Type Trading Cards: Dante/Rotis Sans
The first Dante fonts were the result of the collaboration of two men: Giovanni Mardersteig, a printer, book designer and typeface artist of remarkable skill and taste; and Charles Malin, one of the great punch-cutters of the 20th century.
Dante was Giovanni Mardersteig’s last and his most successful design. Monotype wanted to enlarge the family from just the roman and italic of the original but Mardersteig had no interest in drawing the additional weights Monotype wanted. The gentle persistence of Monotype, and the help of the then 20-year old Matthew Carter, who cut sample punches for the design, eventually changed his mind.
The Rotis family uses a numbering system to identify weight and width variations. In this system, light weights are numbered in the 40s (45 roman, 46 italic), regular in the 50s, bold in the 60s and extrabold in he 70s.
Proportionally, all the Rotis faces are somewhat condensed. Aicher, however, took special care to ensure that counters and serifs were constructed open and full. The result is a design that is economical with space and still remarkably legible.
Rotis is named after the place, a converted mill site southwest of Munich, where Aicher and a small design group worked several years developing the extended typeface family.
- Allan Haley is Director of Words & Letters at Monotype Imaging. Here he is responsible for strategic planning and creative implementation of just about everything related to typeface designs. He is also responsible for editorial content for the company’s type libraries and Web sites.
- Prior to working for Monotype, Mr. Haley was Principal of Resolution, a consulting firm with expertise in fonts, font technology, type and typographic communication. He was also executive vice president of International Typeface Corporation.
- Mr. Haley is ex officio Chairman of the Board of the Society of Typographic Aficionados, and past President of the New York Type Directors Club. He is highly regarded as an educator and is a frequently requested speaker at national computer and design conferences.
- Mr. Haley is also a prolific writer, with five books on type and graphic communication and hundreds of articles for graphic design publications to his credit.