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Designer: Thomas Hirter
Release Date: 2016
Back story: Hirter began developing Lunica in 2006 while living in Stockholm. He was inspired by cinema subtitles, which at the time were often set in a basic sans serif stencil typeface: single line weight, round endings, and no contrast. Hirter wanted to maintain the simplicity but add embellished serifs to match the charm of the Swedish language. His slightly abstracted serifs feature a geometric quarter circle attached to most of the line endings, lending the typeface an organic, handwritten feel.
Why’s it called Lunica? “The name Lunica makes a funny connection to the 1980 grotesque classic Unica,” says Hirter. “The two are as different as they can be, but there’s a similarity in their straightforward letterforms.”
What are its distinguishing characteristics? Despite ornamental gingerbread-house serifs and quirky ligatures that add a quaint, poetic character to the overall typeface, Lunica is surprisingly legible at small sizes. A mono-linear interpretation of a serif typeface, Lunica disregards the laws of optics: apart from the slight overshoot of its round glyphs, no optical corrections were made in designing the characters.
What should I use it for? “As a font, Lunica is quite hard to handle. The character is so specific that it limits where and when the font is applicable—I admit that I haven’t used it much myself,” Hirter says. “With its round forms and few straight lines or orientation points, it’s quite hard to find a suitable use. Nevertheless, I get a lot of positive feedback. People like Lunica, and are waiting for opportunities to work with it.” Anyone up for a challenge?