In 2015, I was recommended a remarkable book called Letters of Credit by Walter Tracy, published in 1986. It provided me with valuable insights, particularly the chapter on proportions.
Tracy explains the concept of designing each font size separately in metal type. This idea has stayed with me ever since.
Smaller sizes feature larger lowercase letters, which enhance legibility by opening up counter forms. As the font size increases, additional details are added and contrasts are heightened. This gives headlines a stronger presence and makes fonts suitable for scrolling text. The quality seen in letterpress books can be attributed to this concept.
I was delighted to witness the introduction of variable fonts in 2017, which once again grants designers easy access to unique designs for each size. In my catalogue, you will find different typefaces with optical sizes such as Spezia Serif, Portonovo, and Recife.
I have created a tutorial on how to utilise variable fonts in web browsers, which you can find here.
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).
Spezia Serif with 3 axes; weight, width and optical size.