The Optima™ font family, a humanist sans serif typeface, was designed by famed designer Hermann Zapf during his tenure at the D. Stempel AG foundry between 1952 and 1955. The Optima Nova™ font family was a redesign done nearly 50 years after the original by Zapf and famed designer Akira Kobayashi.
Optima Nova History
Reminiscent of the Roman monumental capitals so admired by its designer, Hermann Zapf, the Optima font family was a unique sans serif that has been much imitated and revived in the years since its creation.
After a tumultuous early life in Germany during the war and military work as a cartographer, Zapf eventually found his way to the Stempel Foundry where he was made Art Director. During this time he created his two most famous typefaces: the Palatino™ font family in collaboration with August Rosenberger and Zapf’s personal favorite, Optima.
Optima is distinct amongst sans for its slight, glyphic serifs. Given this blend of sans and serif, along with its carved face, Optima has usually worked best in logo and etch work. In the early 2000s, Zapf decided to revisit Optima and expand the family to make it more flexible and wide-ranging. The resulting Optima Nova font family, created by Zapf himself in conjunction with Linotype type director Kobayashi, included more weights (light, demi, and heavy) and expanded Glyph sets to include Adobe CE and Latin Extended characters. The italics were also completely overhauled to include italic details instead of relying on a tilted roman.
Other variants and expansions on the family have appeared since the 50s, including Matthew Carter’s Optima Greek® font family and Optima Classified® font family.
Optima Nova Usage
Optima was most famously used in recent decades as the typeface for the carved names in the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington D.C., as well as in the bronze parapets at the National September 11 Memorial & Museum. Prominent commercial brands like Estee Lauder, Aston Martin and Movado all use the typeface, as well, in their branding and advertisements.
Licenses for desktop fonts
A typical desktop font EULA will allow you to install the font on your computer for use with authoring tools including word processors, design tools and other applications that permit font selection. Fonts can also be used for creation of print documents, static images (JPEG, TIFF, PNG) and logos. The cost of a desktop font license is determined by the number of workstations on which the font is to be used.View the desktop EULA for this family
Licenses for Fonts.com Web Fonts subscriptions
The Fonts.com Web Fonts license provides access to a selection of fonts for use on websites for use with CSS@font-face. Font delivery from our global network is available through all subscriptions – even our free plan. Some plans include the option to self-host, access to desktop fonts, and use of our FontExplorer X font manager and Typecast design application. The price of a plan is determined by its pageview allowance and other features included.View the Fonts.com Web Fonts subscription license agreement
Licenses for mobile apps
A mobile app license permits the embedding of the font into the iOS, Android or Windows RT mobile platforms. Licenses are platform-specific meaning a separate license is required for each platform the font is embedded into. Licenses remain valid for the total operating life of the app and a new license is not required to cover free updates to the app.Learn more about licenses for mobile apps
Licenses for electronic publications (eBooks)
An electronic publication license can be used for the embedding of fonts into electronic documents including e-books, e-magazines and e-newspapers. A license covers only a single title but is valid for the full operating life of that title. Every issue of an e-magazine, e-newspaper or other form of e-periodical is considered a separate, new publication. Format variations do not count as separate publications. If a publication is updated and distributed to existing users, a new license is not required. However, updated versions issued to new customers are defined as new publications and require a separate license.Learn more about licenses for eBooks
Server licenses authorize the installation of a font on a server that is accessed by remote users or website visitors. These licenses are commonly used by Web-based businesses providing goods that are personalized by its users such as business cards, images with captions and personalized merchandise. Users are not allowed to download the font file and the font may not be used outside the server environment. The font may not be employed for a software as a service (SaaS) application in which the service is the actual product and not the means of providing the product. Server licenses cover a set number of CPU cores on production servers (development servers are not counted) on which the font is installed. The license is valid for 1 year.Learn more about server licenses