Schick Toikka

Author: Julia Kahl

Lyyra is a typeface with a radical aesthetic that alternates between the organic and the mechanical. The de sign incorporates diverse references from various points in history and yet is unmistakably rooted in the present.

Lyyra’s distinguishing trait can be found in the counters of the lowercase. Bowls start from a point and grow into acute symmetrical petals. The emphasis on angled lines is echoed in the drawn-out straights in a or s. Arches start low and ascend slow, quite like tree branches, further enforcing the diagonality. In words and lines, the elements add up to a gently undulating rhythm of ups and downs. This contrasts with the geometric precision of the stroke endings, which are all cut vertically, giving Lyyra a bare look and, by extension, an expression of immediacy. There are only a few predecessors for such a treatment, perhaps most notably Johnston’s Railway Type (1918) and, more comprehensively, Excoffon’s Antique Olive (1960s). The high-waisted caps channel German grotesks from the 1910s and underline the strong-willed character.

When set in capitals, Lyyra can acquire monumental qualities. In mixed case, it’s a self-confident face suitable for a range of applications, in editorial design and beyond. The wider styles make for powerful display options free of patina. So do the bolder cuts with their strikingly modulated strokes. Thanks to its high recognizability, Lyyra lends itself to being used in identity work. The family eschews condensed widths for more luxuriant Extended and downright decadent Expanded styles. There, the diagonality is carried to extremes. Each of the three widths spans five weights. In addition to the default lining figures, all fonts include oldstyle, tabular and sub-/superscript numerals as well as fractions. For situations where the diamond dots are too daring, Lyyra offers tamer alternates with rounded shapes.


Type Foundry: Schick Toikka
Publishing date: August 2019
Styles/Weights: 3 Styles (Standard, Extended, Expanded), jeweils 5 Schnitte (Light, Regular, Medium, Bold, Black)
Price: Per style from € 200,– family, from € 50,– single weight

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