Font Name: Ode · Designer ⇢ Martin Wenzel, 2010
Typeface DescriptionIts rustic and unique appearance always makes me think of herbs, spices – no nouvelle cusine here but comfy food. So use it to cook up your favorite designs …
HistoryThe typical characteristics of broken script typefaces such as their formal rigidness, weighty appearance and archaic character shapes, prohibit their use in body text today. They are far less readable than say, Humanist typefaces.
With Ode I’ve tried to disprove this. A broken script font such as the Gothic script (textura) can be highly legible if we approach the design in a less orthodox way and solve the above problems that conflict with our idea of legibility.
By replacing hard corners with round ones and giving the characters a more curvy and smoother overall design, the typically stern appearance of the typeface is greatly diminished, even with the ‘fracture’ of the counters still intact. My next step was to apply a very gentle slant and shift the weight within each letter slightly towards the top. Lastly, I replaced all Gothic script model characters which are unfamiliar to us with those of the humanist construction. These are compatible as both letter types are based on writing with the broad-nibbed pen.
The result is a pleasant and vibrant family in five weights with a strong personality, equipped with every feature a good quality text typeface needs: comprehensive kerning, ligatures, extended language support and various figure sets as well as a fractions feature. I very much see Ode as a black-letter font reborn in colour.