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By Type Mafia

Gerben Dollen
Type Mafia

Actium is a contemporary multilingual sans serif typeface developed to help perfect typography automatically. Type Mafia has focussed on words with odd combinations of capital letters and numbers, such as product names and postal codes such as WD40 and H1N5, jump out of the text. They sit awkwardly together as the numerals have been designed to work with the lowercase, not the uppercase letters – affecting readability. To fix this Type Mafia invented Smart Capo™.

Smart Capo
Smart Capo is a feature that automatically activates once you type an uppercase letter together with a number. When a capital letter is sat next to a numeral, Smart Capo converts the letter to a mid-cap — a contemporary alternative to small caps — and the default old-style numeral to a lining numeral. Actium’s mid-caps and lining numerals have been designed with the same height (between cap and x-height) so they sit comfortably next to each other and fit more harmoniously into text.

Smart Capo applies equal attention to capitalised words without any numbers, such as NAVO and USA, and are also automatically set into mid-capitals. Working on its own, Smart Capo saves time and money for the typographer — taking the pain out of text formatting — and makes it a more pleasurable experience for the reader.

This feature is made possible by the use of ‘contextual alternates’, an OpenType feature used in modern font software, working with a set of characters specially designed at mid-cap height. By default these changes automatically take place so it doesn't need to be switched on, it will just work.

Actium’s design has an unusual diagonal contrast — much more common in a serifed face than in a sans serif — giving it more bite. The typeface looks elegant when set in large sizes and remains very legible when shown in small sizes. The family consists of six weights in two styles, making a dozen fonts. Weights range from light to black in roman and true italic.

All fonts are fully loaded with functional elements. Actium boasts an extended Latin character set and with Greek. This means a wide range of Western languages are supported: perfect for use in bilingual publications and packaging. For numerals, each font includes old-style and lining figures in both proportional and tabular widths, with superiors and inferiors. These allow you to select the right set of numbers for the right task.

Sans Serif
Humanistic Sans