The Libelle typeface is a luxuriant and dazzling display of the lettering and typographic arts. This digital interpretation of the 18th-century copperplate hand harnessed the power of the OpenType™ format to produce a font that is not only stunning, but also extraordinarily versatile.
Libelle, from designer Jovica Veljovic, shares its name with the German word for “dragonﬂy.” Like its namesake, Libelle is dramatic, charming and more than a little exotic. This feature-rich, English copperplate script is also a clear demonstration of Veljovic’s mastery of calligraphic and letterform design.
“I have an afﬁnity for old engravings, and I adore their letters,” he recalls. “As a student, I would spend an hour before class each day practicing the English copperplate style on my own. While it could be said that engraving styles displaced writing as personal expression, the stylized forms of engraved letters symbolize a peak of craftsmanship and skill.”
The impulse to create a typeface in the English copperplate style, however, came to Veljovic only after he acquired a copy of the two-volume Johannes Pine edition of Horace’s “Opera” (Quinti Horatii Flacci “Opera”). The early 18th-century British book’s pages were printed entirely from engraved plates; it was the ﬁrst book to have all of its text in engraved lettering. “After purchasing the book,” Veljovic said, “it was only a matter of time before I had to create a digital typeface following this exceptional lettering style.”
To provide graphic designers with the ability to replicate true copperplate lettering, Veljovic drew a large suite of swash and alternate characters. “I created alternates for almost all lowercase letters,” he said, “in order to give the user the possibility of setting variable letter combinations. I have also added ligatures to use in place of a few critical letter combinations.” Available as an OpenType™ font with more than 400 swash and alternate characters, Libelle can imbue text with all the grace and richness of a hand-lettered formal script. In addition, the design has an extended character set that supports most Central European and many Eastern European languages.
As a special treat, we’ve created a suite of Libelle wallpaper designs that you can download for free. Enjoy!