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Dolcenera Rambaldo

About Beatrice Display

Beatrice is a new kind of typeface. The family is an exploration of contrast methodologies, combining various aspects from the canon expansionist systems, inverted contrast, and the contrast behavior of standard sans-serif grotesks. These methodologies were dissected and used as cornerstones in building our own system, with the final result landing largely in unexplored territory. Built on the foundation of a traditional American Gothic but with tight-as-can-be spacing, the superfamily spans a robust set of weights and includes 2 optical sizes: a super high-contrast, tightly packed Display cut, as well as a standard low-contrast cut, designed to function beautifully in a wide range of optical sizes.

Beatrice Display Construction

Instead of utilizing contrast purely for the purpose of mitigating the darkening effects of stroke intersections, or based on an implied stroke ductus, the contrast methodology of Beatrice–the system for determining how the thicks and thins are applied to the skeleton–is done by applying a new rationale, a system we are referring to as “internal contrast.”

Beatrice Display Diagram

The idea is simple: every letter has an inside and an outside–Internal contrast is when stroke emphasis is applied to the outside of the letter-shape, with the strokes on the inside of the letter-shape being the hairline. This, combined with the classic sans-serif convention of pinching at the intersections of strokes and bowls creates a texture of thicks and thins that behave functionally in much the same way as a standard high-contrast expansionist sans-serif, even though aesthetically it is wildly different.

Sharp-Type-Beatrice-Display-Diagram-Poster-Something-Normal

The standard Beatrice family is built from the same skeleton as the roman display, but with much lower contrast, and is designed to work in a wide range of optical sizes.  

Beatrice-Disp-vs-Beatrice- Diagram Sarte

Although Beatrice and Beatrice Display share a common skeleton and Internal Contrast style, The visually striking effect of the high contrast Display is almost reminiscent of reverse contrast as a visual oddity, while the standard cut of Beatrice appears very restrained and can easily be mistaken for a more standard grotesk typeface. Beatrice Display is an exuberant and instantly apparent expression of the Internal Contrast method. It is extremely high contrast, unrestrained, and includes tight-as-can-be spacing and apertures, making it unsuitable for use in point sizes below 36pt. 

ST-Beatrice-Display-diagram-a

In drawing the initial roman of Beatrice Display, we set out to create a new set of rules. In the italic we bent these rules in new directions and sometimes broke them, adding a hefty dose of translation and rotation. The calligrapher's hand is ever present, but the tools and techniques are constantly abstracted and obscured.

Beatrice Display - Beatrice - Waterfall
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Beatrice Waterfall Diagram Green Type

Todos Sueñan

For the occasion of this release, we asked frequent collaborator Justin Sloane to design a run of screen-printed shirts. For the design, Sloane was inspired by his time staying with us at our offices in the historic Albaicín neighborhood in Granada, Spain, overlooking the Alhambra castle. The graphic includes an quote from British Philosopher T.E. Lawrence (also known as Lawrence of Arabia in recognition of his involvement in the Arab Riot during World War I). Buy here.

Beatrice Display Tshirt Front
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Beatrice Display Tshirt Back

The typeface is dedicated to its designer Lucas Sharp’s mother, Beatrice Benjamin, who continues to seek beauty, embrace originality and has never let convention hold her back.
Designed in 2018 by Lucas Sharp with Connor Davenport.

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