Graphic Design Blog Post

Caecilia Font: Body Text Exercises + Gibson Typeface!

Here are some more experiments with the typeface PMN Caecilia, this time using it as a body text.

Here are some initial sketches that I did when I was thinking of ideas for layout of the text.


Caecilia is quite a pleasant font to use for body text for a few reasons, as follows:

• The letters have a smooth, even texture. When they are put together in body text, they create a relatively uniform, grey covering of the surface, which is quite pleasing to the eye. To get an idea of this texture, try looking at the examples with your eyes out of focus. Mmmm, smooth.

• The font has excellent kerning. Someone has taken many long hours going through Caecilia and figuring out how each letter should fit together, and it shows. This means that the typeface looks perfect in body text without out any modification. Quality of kerning is an easy way to distinguish between a professional and amateur typeface. Even if the letterforms look great, the kerning will often be incorrect in amateur fonts, while it is usually spot-on in a professional font.

• Caecilia has “true” italics and small-caps. This means that the italics are not simple slanted versions of the original roman font (referred to as obliques), but fully redesigned italics that have different forms from the roman.  The letters “a” and “f” are usually the most noticeably different between the roman and italic versions of fonts.

Take a look at Gibson, by CanadaType foundry, the most recent typeface I’ve purchased. The roman “a”s and “f”s are very different from the italics.


Also, GO BUY THIS FONT! It is only $48 for 4 different weights + italics, and it is really beautiful and excellent for titles and body text. I’ll do another blog post on it soon.

And here are the final results, using a hilarious quotation from Woody Allen. (And let’s just try to ignore the nastiness that is going on with Mr. Allen right now and appreciate this quotation as a separate entity.)

My typographic treatment of the text plays on the theme of moving backwards through life and finishing in an orgasm. The first exercise also gives a kind of summary of the passage by separating all the key nouns and putting them in small caps on the right side.





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