Catalpa

Designed by José Scaglione Azza Alameddine Veronika Burian. Released 2019.

Catalpa was made to be an overwhelming headliner, like the quirky and hulking wood type that inspired it. With only four thin and four heavy weights, being a display family is its single-minded purpose.

May the Force be with you
– STAR WARS, 1977

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“Toto, I’ve a feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore!”
— THE WIZARD OF OZ, 1939

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Seven Beauties (Lina Wertmüller, 1975).
In its original title, Pasqualino Settebellezze—starring Giancarlo Giannini, Fernando Rey, and Shirley Stoler—the film narrates the story of Pasqualino, an Italian man who, during World War II, abandons the army, is captured by the Germans, and sent to a prison camp. While doing everything he can to survive, the audience learns about his family—through flashbacks, specifically his seven unattractive sisters—and a few stories involving them and ultimately him.

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After filming Seven Beauties, Wertmüller, an Italian film writer and director, was granted the first female nomination for an Academy Award in Direction. The characterization, for instance, is astounding; Giannini presents the foolish side of his character and performs admirably. Gianni portrays a macho, opportunist man, deeply convinced he’s honorable. It is as black as comedies come, yet the audience is left with the notion that Wertmüller likes the unexplained, the irrelevant moral choices, and the mystery in her most memorable project.

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The Backstory

Catalpa

Primed for headlines, Catalpa is designed to give words bulk and width and gravity itself.

The Catalpa font family is José Scaglione and Veronika Burian’s wood type inspired design for an overwhelming headline presence. It has no regular weights, only four slender and four hulking weights. Catalpa wasn’t made to be normal; it was made to overwhelm, to stand out, to bellow.

Catalpa is the first font family within a trilogy that will be released through 2020. Each of the three have a distinct purpose and their own look, but they serve a common goal: to act as a complete family covering an editorial’s wide array of needs. As the first of the three, Catalpa is the bookend font family with a headlining purpose.

What requirements are there for a great headline typeface? Distinction, weight, and cohesiveness are a good start. Its distinctiveness must catch attention, it must have a range of weights applicable to its purpose, and its internal consistency and external look must create a cohesive family. Catalpa is a distinct and unified family whose weights are attuned to its single-minded purpose — headlines and large text.

Catalpa has only eight styles that are divided into two ranges of weights — four very light weights (Hairline, Thin, Extralight, and Light ) and four very bold ones (Extrabold, Heavy, Black, and Extrablack). The thin and heavy ends of the spectrum also have their own variable fonts, each with one axis of weight so designers can fine-tune their work. The geometric influence of the design is more obvious in the light range, with their line thickness increasing in the classical manner. The bold weights increase more in width and substance to serve well in websites, mobile apps, posters, advertisements, and magazines that aim for impact more than spreading information.

As a family, Catalpa gels in big headlines, short sentences, and isolated words. The family has many recognizable features, in the bolder weights especially, like the reversed contrast ‘S, s’ or the angular design of ‘Q, M, W, w, a, f, 2, 3’. Catalpa’s headlining mixture of geometry and quirkiness leaves an impression that is so characteristic of wood type, but designed for substrates and screens.

CREDITS
Lead design and concept
Veronika Burian
José Scaglione

Type designers
Veronika Burian
José Scaglione
Azza Alameddine

Engineering
Joancarles Casasin

Quality assurance
Azza Alameddine

Kerning
Radek Sidun

Graphic design
Elena Veguillas

Copywriting

Joshua Farmer

About Us

TypeTogether is an indie type foundry committed to excellence in type design with a focus on editorial use. Additionally, TypeTogether creates custom type design for corporate use. We invite you to browse our library of retail fonts or contact us to discuss custom type design projects.