I developed the font Filo whilst at a postgraduate course – “Certificate of Advanced Studies” in type design at Zurich University of the Arts (ZHdK). It was my goal to design a type font suitable for body text. Up until this point my font-concepts had focused on “headline-text”, which particular in that they only worked in large sizes. Filo (regular) is an expressive, modern interpretation of the humanistic antiqua. The serifs are not too dominant and the forms are soft and organic and can be applied, especially also in small sizes, eclectically in text as well as captions.
Being partial to ligatures, I developed a highly substantial set of glyphs, also containing many non-typical ligatures. Through this, critical letter-pairs such as gu, tw, tv etc. are now even better decipherable. Additionally, Nina Stössinger and myself invented a special feature – the “phonetic ligature”:
The type family Filo Pro was developed in 2010 in collaboration with URW ++ available now in regular, medium and bold. Filo Pro is an Opentype-font, containing important features such as small capitals, various sets of numbers as well as the entire Latin character-set for east and west.
Development of the type family Filo-Sofie
At the moment, three italic-cuts of Filo Pro regular, medium and bold are being developed. Filo Pro is the first in an intended continuation of the type family “Filo-Sofie”, that will be composed of two independant type fonts aimed to complement and complete each other: Filo, a moreover masculin, slab serif font and Sofie, a more delicate non-serif font. Both shall exist in 3 upright and italic cuts.
The name of the font is very important to me, which is why I spent much time deciding on a suitable name for “my child”. As mentioned before, I have a fondness for ligatures, which is why the set of ligatures in “Filo” is substantially developed. Reason enough to come up with a name containing a ligature – “fi” being best suited in this case. Another requirement was that the name should be short and concise. Thanks to foreign language dictionaries and Internet research, I came across the name Filo – “Son” in Esperanto. It was later that I developed the play on words with “Filo-Sofie”. Consequently, a daughter arrived for the second font.
Presented below, are parts of the glyphs in Filo Pro regular and bold. All of the three cuts include 630 characters.
My initial starting point for the design of this font was the definition of serif forms, which I felt should be accentuated and appear organic and not constructed, as with most slab serifs. I have made them “lighter” through introducing grooving at the base and slanting at the ends. Below, I adapted complexions and further serifs, after which, much of the character of the font became recognisable. Since I was very taken with Dutch serif fonts, Filo was to adopt this characteristic style. I was especially inspired by the small a, g and k letters, which I feel permit the greatest scope, and naturally by the ligatures, with which I have been intensively occupied since the beginning.