to digital media. Contemporary luddites with their love for letterpress and hand-made materials are running out of suitable fonts. For that reason, the typeface was designed with specific allowances for letterpress photopolymer printing. When printed digitally, it can tolerate and even benefit from low resolution, rough paper, and low-grade presswork. Neacademia also has a more traditional approach to kerning and caps spacing. Instead of a multitude of kerning pairs, it makes use of alternative contextual letterforms to improve letter spacing. In many ways, it feels like using metal type again!
This carefully crafted family already proved its qualities in the Modern Cyrillic 2009 competition where it was awarded in a the ‘type system’category. Rosetta will introduce the rest of the optical sizes in the course of the following year.