With its angled weight stress, softly curved serifs and angled crossbar in the lowercase e, ITC Anima could be thought of as an old style design, but designer Olivera Stojadinovic emphasizes the typeface’s hand-drawn foundation. “I wanted to create a book typeface, yet still keep a calligraphic spirit within its shapes,” she says. “First, I made quick drawings with a soft pencil. I drew the complete alphabet with virtually no corrections. The goal was to keep the sketches spontaneous.”
The newest typeface family from Olivera Stojadinovic is aptly named. In Latin,anima means breath, air, spirit, and soul. “I wanted to create an impression that is vivid and elegant – like dance,” says Stojadinovic. Inarguably she succeeded; the design abounds with grace and verve.
Stojadinovic’s affinity for the calligraphic arts can be seen in the ear of the g, the crossbar of the t, and the bowl of the a. The marked contrast between thin and thick strokes, ball terminals and hairline serifs all suggest the work of a pointed pen. These features, together with the several historical models underlying the design, prevent Anima from being easily pigeonholed into traditional stylistic categories.
“If it is true that women care more for calligraphy, elegance and dance, then I suppose Anima could be called feminine,” notes Stojadinovic. “There are, however, many women who are strong and decisive. I believe that Anima also has these qualities. I would not like to qualify Anima as a feminine design. I would say that it is a reflection of my imagination and taste.”
ITC Anima is a four-weight family, each having a complementary cursive italic. An ample x-height and generous counters ensure that Anima ranks high on the legibility scale. ITC Anima may be hard to classify, but it is a lesson in grace, beauty and service to readers.