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The Centaur Films

Date : 19. March 2017

From a typeface history research point of view surely one of the most exciting projects I have ever taken part in was the development and maintenance of the Valdonega Aesthetic Line brought into life by Martino Mardersteig and the skilled Stamperia Valdonega team among them Alberto Adami, Massimo Tonolli* as well as the exceptionally trained hot metal department (I apologize if I don’t remember their full names by now!). To give here only a very brief summary, its intent was to digitalize many of the famous Monotype hot metal characters in a very faithful manner splitting them up also into different font families based on several chosen guide sizes.

When I came to the team most of those fonts were already done and I had to do only minor optimizations concerning kerning, drawings and similar. Yet, besides my main task to present this wonderful product on conferences and sell it to influential potential editors, I was also personally in charge for the new creation of VAL typeface Centaur in four text sizes. Could there be a better goal for me (deep Jenson admirer) than that?

I remember the beautiful light flooded Italian mornings still in bed holding those films against the sun and scrupulously observing letter spaces in 10 point size.

What you see here are some of the original films that were exposed on the Stamperia’s machines. I remember the beautiful light flooded Italian mornings still in bed holding those films against the sun and scrupulously observing letter spaces in 10 point size (which in Centaur was particularly small similar to a standard 8 point). With those impressions in the back of mind I came into office and very carefully modified the tiny glyph measures in a program called FontStudio (Letraset). I also used very special techniques of Bézier curves settings which could be another theme for another post here to follow…

 


 

*Who today form Trifolio (www.trifoliosrl.com)