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Name: FS Sally Triestina
Designer: Astrid Stavro
Foundry: Fontsmith
Release Date: Unreleased

Back story: It’s very rare to see a Frankenstein-y typeface that works. But this one does, thanks to Astrid Stavro, creative director of Atlas Design, who comes from a long line of printers and graphic designers in Trieste that reaches all the way back to her great-great-great-grandfather.

Drawing upon the eclectic blend of Italian and Viennese architectural styles in her home city, Stavro joined up with It’s Nice That and Fontsmith on Local Characters to combine two weights of FS Sally, splitting the letterforms along an imaginary horizontal axis and tweaking them to blend features of modern fonts and older wood typefaces.

The Local Characters project is a series of posters and typefaces commissioned in partnership with designers in four cities to showcase Brandfont, a new service from Fontsmith that enables brands to create exclusively licensed typefaces. It’s Nice That art director Ali Hanson says, “We were thrilled to work with Astrid; we knew she’d lived in multiple places beforehand and thought this could bring an interesting angle to the project. The final typeface exceeded our expectations. It shows a genuine connection to Astrid’s take on Trieste as a city of contrasts, realized beautifully in how the central splice was worked into each letter.”

Why’s it called FS Sally Triestina? The name reflects the original typeface and the city that inspired its hybridization.

What are its distinguishing characteristics? The odd jump in stroke weight and contrast within each of Sally Triestina’s letterforms smacks of typographic anarchy, and the sharp division between the thin and thick weights lends the effect of collaged shapes cut apart with scissors and pasted together. Once you’ve seen this typeface, you will never mistake it for anything else.

What should I use it for? Sadly, you can’t use it yet; Fontsmith is not releasing the design right now. At the moment, it’s a personal project for Astrid. But if the day ever comes? “From a design perspective we see this being used big big big: single letters as graphic shapes on posters or large headlines,” say the collaborators. “It’s not a subtle typeface design so it won’t suit subtle graphic design!”

Who’s it friends with? FS Sally as a secondary font is an obvious choice, but for contrast FS Sally Triestina would look great with something rounder and geometric like FS Lucas. Gotham Rounded would fit the bill here as well.