Back in 2015, the book ”Letters of Credit” was recommended to me.
An astonishing overview of type design by Walter Tracy from 1986.
It gave me great new insides, especially the chapter regarding proportions.
In it Tracy explains how in metal type each font size had its own design. The idea followed me since.
Smaller sizes had larger lowercase which makes counterforms more open therefore better readable. Details are added and contrasts increases as the font gets larger. This gives headline a more pronounced voice and makes fonts usable in scrolling text. A part of the quality seen in letterpress books is due to this concept.
I was delighted to see in 2017 the introduction of variable fonts. It gives the designer again a convenient access to individual designs for each sizes. I am currently finalising Spezia Serif, a typeface with 3 Axes; weight, width and optical size.
Jimmy Durante and Buster Keaton got it; every size it’s design (Film Still, 1933).
Two version of the font Caledonia, (from Book Letters of Credit).
Bembo in 12, 8 and 6 point, as fonts gets smaller lowercase are bigger (from Book Letters of Credit).
Proportions of ascender and descender from 5 to 72 points, (from Book Letters of Credit).
The upcoming font Spezia Serif with 3 axes; weight, width and optical size.