ITC Fenice (pronounced fe-nee-chay) is a neoclassical design in the tradition of Didot and Bodoni, and that’s quite a tradition to live up to. Its 18th century predecessors exhibit a highly sophisticated design philosophy, and represented the ultimate refinement of the typographic letter at that time. Improving on the Bodoni style has been a challenge to type designers for the past two hundred years.
ITC Fenice™ History
ITC Fenice retains the distinctive characteristics and subtle refinements of earlier designs, but it also accommodates today’s technology and typographic needs. Aldo Novarese, ITC Fenice’s designer, has drawn a slightly more condensed typestyle with a larger x-height than its 18th century ancestors, providing added visibility and economy of space. The terminals of the lowercase have been designed to better complement their counterparts in the capitals. Serifs have also been shortened, which gives today’s designer more latitude in adjusting the letterspacing without loss of legibility or readability.
Despite their beauty, Bodoni and similar designs have historically been difficult to work with. They tend to be demanding designs that require no small amount of typographic sophistication to produce acceptable results. ITC Fenice has inherited few of its predecessors’ difficulties. In fact, it is downright easy to use. There is a warmth to ITC Fenice, rather than the cool aloofness found in so many other neoclassical faces. Virtually any design project can benefit through the use of this classic, but not fragile, design.