Skip to main content

ITC New Veljovic®


Jovica Veljovic
ITC New Veljovic: Optimization and extension of a classic font by Jovica Veljovi?

Thirty years after its first appearance, Prof. Jovica Veljovi? has produced ITC New Veljovic, a revised version of his first typeface. Skillfully enhanced character forms give the new font a particularly harmonious effect while the extensive additions open up new potential applications for this versatile, readily legible typeface.

In view of the many and highly successful fonts that Veljovi? has published to date it is surprising in hindsight that, although he discovered his love of calligraphy and manuscripts after studying at the Belgrade University of Arts, the design of printing type did not at first appeal to him. It was only on the advice of his mentor Henri Friedlaender, the eminent Israeli typographer, and when an invitation to visit him in his New York studio arrived from Aaron Burns, one of the founders of ITC, that Veljovi? came into contact with type design. He can still clearly remember meeting Burns in his office, where his desk was covered by type specimens. At this point, Veljovi? began to wonder how on Earth it would be possible to create something new given the existence of this already considerable diversity. Despite these misgivings, Veljovi? accepted the commission to design a new font for ITC and returned to Serbia where he began to teach himself typeface design. Just over 12 months later, he sent his designs to New York and his first font, ITC Veljovic, was published in 1984.

This antiqua font is characterized by its triangular, sharply pointed serifs that, together with the clearly defined forms, give the impression that the characters have been carved in stone. The uppercase letters have a Roman elegance and monumental grandeur. Calligraphic details are subtly distributed throughout the typeface and provide an interesting contrast to the more formal architecture.

More than 30 years after its initial publication, Veljovi? came to believe it was time to revise the font that bears his name. He has used all the experience he has garnered over the past decades and by carefully adjusting the proportions of the characters he has provided the new typeface with a more harmonious presence. The serifs have also been slightly curtailed and the letters made more condensed. Immediately striking in the case of ITC New Veljovic are, for example, the double-story "g" with its completely closed loop and the more open forms of the "c" and "e". In the italic variants, the latter is much rounder.

Characters with unusually extended ascenders and descenders are made available to the standard versions through a format set and can be used to emphasize the elegance of ITC New Veljovic.

Veljovi? has also extensively added to his font. ITC New Veljovic offers a Regular weight that supplements the four existing styles from Book to Medium. Moreover, Veljovi? has designed variants with reduced tracking and a display version with spacing and contrast that take account of the special requirements of setting text in larger point sizes. All variants are accompanied by genuine italic versions. The range of glyphs not only covers the needs of most Western and Eastern European languages, but also includes oldstyle and lining figures, small caps and numerous ligatures. The format sets help with the conversion of Latin characters to Cyrillic characters and vice versa.

Jovica Veljovi? has done an outstanding job so that the optimized and considerably extended versatile font ITC New Veljovic can now be used in new applications. The new Condensed style saves considerable space when it comes to setting longer texts and the Display versions show off the crystal-clear forms of ITC New Veljovic at their best in larger point sizes.

The stable serifs not only enhance the effect of ITC New Veljovic in print but also give it a well-defined and readily legible appearance in images and when used as a web font.

“When I first designed the ITC Veljović family I wanted to make it larger,” explains Veljović, “but the phototypesetting technology of the time dictated just four basic weights. In addition, the separate designs for text and display projects that I envisioned would have been very problematic for those who made and used fonts.”

The ITC New Veljović family has been enlarged to five weights of regular and condensed designs optimized for text copy, and an additional collection of “display” designs that are ideal for larger sizes. Each roman design also has a complementary italic counterpart.

With over three decades experience as a type designer, Jovica Veljović’s career dates back to when type was set by photo, rather than digital, technology. He submitted his first design to International Typeface Corporation (ITC) in 1982, and it was released in 1984, bearing his name. The ITC Veljović family was followed by the ITC Esprit™ and ITC Gamma™ designs. His later releases include the Ex Ponto®, Silentium®, and Sava® families. Recently Veljović has designed the Libelle™, Agmena™ and Veljovic Script™ typefaces for the Linotype Library. When asked about the differences between designing typefaces for phototype and digital technologies, Veljović observes, “Today we have larger characters sets to contend with, but we also have better overall control of the design and character spacing. This is the reason I re-designed ITC Esprit and now ITC Veljović. I had also become unhappy with the kerning and character fit – and I thought I could improve the overall design.” When not designing type, Veljović teaches typography and typeface design in Hamburg, Germany. He also fills his time as a typographer, calligrapher and book designer.
“ITC New Veljović has better character proportions, smoother curves – especially in the bolder weights – shorter and better balanced serifs, improved spacing and an extended kerning set,” Veljović explains. In addition, bowls were drawn fuller and characters narrowed slightly in the pursuit of text legibility and space economy. While the italic characters in the ITC New Veljović design are more refined and a closer complement to the roman designs than the original, a sensitive calligraphic vitality is maintained.
Where the original ITC Veljović family has to do double-duty, using the same design for both print and digital environments, the new design benefits from two versions. The regular or “text” designs have simpler shapes than the original, improving legibility in small sizes and allowing for less loss of character definition on digital screens. As a result, the ITC New Veljović family can be an ideal choice for applications as far-ranging as books and periodicals to traditional & mobile advertising.