Font Friday

Fondamento (free font)

Fondamento feels noble and yet approachable. The calligraphic typeface Fondamento in the heading and quote on a phone. The quote says: “A typeface that reminds me of calligraphy class. When I fell in love with letter forms, their rhythm & contrast.“

Display typeface

by Astigmatic, at Google Fonts

2 styles

Regular and Italic

Licenses from

Free

Best for

  • Headings (display text)
  • Long reading text (body text)
  • User Interfaces (functional text)

Specialty

A calligraphic typeface, that is historic and skillful, but not over the top and still legible.

My thoughts on Fondamento

The free typeface Fondamento is based on the Foundational Hand, a calligraphic teaching style I can remember very vividly from design school. It is rather easy to learn, but it requires so much practice to make it harmonious and rhythmical. This typeface imitates that.

Fondamento is a calligraphic lettering style based on the traditional Foundational Hand, a basic teaching style created by Edward Johnston in the early 20th century.

It is written with a broad nib pen that is held at an angle, creating this beautiful contact which makes it visually so appealing. This is important, because the writing tool highly influence, how type feels. So when picking a digital font, think about that. To set it in perspective, see the three following examples. All are imitating handwriting, yet they seem very different.

This feels more common, like a bit nicer handwriting. Shelby origins from a speed ball or round nib pen. Skilled, but not over the top while being very legible.Fondamento origins from a broad nib pen. Formal, flourishing and harder to read.Altesse Std. feels different, originating from a pointed nib.
From common to skilled to super formal

Fondamento still feels like something an average person can pull off with a little practice. Skillful, historic, but not over the top. Not like this super fancy scrip typefaces that are very flourishing and delicate. You can add some variety to it by using caps or the Italics.

THE CAPS FEEL NOBLE BUT STILL FRIENDLY. The Italics are more dynamic, while some letters change, like the a and f.

But I recommend not mixing Regular and Italic close together. They are not different enough to be contrasting. Decide for one style and then go with that.

Better don’t mix these two styles closely. They are not contrasting enough, which makes it irritating. When set right next to each other, the italics feel somehow skewed. 🫤 Regular and Italic should not be used right next to each other
This is irritating. Look for the five words set in italic.

Besides headings and titles, a good use case for Fondamento could be an intro text or a pull quote. Something in editorial design that spices up the body text with a traditional and yet human note.


What do you think? Is Fondamento something for an upcoming project, or do you have a font recommendation? Tell me in the comments below!

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