Odile is a text typeface with bracketed head and bracket-free bottom lower case serifs, a quality that counters rigidness most traditional slab serif typefaces possess. This contemporary design draws inspiration from an experimental typeface named Charter originally designed by the American book and type designer William Addision Dwiggins.
It consisted of an informal lowercase alphabet, a narrow seemingly non-inclined vertical letter with script attributes, featuring non-joining letterforms. Dwiggins’ contemplated Charter as the italic companion to Arcadia, Experimental No. 221. The Charter project progressed sporadic stalled during the Second World War and came to a halt in 1955. Charter remained incomplete and was never commercially released. Assessing Charter’s whimsical design, its fragments were rethought and developed into a comprehensive text family.
Odile Upright Italic reveals recognizable similarities shared by Dwiggin’s Charter and defines the design approach for the family. The steep calligraphic outstroke and low junctions off the stem as in the upright italic “n” or “r”, for example, are gradually lessened in the italic and moved up for the roman weights
.The six optically balanced weights range from the delicate Light to stark Black, accompanied by display variants with feminine flair and ardent Ornaments. Two sorts of Initials, one amplified with interweaving swashes, the other more restrained, both are clearly derived from the Upright Italic. This mid-contrast serif offers a wide range of tools for text and display typographies with a palette of strict to playful. This family shines in magazine, book and display use.
The graceful serifed type harmonizes perfectly with Elido, Odile’s sans companion. Sans and serif share the family array and OpenType features in perfect tune. Odile offers an extensive character set, numerous OT features including roman and italic Small Caps, five sets of numerals, alluring ligatures, and many more. OT stylistic variants (with accents) offer a one-story “a” for the roman weights, alternate “g” and “s” designs for the italics, and a variant “s” for the Upright Italic.