The designer of ITC Medea , Silvio Napoleone said: “I’ve always had an interest in early letter shapes, particularly how they influenced modern typographic designs. While I was on vacation in Greece, I had a chance to see, first-hand, examples of early letterforms and typography. They really made an impression on me.” The idea of combining the ancient and the modern to create something new was the primary inspiration behind ITC Medea.
ITC Medea is essentially a careful blending of the modern sans serif with the elegant forms of the uncial. At first glance, Medea appears to be constructed of geometric shapes. However, closer inspection reveals many calligraphic subtleties. Stroke terminals are flared slightly in characters like the ‘e’ and ‘c.’ The top curve of the ‘d’ is more pronounced than the bottom, and characters like the ‘o’ are elliptical rather than round. “I gravitated towards the simplicity and legibility of the uncial and half-uncial,” Napoleone recalls. “I thought it would make a great titling font, and I was surprised at how attractive ITC Medea looked in a body text.”
Napoleone's design process started with hand drawings. “I sketched on whatever was handy, usually with a pen on some scrap paper,” he recalls. Once he was comfortable with a potential design, base characters were created on the computer, refined, and then imported as outlines into Fontographer, which Napoleone used to test and complete the font.
Napoleone currently lives in Toronto, where he works for a “young, enthusiastic interactive firm.” His designs have been exhibited nationally and internationally, and his work was also part of a traveling exhibit for the American Institute of Graphic Arts.
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