Contrasting sharp serifs with rotund ball terminals, Portuguese designer Dino dos Santos evokes the vibrant work of 18th-century punchcutter Johann Fleischman with his 2008 release of Glosa. Dos Santos is clearly aiming for something beyond a revival though, and introduces enough contemporary flair and personal quirk to do so successfully.
Designed as an extended series of complementary font subsets, Glosa is well-suited for editorial design or other complex systems where a wide range in size, texture, and functionality (small caps, oldstyle figures, ligatures, etc) is desired. The face’s crisp cut gives it a lively sparkle; but for longer text, where the standard design’s angularity could become distracting, dos Santos offers Glosa Text, with bracketed serifs and other softened details.
On the other end of the spectrum, the series includes Glosa Headline, with an increased x-height, for more impact at larger sizes. Finally, it seems relevant to mention Glosa Display (even though it technically wasn’t released until early 2009); this latest addition to the series pushes Glosa’s sharp contrast to the limit, making it attractive for flashier decorative work.
Nick Sherman is a typographer and typographic consultant based in New York City. He is a co-founder of Fonts In Use and a columnist at A List Apart. He serves on the board of directors for the Type Directors Club, and the artistic board for the Hamilton Wood Type & Printing Museum. Nick has worked at Font Bureau, Webtype, and MyFonts, directing web design and promotional material for typefaces in print and digital media.