About this font
I spent years trying to create retail typefaces whose design was recognizable and in some way unique, whether in form or concept. The idea that the typeface could be the protagonist use to dominate my imagination and it made little sense for me to create something very faithful to an established genre, and I was sure that I would never go for that path.
Well I was wrong.
Perhaps the main motivation for creating Elza was realizing that some of my early types were less used than I would have liked them to be. There is a reflection here on the paradox of protagonism: types whose design is very silent are present in all places and times, making them perhaps the most protagonist element of all.
We can put the question in a different way: what defines protagonism, the design itself or the frequency with which it is used?
The model chosen for Elza was that of neo-grotesques, subgenre of sans serifs whose two best-known representatives — and main references for this project — are Helvetica and Univers.
These two typefaces represent the consolidation of a trend towards systematization and the search for extreme consistency in every detail of the design. Decades after its appearance, digital font production technology emerged and spread, bringing with it the possibility of interpolating different weights. This technique, widely used until today, has substantially expanded this trend, since the perfect dialogue between master fonts is a necessary condition for the generation of consistent intermediate weights.
Elza is part of this genealogy as a continuation of this trend, seeking as much consistency as possible between weights and widths. An evidence of this is the way the vector structure was constructed. In Elza, the sides of round letters have small — and almost imperceptible — straight segments, which allow for greater consistency between the normal and condensed widths, in addition to giving it an overall look probably even more mechanized, squarish and rational than that of Helvetica itself. There's not even a humanistic touch to Elza.
It is an attempt to extrapolate features already found in its main references, like Helvetica's square curves or the consistent systematization of Univers, and it does so by trying to take the notion of absense of character to the extreme. Assuming that total neutrality is something that doesn't exist, Elza intends to be nothing but a plain, competent and versatile neo-grotesque, a silent font capable of being used in practically any situation.
The family is the largest in Blackletra's library to date, with three widths and two optical sizes for a total of 58 fonts. The font offers oblique versions instead of true italics, and its widths are significantly more condensed than the respective Roman versions, so they stand out better when used together.
Each font has approximately 900 glyphs and offers broad language support and opentype features like small caps, tabular and old style figures, and an alternate character to lowercase /a (one-storey). It is Blackletra's first typeface to offer a variable version with weight, width and slant axes. Its name is a tribute to Brazilian singer Elza Soares.
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Abenaki Afaan Oromo Afar Afrikaans Albanian Alsatian Amis Anuta Aragonese Aranese Aromanian Arrernte Arvanitic (Latin) Asturian Atayal Aymara Azerbaijani Bashkir (Latin) Basque Belarusian (Latin) Bemba Bikol Bislama Bosnian Breton Cape Verdean Creole Catalan Cebuano Chamorro Chavacano Chichewa Chickasaw Cimbrian Cofán Cornish Corsican Creek Crimean Tatar (Latin) Croatian Czech Danish Dawan Delaware Dholuo Drehu Dutch English Esperanto Estonian Faroese Fijian Filipino Finnish Folkspraak French Frisian Friulian Gagauz (Latin) Galician Ganda Genoese German Gikuyu Gooniyandi Greenlandic (Kalaallisut) Guadeloupean Creole Gwich’in Haitian Creole Hän Hawaiian Hiligaynon Hopi Hotcąk (Latin) Hungarian Icelandic Ido Igbo Ilocano Indonesian Interglossa Interlingua Irish Istro-Romanian Italian Jamaican Javanese (Latin) Jèrriais Kaingang Kala Lagaw Ya Kapampangan (Latin) Kaqchikel Karakalpak (Latin) Karelian (Latin) Kashubian Kikongo Kinyarwanda Kiribati Kirundi Klingon Kurdish (Latin) Ladin Latin Latino sine Flexione Latvian Lithuanian Lojban Lombard Low Saxon Luxembourgish Maasai Makhuwa Malay Maltese Manx Māori Marquesan Megleno-Romanian Meriam Mir Mirandese Mohawk Moldovan Montagnais Montenegrin Murrinh-Patha Nagamese Creole Nahuatl Ndebele Neapolitan Ngiyambaa Niuean Noongar Norwegian Novial Occidental Occitan Old Icelandic Old Norse Onĕipŏt Oshiwambo Ossetian (Latin) Palauan Papiamento Piedmontese Polish Portuguese Potawatomi Q’eqchi’ Quechua Rarotongan Romanian Romansh Rotokas Sami (Inari Sami) Sami (Lule Sami) Sami (Northern Sami) Sami (Southern Sami) Samoan Sango Saramaccan Sardinian Scottish Gaelic Serbian (Latin) Seri Seychellois Creole Shawnee Shona Sicilian Silesian Slovak Slovenian Slovio (Latin) Somali Sorbian (Lower Sorbian) Sorbian (Upper Sorbian) Sotho (Northern) Sotho (Southern) Spanish Sranan Sundanese (Latin) Swahili Swazi Swedish Tagalog Tahitian Tetum Tok Pisin Tokelauan Tongan Tshiluba Tsonga Tswana Tumbuka Turkish Turkmen (Latin) Tuvaluan Tzotzil Uzbek (Latin) Venetian Vepsian Volapük Võro Wallisian Walloon Waray-Waray Warlpiri Wayuu Welsh Wik-Mungkan Wiradjuri Wolof Xavante Xhosa Yapese Yindjibarndi Zapotec Zarma Zazaki Zulu Zuni
Elza Condensed Buying Options
Anyone who uses the fonts must purchase a license. To choose your license you only have to indicate the total number of employees of the Licensing organization. If you are a freelancer, you can buy a license for one employee, but don't forget to notify your client to also buy a license if they are going to use the fonts for advertising, or as part of their visual identity (even if they do not install the fonts). For other specific uses such as video games, films, TV/series or to embed the fonts in hardware/software (OEM), please email us to acquire a specific license.