Typeface of the Month: Temeraire

TypeTogether

Author: Isabella Krüger

Everything but boring—Quentin Schmerber did not design Temeraire to make it invisible. It is conspicuous, and this is what it is supposed to be. Its obvious inconsistency in the cuts always brings surprises in all areas of its use. Temeraire shines with a colorful bouquet of 18th-century letterforms that bring a smile to the face of every typography lover.

Quentin Schmerber’s Temeraire serif font family was not designed to be invisible. It is a typographic exploration meant to be seen—with its beauty, one could even say beheld. While some fonts aim to be as easily ignored as possible, Temeraire is offered as a gift to wide-eyed readers with its anything-but-boring character and its conspicuous inconsistency in styles.

Most type families increase the weight of each character to expand the family. Instead, research into 18th century sources produced Temeraire’s wide range of letterforms, from the predictable to the odd and loosely related through time. Each style is designed to work alongside the others but are also standalone homages to specific parts of English lettering tradition: gravestone cutting, writing masters’ copperplates, Italiennes, and others.

Temeraire’s Regular style is a contrast-loving Transitional Serif with vertical stress, making it great for period and classic works, ironic pieces, and modern throwbacks. The weight of the Bold squares off the ends of each glyph to give it stability, and the italic style rings true: flowing, contrasting, and purposefully inconsistent.

Temeraire’s Display Black style is one salvaged from expressive gravestone artistry. The details most easily noticed are the ‘g’ with its descending bowl that has been pressed back up in the centre, and the additional serif on the ‘t’ crossbar that holds its neighbouring character at bay. (The ‘g’ and ‘Q’ have loopless alternates.) The final style is the Italienne, the horizontally stressed counterpoint to the family. By design its characters flow and bend in ways not in step with the rest of the family. All the weight has been pushed to either hemisphere within each glyph, resulting in a display style that demands space and peacefulness around it so its presence can impress.

Like all TypeTogether families, Temeraire’s five styles meet the current designer’s needs, including alternates for when the defaults are too boisterous. It works on screens for the audacious designer but truly shines in print. The Temeraire serif font family is resurrected from echoes in time and finds its family relation through impeccable taste.

Temeraire

Foundry: TypeTogether
Designer: Quentin Schmerber 
Release: 2018
Format: otf, eot, svg, woff, woff2
Weights: Regular, Italic, Bold, Display Black, Italienne Italic 
Price: from 31.50 Euro per weight, 158.10 Euro the entire bundle
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