The PMN Caecilia® Sans family is a must-have suite of fonts for just about any interactive designer – and it also performs handsomely in print environments. The family spans 42 designs drawn to excel in a variety of print and digital applications. “It is not intended to be eye-catching, but generous: enabling numerous visual and typographical expressions,” explains Peter Matthias Noordzij, the typeface’s designer. “My goal was to create a, friendly, versatile, ageless, yet discerning typeface family that will serve the needs of many users.”
The PMN Caecilia Sans design was drawn specifically for on-screen imaging. A large family of seven weights, each with stylistic variations of roman, italic, cursive, oblique, with “headline” versions of the roman and oblique designs. “I didn’t design PMN Caecilia Sans for applications in the sense of a product,” says Noordzij. “Instead, I designed it with a particular use in mind: to be adjustable to circumstances that occur when reading type on screen. Instead of addressing typographic problems of the past, my goal was to design a family that addresses typographic challenges of the future.”
The use of PMN Caecilia in Amazon’s Kindle® wireless reading device gave Noordzij an opportunity to study the behavior of his typeface in an on-screen environment, and explore the characteristics necessary for optimum imaging. While he clearly based PMN Caecilia Sans on his earlier slab serif typeface, the new design has fundamental changes to improve its performance on digital screens. Noordzij adjusted the relationship of character stroke width modulation and modified spacing and kerning to ensure the best levers of readability. He even created special headline versions to be used at large sizes. Italics are true cursive designs, while the oblique typefaces are slanted designs based on the roman letterforms. Additional weights were also drawn to provide a rich palette of designs to address the most complex of hierarchical concerns.
PMN Caecilia Sans benefits from features such as small caps, old style and lining figures for both text and tabular use, and a large series of alternate characters. OpenType fonts also provide a large character set supporting Western and many Eastern European languages.
Noordzij quite literally grew up in the letter arts. His father, Gerrit Noordzij, is a respected lettering artist, author and design educator. The younger Noordzij was born in The Hague in 1961, and studied graphic and typographic design at the Royal Academy of Fine Art in The Hague, where his father taught. In 1988, he was asked to temporarily take over the elder Noordzij’s classes when he fell ill; slowly modifying them to be his own, when his father retired. In 1991, Noordzij established The Enschedé Font Foundry based on the typographic heritage of Joh. Enschedé & Zn, and designed several typefaces for the foundry. Noordzij began teaching at the Merz-Akademie in Stuttgart, Germany in 2008, and a year later, he instituted a lecture series at AKV|St. Joost in ’s-Hertogenbosch en Breda, The Netherlands.
The PMN Caecilia Sans family matches the four weights in PMN Caecilia – and adds to this a heavy weight and two additional light designs. Noordzij went back to the roots of the slab serif and designed a set of oblique typefaces. These, plus a set of cursive italics, in addition to the special headline designs, bring the family total to 42 typefaces. A broad range of typefaces pair well with PMN Caecilia Sans. PMN Caecilia is a natural design partner – as are other slab serif typefaces, like the Egyptian™ Slate, Plantin® and Joanna® Nova families. Humanist serif typefaces, such as Dante®, Frutiger® Serif and Agmena™, also create dynamic typographic harmony, while designs like Perpetua®, Masqualero™ and ITC New Veljovic™ set up a striking counterpoint.
UX, web and interactive designers creating digital interfaces, complex website projects, apps, games, kiosks and HTML ads will appreciate the on-screen high legibility performance of PMN Caecilia Sans. Banners, headings, long and short form text will benefit from the family’s wide range of weights and variations. Large-scale brand identity projects are also in PMN Caecilia Sans’ wheelhouse.