Maybe you think that the adrenaline rush of the Johnston–Gill–Frutiger direction brought along a lot of excellent typefaces, but that over time the differences between individual alphabets got smaller and smaller. Then you’ll certainly appreciate a modern text family that continues in the humanistic tradition but isn’t afraid to spice things up a little. If you really feel that there’s nothing new happening in the sans-serif scene – meet Gloriola. A combination of frugal, unobtrusive uppercase letters with distinctive ascenders, a slightly compressed appearance and an atypical shape, form a sufficiently original contribution to current efforts to bring sans-serifs up to date. The nineteenth century was the century of steam power; the twentieth century brought us several lessons in legibility. Bare-bone sans-serif typefaces, suddenly unable to utilise serifs to differentiate between individual characters, began to be taught in the past however, primarily during the Renaissance period. This was because so called Old Style typefaces mainly utilised elaborate font shapes to highlight differences between letters. Gloriola is no exception – it uses all sorts of tricks to avoid mistaking characters (a double-story g, lowercase l with a dynamic outstroke to the right of the stem and axially asymmetrical letters b, d, p and q). Besides low and distinct connections of the arches to the stems, Gloriola features an openness of shapes combined with clear, angled execution of rounded strokes, which serve to create welcome tension within what is a perfectly legible text. The alphabet is monolinear; even in the boldest styles, the stroke contrast is not larger than one necessary for optical compensation. Anyone looking for a sans for day-to-day use will confirm that it is the range of weights and styles that will determine the scope of the font application, particularly if one specialises in magazine creation, or creation of extensive visual styles. Here’s good news – Gloriola contains five weights from Light to Bold with Italics, plus four other Display styles, covering the utmost of extremes.

The whole family consists of a total of fourteen typefaces. All Display variants have shortened ascenders and comprise an excellent stylistic addition to regular typesetting on occasions where you need to hit the reader with a brutal contrast. On one side of the spectrum it’s the Display Hair and Display Thin, the other extreme is the Display Black a Display Fat. The Italics differ from Regulars styles on one hand, but don’t interrupt a unified appearance of a typesetting. And, because the slant is moderate and the width compression of characters is relatively small, this task is achieved not only by deepened instrokes, but also by subtle shape variations of characters (a, e, f, g, v, w, y), and by generally softer, more fluid shapes of all rounded strokes. Those who desire a distinctive sans-serif for their font arsenal need look no further – simply enabling one of the stylistic sets performs a miraculous shift in expression. These alter the appearance of some lowercase letters (single-story g or lowercase l without the outstroke), but, more importantly, comprise significant shape alternations in capitals. An Uncial E, also I with two horizontal serifs, an R with a stylish tail instead of a lower diagonal, an axis-symmetrical U, and finally a varied, lowercase-derived variant of Y. Standard features of our font families are not only immaculate diacritics, ligatures and special characters, but also all kinds of numeral types, including uppercase, lowercase, proportional, tabular and index figures. Moreover, all text styles contain small-caps.


Design: Tomáš Brousil
Number of fonts in a family: 14 (Display Hair, Display Thin, Light, Light Italic, Regular, Italic, Medium, Medium Italic, Semibold, Semibold Italic, Bold, Bold Italic, Display Black, Display Fat)
Number of glyphs per font: 840/471 (Display)
Release date: 2007


OpenType Features:
All Small Caps (c2sc)
Small Capitals (smcp)
Historical Forms (hist)
Old Style Numerals (onum)
Lining Figures (lnum)
Proportional Figures (pnum)
Tabular Figures (tnum)
Supersript (sups)
Scientific Inferiors (sinf)
Numerators (numr)
Denominators (dnom)
Fractions (frac)
Standard Ligatures (liga)
Stylistic Alternates (salt)
Case Sensitive Forms (case)
Slashed Zero (zero)
Stylistic Sets (salt ss02 - ss08)