Some typefaces need time to ripen; Burian and Scaglione made the first sketches for Ebony back in 2008, but it took a few years of maturing in a drawer to be developed into a multi-functional type family. While keeping in tune with TypeTogether’s focus on complex typographic structures needed for magazine, newspapers and books —whether printed or digital—, Ebony goes far beyond editorial use and promises great performance in branding and advertising.
The range of dark weights with taut and powerful curves can boost any headline, while the lighter styles create an approachable and clean feel in blocks of continuous text. Ebony does not fall short on aiding legibility either; letterforms have a distinct direction of ductus and features like the top serif on ‘l’ help making them clearly distinguishable from each other.
It is a type family that cleverly seeks a balance between the openness and legibility of humanist sans serifs and the striking and more regularised character of grotesques. The letter-shapes feature generous counters and open terminals with crisp angles, and daringly grow both in colour and width as the fonts get bolder. Infused with this strength, Ebony also shows a quirky side in some of her shapes; the vertical fractions, the at-symbol, the old-style numbers.
The predominantly slanted style of the italics is broken up in some letterforms, such as ‘a e f l’, that are more in line with a classic cursive appearance. This, together with a forceful italic angle, ensure a change in texture within a block of text, despite sharing the same letter weight and width with the uprights.
With 18 styles, tending towards the heavier part of the weight-spectrum, this face has a powerful quality!