Schotis Display font family

Schotis Display joins the Font Runway at Font Fashion Week

Schotis Display is the companion to Schotis Text and is meant to be used in headlines, in subheadings, and other larger settings. Its design is inspired by 19th-century Scotch Romans, but has a thoroughly contemporary look. Schotis has many standout characters, notably the lowercase g! Looking at the ball terminals, the smooth transitions of arches into stems and the dynamic curves of the uppercase S, one marvels at how smooth it all feels, and how pleasant the reading experience is. We wanted to dig deeper into how its designer, Juanjo López, went about achieving such an effect, so we asked him a few questions:

Scotch Romans are known to be highly legible designs. What are the most important design factors that you keep in mind while drawing?

There are many ways a design can promote legibility, and in this case the generously wide proportion is the main factor which makes Schotis such a legible design. A large x-height and the carefully crafted contrast also work together to present a smooth reading experience.

What are the key differences between Schotis Text and Schotis Display?

The main difference is the contrast between thin & thick strokes. Schotis Display has higher contrast, without going to extremes, and maintains the same overall proportions. I don’t like when display versions of text faces are too narrow, so I tried to maintain that wide and pleasant feel. Several characters have also changed their shapes for a more attention-catching design that gives the typeface its charm.

Where would you like to see this typeface used? Any clients in particular that you feel would be a great match?

I would like to see it used for editorial purposes, especially in magazines and books. I think Schotis is a very useful typeface for any designer’s toolbox. Schotis is my “safe option” for running texts because everything feels legible and smart when set in it!

Schotis Display feels well suited for newspaper design where sometimes typefaces are automatically compressed to fit certain headlines within constrained space. How much compression do you think Schotis Display can handle before the design and legibility is affected?

I designed Schotis mainly for less stressed purposes as in magazines or books. I think Schotis Display can handle a fair amount of negative tracking, and a bit of compression in big sizes, but I always kept in mind the possibility of a Condensed version to tackle this problem. Maybe in the future.

Schotis Display is beautifully drawn. How would you describe the perfect curve? How can one explain to a non-type designer, why a curve is well drawn? 

There are many kinds of perfect curves. Usually we think an even curve without any bumps as perfect, but unevenness is sometimes more beautiful than boring cold perfection. It all depends on the designer’s intentions, and with Schotis my aim was to draw even and calm curves.

However, if we accept even as perfect I’d say the feeling of a well-drawn curve is the same as the feeling of a well-drawn curve when driving. With a constant speed, a single smooth turn and taking full advantage of the width of the road layout you can have a good curve – true for both driving and drawing.

Schotis Display has seven weights plus matching italics, with 1100 glyphs per font, with a very extended character set for Latin based languages as well as Vietnamese, and shows all its potential with OpenType-savvy applications. Every font includes small caps, ligatures, old-style, lining, proportional and tabular figures, superscript, subscript, numerators, denominators, and fractions.

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