The Harmonia Sans™ typeface combines designer Jim Wasco’s favorite aspects of classic geometric sans faces with an elegant un-geometric twist. The result is an extensive family that works seamlessly on the printed page, on screen, and beyond.
Harmonia Sans History
The Harmonia Sans™ typeface is a graceful blending of contemporary geometric sans serif lettershapes and classic calligraphic proportions. Jim Wasco undertook the design of a new sans serif typeface family with a single goal in mind. He recalls, “I wanted to create a simple and legible typeface that pulled from my favorite aspects of classic geometric sans designs, such as Futura and ITC Avant Garde Gothic.” More than two years later, Wasco’s final design is appropriate and appealing for myriad typographic applications, from high-resolution print and large-scale signage to low-resolution text displays and mobile devices. Wasco began the project with several weeks of research and experimentation. “I made a master matrix and analyzed many sans serif typeface families before starting to sketch,” he explains. “I needed to identify the specific issues I wanted to address before starting down any design path.” Wasco also explored new design elements that might replace traditional geometric sans letterforms. “I didn’t want to do anything just to be different. Ultimately, my early experiments didn’t ring true, and I abandoned them,” he says. Once Wasco had settled on his design direction, he brought in long-time collaborator George Ryan to help produce the extensive family. Wasco’s design introduced a very “un-geometric” aspect into the letters of Harmonia Sans. “I decided to use classic proportions of calligraphic lettering in developing the design. I considered several examples before settling on the work of Ludovico degli Arrighi, a master calligrapher in the sixteenth century.” Arrighi typically used a ratio of five pen widths for lowercase to seven pen widths for capitals. Wasco’s x-height to cap height ratio in Harmonia Sans is also 5:7. The complete Harmonia Sans family includes a total of 17 typefaces. Each of the five weights, ranging from Light to Black, has a companion cursive Italic. In addition, Wasco has drawn condensed designs for the Regular, Semi Bold and Bold weights. He has also designed four monospaced faces.