Olivera Stojadinovic made her first sketches of Resavska in the autumn of 2001, as part of a proposal for new currency in her native Serbia. Stojadinovic designed one sans serif weight for the project with the goal of creating a typeface that would be readable at small sizes. Unfortunately, the project was canceled and this version of Resavska was never used.
Some time later, Stojadinovic was asked to create a typeface family for the redesign of a weekly magazine. “I added geometric serifs to the earlier Resavska sans serif letters, and produced a new text face,” she recalls. “I also drew a complementary italic and added new weights to the sans serif.” Because the type was to be used in small sizes and the magazine was printed on less-than-ideal paper, Stojadinovic kept character shapes and proportions generous and full-bodied. About halfway through the project, however, the magazine’s editor left his position and this project, too, was canceled.
Finally, a friend of Stojadinovic’s asked her to draw a typeface for a different kind of magazine, one that was printed on high-quality paper and used type in large sizes. “I created a light weight of Resavska for this project,” says Stojadinovic. “I also drew the thin strokes a little thinner and made the serifs finer.” The end result combines calligraphic elegance and carefully structured, high-legibility design traits.
ITC saw these typefaces in the spring of 2003 and convinced Stojadinovic that they would make eloquent additions to the ITC typeface library. The ITC Resavska family now consists of serif and sans serif sub-families in four weights. Each (except the black weight) has an italic counterpart. The range of weights and the possibility of combining serif and sans serif fonts make this family versatile for both text and display applications.
Given this design’s history, one might think the name Resavska is Serbian for “third time’s the charm.” Actually, Resavska is the name of the street where Stojadinovic lives. But, she explains, “Resava is also the old name of an early 15th century Manasija monastery. There was a manuscript workshop at the monastery where, for many years, ‘Resava’ script served as the model for the monastic scribes.”