It’s also an object lesson in how to design a companion to a serif. Rather than any kind of straightforward chop-the-serifs conversion, the characteristic strokes of Skolar are reinterpreted and translated to the lower-contrast world of sans serifs. The light weights trend to an almost-monolinear humanist form, with the italics bearing svelte, enticing curves; the heavier weights possess the full, luxurious bulk of thick, overlapping strokes by an ink-laden brush.
A genuine companion to Skolar, Skolar Sans possesses a unique character and style all its own that illuminates the serif, creating an exciting interplay of smooth and textured color. Used on its own, the various weights and widths create a harmonious typographic hierarchy, and have enough range and flexibility for very complex and demanding designs.
The four widths of Skolar Sans (Compressed, Condensed, Normal, and Extended) offer a great deal of flexibility. The Normal width is designed to work with the serif, but is narrower and presents a noticeable change in rhythm, which makes it ideal for creating emphasis and highlighting changes in tone. The Extended has more open counters and works well for small text and for a whole range of eye-catching uses such as headlines and branding. Condensed and Compressed widths usually suggest “small print”, but with Skolar Sans they’re beautiful and bring quite a bit of pace and perkiness to prose.
And that’s not all! Skolar Sans has a full array of arrows available in all widths and weights, along with ligatures, alternates, small caps, figure styles, case sensitive punctuation, and more.
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.