Costa, a mediterranean style sanserif

The original idea of Costa was to create a contemporary mediterranean typeface style. Costa is a synthesis of the purity, as found on Greek capitals, and softness, found in Renaissance scripts. First thing was the design concept that take its roots on the Chancery script. Such writing style appeared during Italian Renaissance. Later few typefaces have been developed from such cursive models.. Today most serifed typeface italic take their roots on such triangular structure we can find on gylphs like the n, p, or d.

The Costa capitals remains close to pure sanserif models when the lowercases features an ending serif on many letters like the a, n, d, etc. This ending serif being more like a minimal brush effect, creating a visual contrast and referencing the exoticness of the typeface. Knowing that the Costa typeface family began life in 1999 as a bespoke typeface for Costa Crociere, an Italian cruise company — it suddenly makes sense and explains well why Jean François Porchez focused so much on Italian Chancery mixed to a certain exotism. In 2004, Costa was launched by Typofonderie as the first OpenType Pro family on the catalog. Tiffany Warlde was asked at this time to design the printed typeface specimen from which the concept and format remains the system in use today for any new typeface launched by Typofonderie.

Costa typeface specimen, designed by Tiffany Wardle
Costa typeface specimen, designed by Tiffany Wardle.
The curvy-pointed terminals of the Costa n can obviously get find on other glyphs, such as the ending of the e, c and some capitals. So, the sanserif looks more soft and appealing, without to be to pudgy or spineless. The general effect, when set for text, remains a sanserif, even not like Rotis Semiserif. Costa is definitly not a classical typeface, or serif typeface which convey past, tradition, historicism as Garamond does beautifully. Because of the Costa crocieres original needs, Costa typeface was designed to be appropriate for any uses.

Anytime you’re looking for good mood, qualitative effects, informal tone, cool atmosphere without to be unconvential or blowzy, Costa will convey to your design the required chic and nice atmosphere, from large headlines sizes, brands, to small text sizes. Its a legible typeface, never boring. A style without neutrality which doesn’t fit comfortably into any typeface classification! Does it proves the novelty of its design and guarantees as well as its originality? Its up to you to be convinced.

The Ch ligature

Costa Ch ligature

Originally not planned, this need appeared because of a trip to Barcelona in June 2004 where Jean François was giving a lecture. He wanted to pay an homage to that invitation to create something special. So, he designed during his flight some variations of the Spanish Ch, following ideas developed by the Argentinian type designer Rubén Fontana for his typeface called Fontana ND (published by the Barcelona foundry Bauer). Then, he presented during his lecture variations and asked to the audience which design fit the best to their language. They selected the design you can find in the fonts today.

Pairing Costa

Pairing Costa and Allumi
Pairing Costa and Allumi.

Pairing Costa and Parisine
Pairing Costa and Parisine.

Pairing Costa and Le Monde Courrier
Pairing Costa and Le Monde Courrier.

Costa is a mixture by itself. So, pairing with another typeface is more complex and requires more subtle knowledge than usual. The typical pairing generally involves a pure sanserif used with a traditional serif. But such basic mix is like mixing black and white. Too easy and not very challenging for skillful graphic designers.
On Costa Details tab at Typofonderie, we suggeste Allumi, Le Monde Courrier and Parisine. In fact pairing Costa with another typeface family requires a certain attention with the contrast in size, colors used. Strong, clear differences are important to be effective. Swiss typographers always say that 4pt differences is a minimal difference between two point sizes of the same typeface, it’s a general rule that applies well to Costa pairing to other typefaces. Costa works with very straight, mechanical typefaces like Eurostyle or geometric sanserifs. A Didone like Ambroise should match well too.

CCosta, a mediterranean style sanserif

The good surprise is that you can enjoy Costa & save 15% on your purchase using the coupon “15_COS” special offer available until the 15 March 2013. 17 July 2013: Coupon back and available until August 2013.

→ Costa: A mediterranean style sanserif in 6 styles.
→ Costa: In use.
→ Parisine: A workhorse & economical sanserif in 16 series.
→ Allumi: Technology in mind. 27 fonts, 2 widths.
→ Le Monde Courrier: A rounded slab in 5 weights, romans & italics.