Levato started as a personal study by Felix Bonge, and was derived largely from Renaissance Antiqua forms and influenced by an extensive study of the history of typographic expression. The resulting typeface is vivacious and gloriously harmonious: flexible enough to be used for body text, but really coming alive in the italic forms when set as large as possible.
The comprehensive OpenType features included in Levato make text sing. The ‘f’ ligatures are especially attractive, with the arching top of the ‘f’ plunging into the delicate upward flick of the ‘l’ or ‘j’. Even the connected forms of ‘st’ and ‘ct’, something I often find a distraction and irritation in many typefaces, work well here, and the ‘gi’ ligature is a playful joy.
It was the italic — completely reworked by Bonge after he took a calligraphy class given by Jovica Veljović — that initially caught my eye. I love the fluidity of it, and the sense that any word set in this italic (especially the black!) immediately gains an iconic, almost logographic significance.
The roman forms are more traditional, but with a higher contrast. Softly rounded line endings and calligraphic touches to the ‘h’, ‘n’, and ‘m’ ensure the freshness and vivacity of the italic is carried through beautifully.
Bonge has created a flexible and powerful typeface in Levato, and I’m looking forward to using it a lot.
Aegir Hallmundur is a designer and illustrator living and working in the south west of Wales. He is responsible for The Ministry of Type, a website mainly about type and sometimes calligraphy, illustration, architecture and photography, which he claims to one day start writing for again.