FENIX (Free serif typface)

ferfolio's picture

Hello Typophiles!
We are proud to announce our new release!

"FENIX" by Fernando Díaz: a FREE typeface specially designed for display and long texts, it has it’s fundations based in calligraphy, with strong serifs, and rough strokes. Its proportions have an objective to gain space in height and width. Itís elegant at large sizes and legible at the same time, with a lot of rhythm in small sizes.

Available for FREE in MyFonts on TipoType, and a lot of typefaces to come this year... Hope you like!

Best Regards

hrant's picture

It has its charm, but the descenders are too long (compared to the ascenders).


ferfolio's picture

Thanks hhp! The ascenders and descenders are the same lenght, but I could try making it 10pt shorter and see what happens. I'm designing a PRO version with more wheights and signs.

PS: This font is soon going to be available at Google Web Fonts collection :)

Bert Vanderveen's picture

Don’t listen to Hrant, he always goes on and on about ascenders being too long… : )

It looks great.

hrant's picture

It only makes sense, sorry.


ferfolio's picture

Thanks Bert! haha
Feedback is allways welcome :)

charles ellertson's picture

Unless you see it as a newspaper/magazine font, the descenders are not too long, the ascenders are too short (BTW, they shouldn't be the same length). It is nice to see a font that doesn't have descenders that look like a withered limb. Just fix the proportions. (BTW2, the ascenders can be taller than the cap height.)

Sadly, Without a companion italic, it is of no use to a number of us...

hrant's picture

they shouldn't be the same length

That's pretty much what I meant ("compared to the ascenders"). But although the fitting is too tight for a news face (not the same as a magazine face) the color -which is much harder to adjust- fits that usage, and that's why I gravitated to seeing this as a news face... which means the descenders are too long. If Fernando does lengthen the ascenders instead, he can keep the tightness, but then the color will be too dark (barring peculiar taste).

It might be nice to gawk at pretty descenders, but immersive reading is quite removed from such deliberative enjoyment. Especially in a news face linespacing plays a huge role in optimal vertical proportions, necessarily at the expense of letterwise beauty. Or: it's beauty on another level.

the ascenders can be taller than the cap height

Which they currently are. But if the descenders are made longer the caps will probably need to go up too...

Ergo: the shortest route to making this more usable is shortening the descenders, and shooting for small size setting.


charles ellertson's picture


You can't really judge a typeface outside it's use; either pixels on a screen or ink on paper. I have no expertise with pixels on a screen, but (sadly) over 30 years with ink on paper, spanning several printing technologies, and many kinds of paper.

Cutting to the chase, for printing on a coated sheet as with an art book, I think the font will have about the right weight. I'm reminded of Merlo, too heavy for an uncoated sheet, but attractive on coated stock. The font has enough understated elegance to work for illustrated books, too. Not all of them of course, but that's the argument for having more than just a few fonts.

With the leading typically used today, slightly longer ascenders would easily be accommodated. Were it my font design, I'd play with just slightly lengthening the ascenders first, and leaving the caps alone. This would allow for skipping small caps -- a heresy for those who only read rules and can't use their eyes, I know. But it might work with this font.

Still, the lack of an italic makes it all moot for me.

hrant's picture

slightly longer ascenders would easily be accommodated

I believe it's not really about "accommodating" (i.e. descenders of one line not touching the ascenders of the next line) it's about efficient use of space, especially in terms of maximizing apparent leading (hence the ability to lengthen lines without impeding reading). The space wasted by overly long descenders can be used to make the x-height and/or ascenders more visible. It's basically wasted functional potential, with very little practical aesthetic gain.

You don't know how your font is going to be used. Sometimes it won't matter, but if a user pushes the vertical-space limits the font will not deliver what it could have if the descenders weren't so long.

And why do the lion's share of text fonts have ascenders longer than descenders, even though: making them equal is the most intuitive thing to do; or making the descenders longer allows them to elaborate their more complex structures better?

skipping small caps

Reducing the need for, sure; skipping entirely, no. Long acronyms are not uncommon these days, and fullcaps that are small enough to make those acceptable would be too small to function well in capitalization.


ferfolio's picture

Fenix, it's really a web font (will be available in Google Web Font collection soon). That's why it doesn't have an italic yet and the ascender/descender are fixed for this purpose. You are 100% right about the use, it's still doesn't have much besides titles for web.

But, I'm comming up with a PRO version for books and newspapers, with proper italics and smcp's. This is going to take a while, becouse I must test it on printed surface, make the correct kerning, etc...

So I hope you'll see it soon as a typeface for print.
Regards! :)

memuller's picture

Hi there,

Fernando, any news on the PRO version?

I'm really in love with it, and I'd like very much to use it as my studio's brand font (we're currently using a mix of Overlock and Skolar), but we really need a full family for that.

M. Muller

ferfolio_2's picture

Hi memuller, thank you so much!

Sorry but I'm currently developing another typeface (Libertad), once it's ready I'll finish (and fix) Fénix.

Kind regards

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