Thursday, October 30, 2008

we packed and We moved!

We created a new blog at an independent location. The new parachute blog "Upscale Typography" was officially launched on October 8 with several new features. This blog posts articles in 6 main categories, all about typography. For instance, under the gadget category you'll find fresh new products made with type and under history references to great typography from the past. Contemporary designers will be interviewed, new releases and pre-release notifications -for typefaces worth mentioning- will be presented. Finally news from all over the world and of course powerful tips & techniques.
But this is only the beginning. Come and visit us, leave a comment, send your feedback, propose an articles that you will like to read we are waiting you!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Who is Max Kerning?

He is a designer of the highest order, in fact he upholds order, clean lines and proper letter spacing at all cost! He is a man obsessed with type and and his name is Max Kerning. “When I look around, I see disorder in the world—needless chaos and messes. I sense panic and stress. In fact, I feel it myself. It rattles my soul and gives me a headache and a sourness of the stomach. This is because everywhere I am assaulted by sloppy text that is displeasing to the eye. There is no respect for proper letter spacing and font choice. Letters are squished together, piled up, overlapped and umbled. They are inappropriately and self-indulgently tracked out. People mix typefaces with incompatible type styles. Or they think, “Why use a simple, clean typeface to convey an idea when you can use three or five or twelve.” This is wrong. This is sad. This is an affront to a cultured society, and it must be stopped. Immediately, before everything is tossed away to an angry wind. Order must be allowed to thrive, to flourish, to bring us into a tidy harmony.” -Max Kerning
Max is here to to bring order in a chaotic typographic world.

Max Kerning

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

ABC 3D Book

This is not just a book but a work of art. Each of the 26 three-dimensional letters move and change before your eyes as you flip through the pages. Book designer MARION BATAILLE has managed to amaze us. Boldly conceived and brilliantly executed with a striking black, red, and white palette, this is a book that readers and art lovers of all ages will treasure for years to come. This October will be published.

Friday, September 19, 2008


Chris Clark has recently graduated with a first class honours degree in Graphic Design from the University of the West of England. One of his project is the "typecube". This is a design box which contains 64 cubes with different forms on every side of the cube, which provide the basis of two dimensional and three dimensional typographic systems, encouraging flexibility within uniform structure. It is a very creative type game which will be on production soon.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Bodoni as never seen before.

The online version of Bodoni Script Pro has just been released. Based on Bodoni’s distinct swash capitals, this is not simply a digital version of his work, as this typeface was designed with connected lowercase characters and capitals with extra calligraphic elements. It was first released back in 2002 and published in Parachute’s award-winning catalog/book IDEA/Trendsetting Typography vol.1. Later in 2005 a large number of ornaments and borders was revived. All this work was left behind until recently when it was revisited to create a complete 'Pro' family. Several new uppercase and lowercase glyphs were designed in order to make it stand out on its own. Bodoni Script Pro is a (3+1)-weight superfamily. It supports 10 special opentype features including 'contextual alternates' as well as support for both Latin and Greek. Each font comes with 725 glyphs including a large number of alternates as well as 144 ornaments. The full package includes an additional 'bonus font' which contains 120 frame parts. These parts, when put together, create some truly amazing borders.

Bodoni Script Pro

Monday, June 30, 2008


These tasteful and unique typographic screensavers will satisfy your design appetite and most definitely will not put you to sleep. Designed by award-winning designer Babis Touglis to work flawlessly on both Mac and PC computers at any resolution. There are all together 6 different screen savers to choose from. It is easy to download and are all free, courtesy of Parachute®. Let your screen go off and enjoy the view!

download the screensavers

Friday, May 23, 2008

Parachute wins international award.

Parachute wins international award.
European Design Awards 2008 - Stockholm | Sweden
It was a great night at the Awards. The elite of European designers showed up for 5 days in Stockholm, to celebrate and award excellence in communication design. The European Design Awards is the premium venue that honors the best in European design. This year, it was hosted in Stockholm, Sweden May 15-19 as part of the European Design Week which included several exhibitions, a 3-day conference, an award ceremony, a formal reception, two design walks to 7 agencies and open houses. ¶ The ED Awards Ceremony honorsthe winners in 27 categories. This year, the award for original typeface went to Parachute® for the Centro Pro typeface superfamilies. In his acceptance speech, Panos Vassiliou the designer of Centro Pro, was quoted saying “ is awards like these that make you feel that your work is appreciated, it is awards like these that make you feel responsible for your work, it is awards like these that raise your standards, but most of all these awards make you believe in yourself and your work. So I can say this: now more than ever I BELIEVE!”
According to the jury, “PF Centro Pro is a type system, not just a type family. This large series of 40 fonts with 1519 characters each, is composed of 3 superfamilies (serif, sans and slab), includes true italics and supports Latin, Greek and Cyrillic. It is an almost ‘invisible’ typeface which has legibility as its main attribute and is ideal for a wide range of design works. It does not attract any unnecessary attention, but rather serves its purpose. A rare case of contemporary type family working across three alphabets, Centro Pro meets an ever-growing demand for such typefaces among pan-European companies and institutions”.
¶ The night of May 18 started with an invitation by the Mayor of the City of Stockholm to a formal reception in Stadshuset (the City Hall), the very same hall used for the Nobel Prize dinners. After several rounds of red wine, we were almost ready for the Awards Ceremony which was held at the nearby Södra Teatern. But it was after the ceremony that everybody let loose when the participants were invited to the official Winners Party at the Södra Bar. When we were forced out at 2 a.m. the party was taken to after-hours clubs till the early morning hours.
Thank you for sharing our joy!!!
Further Links

The making of PF Centro Pro

More on Centro serif
More on Centro sans
More on Centro slab

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

The Centro Pro Project. A mixed type system.

The Centro Project. A mixed type system.
Three related superfamilies.
// by Panos VassiliouIntro
The Centro Project started out as a small serif family of eight, but it grew to become the largest and most versatile set of related superfamilies. The result is a series of three families, Centro serif, Centro sans and Centro slab for a total of 40 weights. Each font contains 1519 glyphs and supports simultaneously Latin, Greek and Cyrillic. It is recommended for magazines, newspapers, catalogs and corporate identities.//centro serif
The Centro serif project was initiated in 2005 with specific requirements in mind.
basic requirements
1. Design a contemporary typeface with square-like characteristics, which will be legible and perform very well at small sizes, but at the same time create a striking effect at large sizes. This would eliminate the need to modify the letters (optical compensation) and create an additional version for small sizes.
2. Balance out legibility with aesthetics in order to establish a distinct identity. Text typefaces have to obey certain rules so that they retain their natural (familiar) features which are particularly important when legibility and readability are of major concern. This, of course, leaves not much space to the designer for absolute originality. Eventually, distinctive identity would have to rely on a mix of differentiations mostly in the contrast, the stress of the letters, the serifs and the joints.
3. Perform equally well in Latin, Greek and Cyrillic (visual match). Often designers rely on outdated references for scripts other than Latin. This eventually creates a visual mismatch when mixed scripts are used in a modern document.
4. Incorporate special symbols for publications and packaging.After setting the basic requirements of the new typeface, I went through the long process of deciding what the design aspects are going to be. It always helps to look back to what the masters of the trade have done. Some characteristics of Centro serif were modelled after W.H. Dwiggins’ experiments with type (fig.2).The angular slanted serifs of Centro, in letters like ‘n’, ‘p’, ‘r’ etc. (fig.4), while they foster a distinct identity at display sizes, they tend to look like curves at small sizes. Other characteristics like the abrupt cut at the joints were influenced by Galfra (fig.3), a typeface designed in 1975 by Ladislas Mandel for the Italian phone directories. These cuts add a certain flair to Centro serif (fig.4) especially at display sizes, but they are functional as well, since at small sizes, while they disappear into rounded curves, they compensate for over-inking.
Other characteristics (fig.4) include:
1. Letter ‘e’ with a slanting bar (reminiscent of Jenson’s types).
2. Wedge-shaped serifs (at x-height) which are not steep but almost horizontal, in order to foster an even appearance when reading body text.
3. Balance the effect of the strong angular serifs by introducing ‘tear-shaped’ ball terminals to letters like ‘c’, ‘f’ and ‘y’. The terminal of letter ‘r’ follows suit.
4. Triangular letters like ‘v’, ‘w’, ‘y’ with a pronounced stroke shape.
5. larger than usual x-height to make it more legible at smaller sizes.
6. Stress not quite vertical but slightly inclined.
7. Robust, low contrast typeface. High contrast between the thin and thick strokes is often the reason text becomes difficult to read. (fig.5) shows a test page of an early discarded version. Contrast was later decreased and several letters replaced with alternate forms.
8. Stroke thickness. Several classic serif typefaces were examined and their proportions measured and averaged in order to decide on the proper stroke width for Centro serif. This process would insure getting as close as possible to what is normal color for regular weights, bold weights etc. Fine tuning is performed on-screen along with contrast adjustments.
9. Finally, capitals should become a bit heavier to compensate for the additional white in their shapes.
Having now a clear view of how Centro serif is going to look like, implementation begins.
First I start with a very rough sketch of as many lowercase letters and as many characteristics as I can fit on paper (fig.6).hen I create a more elaborate sketch for several but not all characters, starting with ‘a’, ‘n’ and ‘o’ (fig.7). These are the three letters I always design first since they contain many of the characteristics I need as a guide for the design of other characters (fig.8). Contrast is not a matter of concern at this stage, as it will be adjusted on-screen at a later stage.
The pencil outlines are only used as a basis for digitisation (fig.9), whereas further adjustments and corrections as well as a large number of characters are drawn on-screen. In most cases I design first a regular weight.
During this process several alternate forms for each letter were tried before the final version (fig.10).
Of major concern, right from the beginning, is not only the shape of the characters but the rhythm of text as well. If letters are not properly spaced the text will be hard to read. First, the basic spacing (sidebearing adjustment) for capitals ‘H’ and ‘O’ as well as lowercase ‘n’ and ‘o’ is set. Then, for every new character created, the sidebearings are adjusted based on the similarities of its straight or round strokes to the letters used as reference. Further fine tuning takes place when the basic alphabet is finished (fig.11).
Throughout the implementation process numerous pages were printed to check the typeface under operational conditions while contrast was adjusted.
The design of Latin lowercase characters was followed by the design of Latin uppercase, numerals, punctuation marks and other special symbols in order to complete the basic Latin 1252 codepage. This was followed by the design of the Greek characters i.e. codepage 1253 (fig.12).
Extended codepages like Central European as well as Greek Polytonic were taken over by designer George Lygas who also worked on initial drawings for Cyrillic. Proper positioning of accents was double-checked and adjusted (fig.13).Then, initial drawings for Cyrillic were sent back for further fine tuning.
Finally, every font in this series was completed with 270 copyright-free symbols, some of which have been proposed by several international organizations for packaging, public areas, environment, transportation, computers, fabric care (fig.14). These will prove to be quite useful and handy to designers involved with branding, packaging and products with international appeal.
Kerning is as important as the rest of the design process. This typeface series supports three major scripts like Latin, Greek and Cyrillic, soseveral thousands of kerning pairs were included (fig.15). The better the letterspacing the fewer kerning pairs needed.Taking advantage of opentype programming, Centro serif was loaded with 21 advanced features, a procedure which takes place after everything has been tested thoroughly (fig.16).This concludes the design of Centro serif regular. The long process of designing the other members of the family involves the creation of 3 to 4 extremes (depending on the number of weights per family) and interpolation. For Centro serif I only needed the black version. Interpolation does not translate into an automatic production of other weights. In most cases an exhaustive number of corrections and adjustments must be performed.
There’s only eight variations to Centro serif. The strong character of its serifs does not allow as many variations in weight and width as the sans or slab versions.
Quality control
The Centro Pro series supports more than hundred languages and each font contains an enormous number of glyphs. This situation may easily get out of hand as some glyphs could be placed mistakenly in the wrong position. In order to overcome such problems, we devised a quality control method i.e. two sets of tables which we use to check the proper position of glyphs as well as the opentype features (fig.17).Italics
The italic has much softer serifs than the roman, is less wide, a bit lighter and constructed with an Aldine touch. The implementation process follows the same steps as with the roman. Several rough pencil sketches in the beginning (fig.18), then a few more elaborate sketches for certain characters (fig.19) and (fig.20), followed by drawings on-screen.
//centro slab
The design of the other members of the family started out in a different way than I usually operate. For the case of the slab version, I did have on the side a few black slab characters, left from a previous unfinished custom project, but I wanted an ultra black version as well. As this was my first attempt on such a heavy face, I was not sure this would turn out to be acceptable. So instead of starting the slab version with a regular weight, I decided to focus first on the ultra black version and design it almost independently. If it turned out well then I would continue with the rest. Otherwise, I would completely discard it. After several attempts I ended up with a satisfactory version, one that based on my visual observations was close enough to the original serif. A complete set of lowercase and uppercase characters were designed. Several versions for each letter were tested (fig.21). Before I moved on to design the rest of the characteBefore I moved on to design the rest of the characters, I spend some time comparing the new slab with the serif version, correcting shapes, adjusting the x-height and counters so they come closer as part of related families. One important drawback I tried to overcome is the decreased legibility attributed to the heavy slab serifs. I created a somewhat ‘semi-slab’ version where certain serifs had to be dropped to increase inner white shapes. Take a look for instance at letter ‘h’ (fig.22) where the serif of the left leg was discarded whereas the slab on the right leg has been designed with a softer forward direction which establishes a smooth flow of text and connection to the next character.
The other extreme weights, like regular and extra thin, were designed on-screen using as reference the ultra black version as well as Centro serif, in order to keep close family ties.
When you compare Centro serif with Centro slab and later with Centro sans, it becomes apparent that they are not mechanical equivalents. They may have similar attributes and optical similarities but they are not identical in construction. Later I will elaborate on this further.
When the full character set is completed for the basic weights, the rest are created through interpolation as mentioned in a previous section.
The slab italic is not an oblique version of the roman. It is based on its serif cousin but is less elegant and more sturdy (fig.23). It has a smooth character with a slight influence from Noordzij’s more conservative Caecilia.
//centro sanshe construction of Centro sans was more or less straightforward. This is a Centro slab, sans the serifs. But not quite so. Several other major or minor adjustments had to be performed before this becomes a whole new family.
As mentioned earlier, the three different versions of the Centro series were not designed to be exact mechanical equivalents (fig.24).//summary
It was fun designing Centro. Getting involved with such a project, gave me the chance to discover ideas from the past, implement a few of them and create an exciting new versatile series of related superfamilies which may be used in a variery of contemporary applications.
The roman letterforms, while discreet at small sizes, maintain a clean, sturdy and unique personality which motivates the reader, furthermore, they attract attention at display sizes with their distinctively sharp characteristics. Italics, on the other hand, are charming and exciting, clearly distinguished from the romans. Finally, Centro is extremely designer friendly, as it is loaded with a vast array of opentype features and numerous -hard to find- useful symbols for diverse design applications. Enjoy it!

Note. In case you may be wondering...The Centro series originally came out in May 2007 with a different name but was changed later to Centro.

More on Centro serif
More on Centro sans
More on Centro slab

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

hidden ornamental treasures unearthed

Wed, 16 Apr 2008 10:24:00 GMT Hidden Ornamental Treasures unearthed.
The Byzantine illuminated manuscripts
// by Panos Vassiliou

East meets West. Byzantine art –mostly a religious art- is the result of a cross-fertilization of ideas that led to a resurgence in creative thinking and aesthetic stimulation. The two basic sources from which it is derived are the Hellenistic and Eastern art. The former, a representational art, is more anthropocentric, whereas the latter is relatively non-figural, decorative in character, lavish in design and dazzling in colour.

In the representation of the human form it is the influence of antiquity, the hellenistic style, which is preeminent, whereas that of the East predominates in the decorative features (fig.2).
The aim of the Byzantine art was not purely aesthetics, but rather to induce spiritual contemplation and bring the faithful closer to God.
The styles and forms that predominate the Byzantine decorations are the following:
1. Geometric. They derive from ancient Greek motifs on vases, as well as arabesque ornaments, which either combined or separate, are used as bands on wall paintings and for headpieces in manuscripts (fig.3).

2. Flowers, birds and animal designs (fig.4).
The majority of Byzantine art is represented with wall paintings, mosaics, iconography and illuminated manuscripts. These manuscripts are the major source of the Byzantine civilization in all its aspects. They are mostly Greek but there are also several in Latin, Arabic, Armenian and Russian. Their craftmanship is superlative. They are embellished with unparalleled decorations such as initials, borders and miniature illustrations, using rich colours on glittering surfaces.

They are illustrated in three different ways:
1. with decorative headpieces at the opening of a page, often accompanied by a decorated initial (fig.5).
2. with figures, scenes and decorations disposed vertically and horizontally over text (fig.6).
3. with full-page illuminations (fig.7).
Byzantine manuscripts is a form of artistic expression with great interest to scholars, designers, architects, artists, researchers and students. Unfortunately, these historic treasures were kept from the public eye for centuries.
The centers of the Byzantine culture were conquered by the Turks and destroyed, but several of them, such as the monasteries of Mt. Athos, Meteora and Patmos in Greece, managed to survive and keep their libraries intact but far from the interested individuals.
Recently, an unprecedented series of ornaments and borders were revived -based on these originals- and are available in a layered outline font format. You may view samples here.
Ornamental Treasures 1
Ornamental Treasures 2
Ornamental Treasures 3

Grabar A. “La peinture Byzantine” Geneva 1953
Ebersolt J. “La miniature Byzantine” Paris 1926
Museum of Byzantine Culture “The treasures of Mt Athos”
Thessaloniki 1

Whats is my type


1. Which are your criteria for choosing a typeface for a publication?
Typography is an artistic expression and as such is very difficult to define these criteria. Choosing a typeface for a publication is a total different procedure from opening a recipe book which can advice you on what you can or cannot do with letters. I never follow certain rules but I always have in mind the following:
a. The content of the publication. Every typeface has a personality, so I want its personality to respect and communicate the content of the publication.
b. Legibility
c. The medium (screen or paper).
d. The audience. I'll use a total different set of typefaces for a children's book and a different one for the annual report of a big company.
e. The overall quality of the typeface. A high quality font with all the letters, ligatures, numbers, punctuation marks, currency and mathematical symbols available is the one that I'll trust to do my work.

2. Do you prefer serif or sans-serif and why?
It’s difficult to answer this question. I can't choose between two typefaces knowing only that the one is serif and the other one is san serif. There are many other factors for my choice beside this.

3. Which typeface you would never use for Harper's Bazaar?
Harper's Bazaar is a historic American fashion magazine with a very sophisticated perspective about fashion and beauty and with audience in the middle-upper and upper class. Harper's Bazaar had been the home of many talents such as Carmel Snow, Diana Vreeland , Richard Avedon, Man Ray, Andy Warhol and others. The visual identity of Harper's Bazaar has the signature of his legendary art director, Alexey Brodovitch and his Bazaar's iconic Didot logo carries a big part of the magazine's history. Having all these in mind and since typefaces convey the social position of a magazine, determined by the reader's upbringing and earlier influences, it’s hard to use any typeface which does not convey all the above. In recent past Harper's Bazaar used DIN, but this is one font that I would never use in this magazine. DIN is not the only font that I would not use for Harper's Bazaar (of course script and blackletter typefaces are out of the question) but I think this is a very good example for someone to understand which typefaces do not match with this publication.

4. Would you ever compromise legibility for aesthetics and when?
Legibility or readability isn't the only task of a font. A typeface is not only the medium by which we convey to the reader the meaning of text, it is also shapes and forms. Graphic design is also shapes and forms. Therefore, letters may sometimes loose their legibility for the sake of aesthetics, but this does not necessarily mean that they loose their power.

5. Is economy of text a major concern when it comes to choosing a typeface for your magazine?
Not really. In a fashion magazine like Harper's Bazaar long articles are not usual, so there is no need for a narrow typeface.

6. What do you see to be the next trend for magazine design?
Magazines and newspapers are no longer the only media we use for news, fashion, entertaiment, etc. Needs have changed, therefore the medium has to change as well. In this context, the new magazines must portray their character. The "new" magazines will be like coffee table books. Magazines with a strong concept, sophisticated images and illustrations, eye catching typography, high quality papers, in new formats and all sorts of different sizes. These are the magazines of the future.

7. Which motto describes best yourself and your work?
“Art is not a reflection of reality, it’s the reality of that reflection”
- Jean-Luc Godard

Friday, February 29, 2008

The making of Champion Script Pro

// by Panos Vassiliou
As presented at the 3rd International Conference on Typography & Visual Communication
(ICTVC) - June 2007, Thessaloniki, Greece.

PF Champion Script Pro is the most advanced and powerful script ever made. Developed over a period of two and a half years, each one of the 2 weights is loaded with 4253 glyphs (now 4280 glyphs), offering simultaneous support for all European languages based on the Latin, Greek and Cyrillic scripts.
The decision to develop such a typeface was taken during my trip to London back in 2001, while doing a research at the St Bride Library. It was then that I came across some beautiful 18th century manuscripts written by English calligraphers. I was particularly impressed by the writing of Joseph Champion, somebody whom I had never heard before (fig. 5).Being myself a self-taught type designer and not a calligrapher, the idea of pursuing such a task seemed at the moment unattainable. Nevertheless, it haunted me for at least three years before the project got started.
Joseph Champion (1709-1765) was born at Chatham in 1709 and was educated partly at St Paul’s School and partly at Sir John Johnson’s Free Writing School in Foster Lane under Charles Snell to whom he was afterwards apprenticed. Champion contributed no fewer than 47 plates to Bickham’s Universal Penman. His most important work, “The Parallel or Comparative Penmanship Exemplified”, was published in 1750. The Parallel consists of reproductions of the work of foreign masters like Materot, Barbedor, Van den Velde, Perlingh and Maria Strick, with corresponding plates by Champion. Following these plates come some alphabets by Champion. His last published work was “The Penman’s Employment”, 1762.
His manuscripts (fig.6) were embellished with several beautiful swashes, frames, ornaments, endings and beginnings, all written with such a precision that seems very difficult to achieve in our days.
The first known attempt to decode Champion’s writing, was done in 1989 by the French typographic designer François Boltana. Later, in his published paper “Ligatures & calligraphie assistée par ordinateur” (1995), he proposed a couple of alphabets, based on Champion, with a minimal set of alternate glyphs (fig 7). These did not really make it into a commercial font as he passed away in 1999.
The development of Champion Script Pro started in 2004 with the intention to design a contemporary typeface with classic roots which, for the first time, would be able to fully support three major scripts such as Latin, Greek and Cyrillic, as well as document at the same time alternate glyphs and ligatures (for all three scripts) never before released. The result of this project I present to you today.

concept & guidelines
Three basic requirements became clear right from start. The new typeface would have to loose its deep classic calligraphic roots and instead acquire a clean contemporary identity; retain the handwriting elements without the mechanical repetition of identical glyphs for the same character and finally, apply similar design aesthetics to Latin, Greek and Cyrillic, without compromising the domestic characteristics of each script. The intention was to design this typeface in a way that works equally well for a variety of projects from music, fashion, lifestyle to business, communication and life’s best.
On a practical basis the following guidelines were followed:
1. Lowercase characters were designed so they are less inclined, have a higher x-height and are less condensed than the original. Uppercase letters were corrected accordingly to follow suit (weight, stress, etc)
2. Several characters were stripped-off their connecting lines in order to enhance legibility.
3. Design four sets of alternate swashed capitals.
4. A plethora of ornaments and frames (117) was included.
5. Small caps and their alternate forms were designed to replace the capitals which disrupt the flow of text within a sentence with their extravagant swashes.
6. All characters were carefully designed with the proper weight in order to sustain harsh printing conditions (on special papers), a situation which affects mainly the light connecting parts of calligraphic typefaces.
7. A wide selection of alternate forms and ligatures (never before released or incorporated within the same font) was included for all languages, in order to accommodate diverse design aesthetics and preserve handwriting qualities. These alternates are either applied automatically through an advanced programming scheme, or manually through several opentype features.
8. Apply a programming scheme which will balance the frequency that ascenders, descenders and swashes appear among the various scripts in order to achieve a homogeneous optical effect.
9. Embellish the endings and beginnings of letters with several alternate swashes.

After having examined thoroughly the particulars of Champion’s writing, the development of the typeface had to be properly organized into well defined steps which were strictly followed.
stage 1
Selection Tables. During this stage a number of tables was created which documented all possible versions of characters which were numbered. Later on, the dominant glyphs were chosen and highlighted in order to be used for the basic alphabet. Several others were dropped from the list whereas the remaining were used as alternate forms.
stage 2
Uppercase. The list for uppercase letters was passed on to my two assistant designers George Lygas and Sophia Kalaentzidou who put together all the glyphs that were chosen from the manuscripts for each character and prepared them for digitization (fig. 8). Sophia run the initial digitization process, made corrections and passed it on to George for further adjustments based on above guidelines. Finally, they were sent to me for the final adjustments which were performed when most glyphs were put together as a font. Figure 9 shows the resulting glyph for “A” from the original which sits in the background.
stage 3
Lowercase. Meanwhile, I was busy designing the lowercase glyphs. It was realized right in the beginning that instead of digitizing lowercase characters from the manuscripts, it would be easier for me to set them up right from scratch. So starting with letters like “o”, “n” and “i”, I built the basic letterforms and afterwards I designed the rest, based on the initial guidelines and a visual reference of the original. A key point, is to set, right at start, the spacing of the characters for proper interlocking between the letters (fig. 10). Later begins a long process of proofing the letters and amending the shapes, so that they harmonize in form and weight.
stage 4
Endings / Beginnings. A special list which was created in stage 1, documented a large number of swashed endings and beginnings for lowercase characters. By incorporating the information from this list into the original lowercase characters which were designed in stage 3, I created several new glyphs to be used as alternate initial and terminal forms (fig. 11).
stage 5
Small Caps. Small caps were created during this stage. These are not scaled-down versions of the capitals -just like the ones we see in other fonts- but rather small and simple capital forms, whose main purpose is to replace the capitals which disrupt the flow of text -when used within a sentence- with their extravagant swashes. Furthermone two more sets of stylistic variant small caps were created to be used within a sentence, in order to connect words which are separated with space, thus creating the effect of a continuous text flow (fig. 12).
stage 6
Alternates. Hundreds of alternate glyphs and ligatures -for Latin, Greek and Cyrillic- were created either based on the original manuscripts, or right from scratch (fig. 13).
stage 7
Ornaments. A total of 117 ornaments/frames were digitized (mostly done by George and Sophia) and incorporated into this typeface (fig. 14).
stage 8
Kerning. Best designed calligraphic typefaces don’t need kerning. There are a few exceptions though, as is in the case of Champion Script Pro, where there are several occurences of letters which do not interconnect and kerning had to be applied (fig. 15).
stage 9
Programming. This involves the automatic replacement of a glyph into an alternate form, which either looks better in a certain sequence of characters, or avoids clashing with neighbouring glyphs (view sample here). This was a painstaking process as specific parameters had to be taken into consideration, such as possible neighbouring characters, frequency of occurence, etc (fig. 16). Furthermore, many groups of glyphs were established in order to facilitate the manual selection of alternate forms. Finally, several more opentype features were incorporated into this typeface, in order to manage its vast array of glyphs.

stage 10
Bold. After completing the design and programming for the regular version, it was decided to complement it with a bold version. Initially, the lowercase glyphs were designed using as reference the regular version and the rest just followed.
In conclusion, PF Champion Script Pro exceeded my initial expectations. What I presented to you today is the first version which is expected to be released right after summer (2007). I consider this being a typeface which evolves with time, as new ideas and comments from colleagues and users come through. Thus, a second release is due sometime at the end of the year and a third is planned for early 2008. Thank you all !!

Further links
Champion Script Pro