Antonia is a contemporary serif typeface that interlinks a sharp-edged character with cheerfulness. Combining characteristics that don’t seem to be compatible is one of the most difficult arts of type design and was one of the trends I recognized this year. Most often, such attempts result in unconventional display type. Sometimes, though, they add a fresh note to a more serious genre.
Designers Franziska Weitgruber and Michael Hochleitner achieved the latter, but they also created a highly versatile tool for editorial purposes. Four optical sizes guarantee a perfect fit for every need.
While the Text version includes four weights and corresponding italics, the three headline versions offer a broader range of styles. Antonia H3 is best used for introductory text or decks, H2 is an excellent choice for subheads, and H1 is ideal for display sizes. The larger the operational area, the more contrast each subfamily gets, with H1 having the most. Starting from the basis of the Text cut, each H variant’s glyphs get progressively more differentiated from one another, acquiring more details and a slightly more expressive appearance. For increased legibility, the Text version’s characters are the widest in the collection and have similar proportions, more open counters, simplified forms, and more ample spacing. A variable font version makes it possible to switch between the two main axes.
All of these well-considered decisions result in a flexibility that helps designers shine — used right, the fonts make each project wonderfully coherent. As a type system, Antonia has the typographer (and eventually the reader) in mind. It adds a refreshing and distinctive character, while keeping the content front and center.