Tabac Sans is a linear, dynamic sans serif type that blurs the lines between text and title typefaces. Drawing on the rich tradition of European type design, the humanist basis supports excellent readability even at the smallest letter sizes, while unique details and a wide array of alternative glyphs prove highly effectual in titles and headlines. The broad variety of types and weights make this font family a versatile aid when composing complex magazine and newspaper layouts.
Tabac Sans can form an extensive superfamily with the old style serifed typeface Tabac, but is just as effective as an entirely independent font family. This is due to the unusual approach used to create complementary fonts ― Tabac Sans adopts the same vertical proportions, rich letterform connotations and broad palette of characters from the outstroke version, but in all else it is an underived type family with its own sources of inspiration. While the serifed Tabac builds on the old-style classic serif model, the Tabac Sans family paraphrases modern attempts at creating linear letters based on the foundations of Renaissance and Baroque fonts. It does so with a certain dose of overstatement and invention that makes it possible to expand basic letter shapes to include vertical serifs on “C” and “c” or diagonally crop the stems on lower-case letters, thus supporting their subtle calligraphic inspiration. In the end, all of these elements produce the inimitable character of the entire font family.
The sizable range of bolds corresponds to the special demands placed on sans typefaces. Seven weights, from Hairline to Extra Black, easily cover the needs for challenging text and display layouts. The character strokes are robust; letters sitting firmly on the baseline, the higher x-height and letterform diversity all support readability and distinguishability at smaller scales. The monolinear character of thin styles shifts smoothly into high-contrast letters in darker weights. Carefully integrated into the characters, the pronounced diacriticals traditionally cover a broad range of languages that use the Latin alphabet.
In all styles, the typeface is loaded with alternative upper and lower case characters that can fundamentally change the appearance of the layout. These are launched using OpenType stylistic sets. The SS01 set activates all alternative characters; in sets SS02 through SS09, individual alternatives can be turned on to satisfy specific needs. The SS10 set activates an alternative ampersand and a thin times character suited for typesetting artwork dimensions. Other stylistic sets present caps, numbers and several other characters in square, circle, filled and empty boxes. Magazines and newspapers often insert subheadings to add variety to the layout. In the Tabac Sans typeface, special decorative quotation marks can be used to mark these subheadings. Several different traditional (single and double) as well as angle quotation marks are available. Small graphic elements are an essential part of modern layouts to add variety to the page. Each font comes loaded with these sorts of "service" glyphs. To note that an article continues on the next page, for example, several types of arrows can be used; likewise, one can find many ways to graphically depict the end of an article. Like all of our typefaces designated for universal use, Tabac Sans also contains nine types of numerals. Proportional lining figures are set as the default, and in all applications supporting OpenType these can be easily exchanged for proportional non-lining, tabular or tabular non-lining figures. The numerals also have small caps, and the character set contains superscript and subscript figures and fractions.
An expanded set of currency symbols have been created for complex financial reports. Apart from the common monetary symbols – the U.S. dollar and cent, British Pound Sterling, Japanese Yen and Euro – it also contains other less-common monetary symbols from around the world: the Israeli Shekel, the Costa Rican Colón, the Brazilian Real, the American Mill, the Nigerian Naira, the Korean Won, the Vietnamese Dong, the Lao Kip, the Mongolian Tugrik, the Philippine Peso, the Ukrainian Hryvnia, the Ghanaian Cedi and the Thai Baht. All glyphs have been designed for upper and lower case; when changing numbers from lining to non-lining figures and vice versa, the size of these symbols changes as well. In regular style lining sizes, they even (where possible) have the same width as tabular figures, making it easy to use them for vertical justification in tables. We also have something to offer magazines with esoteric leanings – a set of zodiac symbols whose design is in harmony with the text face. Tabac Sans is one of the most comprehensive typefaces of its kind. Besides its inimitable letter strokes, diverse array of fonts and detailed OpenType functions, it also offers an extensive character set filled with useful glyphs that magazine designers will especially appreciate. The typeface goes well together with the old style serif of the same name, but it can also serve as a fully autonomous family with a limitless range of uses – from body copy to highly challenging display layouts. Just like any other typeface, Tabac is a mere tool that comes to life in the hands of a good designer. But unlike single-purpose letter sets (with a strictly defined range of possible use), Tabac is a tool that offers limitless creative possibilities.
Design: Tomáš Brousil
Number of fonts in a family: 16 (Hair, Hair Italic, Thin, Thin Italic, Light, Light Italic, Regular, Italic, Medium, Medium Italic, Semibold, Semibold Italic, Bold, Bold Italic, Black, Black Italic)
Number of glyphs per font: 1167
Release date: 2010
All Small Caps (c2sc)
Small Capitals (smcp)
Historical Forms (hist)
Discretionary Ligatures (dlig)
Historical Ligatures (hlig)
Old Style Numerals (onum)
Lining Figures (lnum)
Proportional Figures (pnum)
Tabular Figures (tnum)
Scientific Inferiors (sinf)
Localized Forms (locl)
Standard Ligatures (liga)
Case Sensitive Forms (case)
Slashed Zero (zero)
Stylistic Sets (salt ss02 – ss14)