Almost first caught my attention when I discovered the Gotico-Antiqua research program at the Atelier National de Recherche Typographique (ANRT) in Nancy, France. Later, I had the honor of being part of a jury that awarded Almost a certificate of excellence in the TDC’s twenty-third annual Typeface Design Competition.
What captivated me at first sight was the quality of Almost’s drawings: precise, rigorous, and strong — but also graceful and beautiful, as fit for expressive headlines as for continuous text. Almost is one of those typefaces that doesn’t fit within standard type classifications: it was driven by its designer’s instinct that beyond the original shapes that inspired it (a mixture of gothic and roman forms), there was room to create something respectful of tradition, but also personal and unique.
I very much appreciate the way Jérôme Knebusch has conceptualized the family to make it easy to use. Only Almost Roman and Almost Gothic are actual fonts; the other styles are arrived at through features. All of the styles have a number of glyphs in common, most of which share identical metrics so they can be easily interchanged while maintaining a consistent color. Finally, the OpenType Stylistic Sets were built in a way that is easy to understand.
Aside from being a delightful typeface family, Almost opens the door to the discovery of fifteenth-century printing types.