Jana Nikolic was finishing her degree program at the Faculty of Applied Arts, in Belgrade, with a final project that would combine her two majors: type and book design. Three stories from William Saroyan’s My Name Is Aram would provide the text for the book, to be set in a typeface that Nikolic would design.
Nikolic knew something special was happening the moment she put pen to paper. “The letters just emerged,” she recalls. “I started to explore a few new pens and found one I loved. I was able to make its tip bend with pressure.” Like the family Saroyan writes about, the design flowing from Nikolic’s pen would be simple but a little quirky. “When there were a whole bunch of little black letters around me,” continues Nikolic, “I saw that this was going to be a very interesting typeface family.”
Nikolic drew Latin and Cyrillic letters, lowercase and capital letters, wide letters and narrow letters. She was surprised at how quickly and easily the design came. “There were no badly written letters,” she says. “I hardly had to rework them and they fit together remarkably well.”
ITC Aram’s standard character complement consists of one set of lowercase letters and two sets of capitals: one narrow and the other wide. The wide caps can be used with the standard lowercase, or mixed with the narrow caps for a variation on “cap and small cap” copy.
The ITC Aram family creates the opportunity to mix and combine the letters into playful typographic expressions. Words and sentences that twinkle; text that seems light and alive – one runs the risk of creating work that is both delightful and charming when setting copy in ITC Aram.