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4 optical sizes, 5 weights, roman and italic

About

Louvette is a sharp, stylish, modern serif including a range of optical sizes from Banner to Text. The design of Louvette is optimized to maintain thin, elegant hairlines at a wide range of sizes. Ideal for publications and cultural institutions, exhibitions and fashion – anywhere that strong gestures and delicate details are paramount.

The design process for Louvette started during Type@Cooper in 2010, under the guidance of Jesse Ragan, with an interest in reviving ATF Louvaine by Morris Fuller Benton for contemporary usage. After some helpful feedback from Christian Schwartz, the project soon evolved away from the source material to include a large optical size version with ultra thin hairlines, and to expand the weight into the fatface range of designs such as Ultra Bodoni, also by M. F. Benton. Further research into the italics led to sources such as Doppel Tertia Cursiv from J. F. Unger, Berlin, and the small heavy sizes drew inspiration from Compacte Romain by Enschedé, Haarlem.

In the 8+ years since this project started, Louvette has been used in a range of projects from extra large wall text in exhibition design to small credits for performance art programs, bold expressing headlines for performance art posters to refined editorial spreads and captions. All of this real-world usage has informed the design direction and progression from the earliest versions. The result is a versitile suite of 40 styles that can all work together in concert, while each having a distinct role.

Augmented Reality Typeface Specimen

Variable axes

Optical sizes

Louvette Banner has ultra thin hairlines and tighter spacing for usage above 96pt. Louvette Display is the next size which is ideal down to 72pt, with Deck down to 36pt, and Louvette Text's thicker hairlines and generous spacing allow it to hold up for large text sizes around 14pt. In addition to the hairlines and spacing changing for the intended size range, the descender lengths change as well. So your largest text can be tightly stacked for maximum impact without the descedenders crashing into the line below, and your smaller text can have ample leading with long descenders to elegantly fill the space. If you want to override the defaults, alternate descender lengths are also available via OpenType Stylistic Sets, SS03 for Short Descenders and SS04 for Long Descenders (see below).

For more information about optical sizes in typeface design, I highly recommend this book: Size-specific adjustments to type designs by Tim Ahrens and Shoko Mugikura. The red and blue image above is a nod to their wonderfully insightful book.

Descender length

Louvette Banner includes shorted descenders by default allowing for extra tight leading, while Louvette Text has longer descenders by default to gracefully fill settings with more leading. The longer ones are available as stylistic alternates and grouped in Stylistic Set 03 (SS03), while the extra short descenders are grouped in Stylistic Set 04 (SS04). Louvette’s variable fonts include a descender axis (ytde) so you can change the descenders to any arbitrary length in between long and short as needed. This is particularly handy when you have a collision in a particular setting and don't want to change overall leading for other settings, so you can just change the descender of a single glyph and leave the rest alone.

Hairlines

With the Louvette variable fonts you can adjust the hairline axis (yopq) independently. The is particularly useful if you have light text on a dark background and need to thicken the hairlines to avoid ink from filling in, or on screen for “dark mode” settings.

OpenType features

Case sensitive forms

If you apply all-caps styling to text, an OpenType feature will change the default form of punctuation to one that better fits uppercase letters (CASE feature).

Fractions, superiors, and inferiors

Louvette includes OpenType features to set proper fractions (FRAC, NUMR and DNOM feature), along with superiors (SUPS feature) and inferior numerals (SINF feature).

Stylistic alternates

Louvette includes sets with stylistic alternate glyphs for the terminal of f (SS02, see below).

Ligatures

Louvette includes the standard f ligatures: ff, fi, fl, ffi, ffl

Character set

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LouvetteBannerRegular LouvetteBannerItalic LouvetteBannerSemibold LouvetteBannerSemiboldItalic LouvetteBannerBold LouvetteBannerBoldItalic LouvetteBannerBlack LouvetteBannerBlackItalic LouvetteBannerUltra LouvetteBannerUltraItalic

LouvetteDisplayRegular LouvetteDisplayItalic LouvetteDisplaySemibold LouvetteDisplaySemiboldItalic LouvetteDisplayBold LouvetteDisplayBoldItalic LouvetteDisplayBlack LouvetteDisplayBlackItalic LouvetteDisplayUltra LouvetteDisplayUltraItalic

LouvetteDeckRegular LouvetteDeckItalic LouvetteDeckSemibold LouvetteDeckSemiboldItalic LouvetteDeckBold LouvetteDeckBoldItalic LouvetteDeckBlack LouvetteDeckBlackItalic LouvetteDeckUltra LouvetteDeckUltraItalic

LouvetteTextRegular LouvetteTextItalic LouvetteTextSemibold LouvetteTextSemiboldItalic LouvetteTextBold LouvetteTextBoldItalic LouvetteTextBlack LouvetteTextBlackItalic LouvetteTextUltra LouvetteTextUltraItalic

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