FF Celeste Sans is a hybrid character, like its serif companion, FF Celeste. The serif version is a deliberate attempt to temper the modern face (Didone) type model with old face (Garalde) elements; to mix what Swiss letterform theorists have called the static’ and the ‘dynamic’ principles of letter construction. Allowing for historical fancy, Celeste Serif could be interpreted as a retrospectively ‘transitional’ typeface.

An approach to designing a sanserif partner for Celeste did not immediately make itself obvious. A straight 'humanist' sans did not seem quite appropriate. I finally realized that my liking for the grotesque genre of sanserif typefaces presented the way forward. The somewhat anonymous, nineteenth-century grotesques can be seen to share principles with the common modern face types of that era, and some writers have even suggested that they grew from that tradition. So, in Celeste Sans, I tried to make a kind of grotesque, tempered by the dynamic of humanist sans. The result perhaps errs on the side of grotesque, meaning that Celeste Sans differs from Celeste Serif in some details of its articulation (aside from the obvious differences). It does not have a great deal of contrast between its thick and thin strokes, and so creates quite a different colour to Celeste Serif while maintaining the family resemblance. This may prove useful on occasions where a distinct yet harmonious contrast between serif and sanserif is required.

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Celeste Sans Specimen.pdf