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Handpicked Typefaces

Awarded: Lipa Agate

May 29, 2015 by
Yves Peters
Yves Peters

Alverata was not the only TypeTogether typeface to be awarded at the European Design Awards 2015 last weekend. Together with Rosetta Type’s Skolar Sans – the sans serif sibling of the popular SkolarLipa Agate by Croatian designer Ermin Međedović won Silver.

[link not found] Winning awards is a peculiar phenomenon. It doesn’t necessarily mean your typeface is the best in the entire field of typeface design; it means it came out on top amongst all the typefaces that were entered in the competition, which is a subset of any given year’s type production. As a designer or a foundry you have no control over the outcome of the competition except your effort and attention to artistic quality and technical excellence. Yet by submitting you ensure that your typeface will be considered. The net outcome is that you get a shot at increasing its visibility and enjoying extra promotion and the prestige that comes with winning an award. In that respect TypeTogether is one of those foundries that combine quality type design with clever business acumen.

Lipa Agate comes in three widths of four weights each, with etither a high or a low x-height.
Lipa Agate comes in three widths of four weights each, with etither a high or a low x-height.

The initial release of Lipa Agate is deceptively low-key. Named after the Slovenian national tree, the linden tree, it appears to be a compact family specifically designed to be used in the smallest possible type sizes. However Lipa Agate is only a small part of an extensive super family which Ermin has been developing over the past decade. It is the first outing of a bigger, coherent type system comprising various type groups. The sub family Lipa Agate is a sans serif engineered and fine-tuned to perform best under 10 point and to withstand the worst of printing conditions. The space-saving design does not compromise on legibility, which is optimised thanks to a large x-height, ample ink traps to prevent ink clogging, and narrow proportions. This makes Lipa Agate an ideal choice for phone books, classified ads, directories, and so on.

To accommodate the requirements of contemporary editorial design, Lipa Agate offers a significant amount of flexibility. Three widths – Regular, Narrow and Condensed – allow the user to determine precisely how economic the text needs to be, while the four weights let you either choose the colour of the copy or add emphasis where needed. A unique feature is the possibility to choose between two x-heights, ‘High’ and ‘Low’, that have identical character widths. The combination of these characteristics make it possible to respond to very diverse design scenarios in a consistent way. The 24 styles of this straightforward workhorse face all have a large character set including small caps, several sets of numerals, arrows, info-numerals, and much more.

And even though Lipa Agate is meant to be used very small, I am pretty sure some designers won’t be able to resist the temptation to blow it up to large sizes and bask in the glory of its chiseled features and those grandiose ink traps.

Read also about Alverata’s Gold Award at the EDAwards 2015.