An elegant serif font family with a broad palette of typographic goodies.
Essay Text is an elegant serif font family by Stefan Ellmer with many stylistic alternates and other typographic niceties. It is a highly legible text face that complements the natural flow of reading. Essay Text is intended for setting books and this is enhanced by a slight slant of the roman, the combination of open and closed apertures, and the amalgamation of organic strokes and counters with a static, fully straight baseline.
Essay Text’s regular style looks back to the spirit of the French Renaissance (between the 15th and early 17th centuries), when the Roman typographic letterforms became fully emancipated. Departing from that historical reference, Essay Text rids itself of all antiquated sentimentality and becomes a contemporary interpretation of that period’s archetypes. Essay Text’s italic style refers to that more vaguely, resulting in a formalised look with fairly upright and open shapes and minimal cursiveness. As in the Renaissance before the mating of roman and italic styles, Essay Text’s italic works as a distinct textface and a perfect secondary type.
The name Essay is derived from the literary meaning of the word: attempt or trial. The typeface can therefore be seen as an attempt to express an opinion about reading, the omnipresence of history, the importance of calligraphy, and the inevitability of deviating from that calligraphic source, as well as an attempt to crystallise lettershapes in balance between convention and the designer’s personal idiom.
Essay Text comes in two styles, speaks multiple languages, and, along with our entire catalogue, has been optimised for today’s varied screen uses.