Sortie Super is a take on one of the kings of display lettering - Caslon's high-contrast, reversed stress 'Italian' style. It looks great at big sizes and in short flurries... and shouldn't be used in confined spaces.

Sortie Super is available to buy on MyFonts and YouWorkForThem.

When compared with the original face, the weight and contrast of Sortie Super has been exaggerated. To add gravity to the letters I've increased their width overall and reduced the spacing to a hair-line fracture for added visual impact. Characters like 'S', 'E','O' and 'Z' are relatively close to their historical precedents - however the terminals on the 'C-G-S-З-Є', which have been drawn so to be more consistent. Other aspects, such as the leg of the 'R' and 'Я', the apex of the 'A' and the spur of the 'G' are revised and simplified, to help spacing and optical weight across the alphabet. Also, to reduce visual noise terminals in characters like 'C', 'J' and 'R'' are horizontally aligned. Meanwhile, the central horizontal strokes in the 'B', 'P' and 'R' etc are reduced to a hairline, so as to create a more simplified system of thick-to-thin.

The temptation when drawing this kind of esoteric display alphabet is to start to rely on modular components. Which, while copy-paste-repeat is a sure-fire way to make the face more visually consistent, it's a lazy method that risks allowing the font become soulless and mechanical. An early experiment I made was making a monospaced version, which was useful in headlines, but it lost that loving feeling. So, by maintaining a handful of flourishes – the tail of the '?', the inky drop of the '!', the bulbous gloop of arms of the 'Ж' and 'К', the swirling legs in the 'R', 'Я' and 'Л', the big-bowling weight of the 'J' and 'U' – plus a few in-built inconsistencies and a bit of its own silliness, Sortie Super retains some of the organic warmth of its ancestor. Conversely, the counters, apertures and negative space are largely rigidly geometric, which helps give the revival font a bit of a modern touch.

Sortie Super is an uppercase-only display font that comes with Western, Central and East European Latin, extended Cyrillic, Pinyin, as well as a set of hairline graphic features and symbols.

Sortie Super is available to buy on MyFonts and YouWorkForThem.

Lewis McGuffie | Signs and Designs
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