Name: Sua
Designer: Fabio Haag
Foundry: Fabio Haag Type
Release Date: February 2017

Back story: Haag is refreshingly honest when asked about his inspiration for this somewhat odd (in a good way) humanist sans serif typeface. “I have a confession: I don’t know where it came from,” he says. “I started scribbling letters freely in my sketchbook, in different styles, without any logic. You’ve probably heard of a state of flow, when we are so focused in an activity that the world around us seems to disappear and we can forget to have lunch… because we’re fine, we’re at peace, happy, there, in the moment. I felt exactly like that when I was designing Sua.

“Even the kerning stage, which most people find boring, I found therapeutic. I usually start the type design process knowing exactly where I should go; what tone of voice should it have? Who is the audience? Where exactly is it going to be used? It was almost like running along a straight path between the briefing and the solution. The shorter the path was—the fewer twists and turns, the faster I could run—the better. And there’s nothing wrong with that… but what I experienced designing this new font was something completely new, amazing, and in the end, very rewarding.”

Why’s it called Sua? In Portuguese, Sua means ‘yours.’ Haag wanted the name to reflect the typeface’s easygoing process of development. He says, “As I didn’t know from where exactly this design came from, and I wasn’t sure where was it going, I’m inviting people to discover its place in the world. Also, the Medium weight is free; literally, it’s yours/sua.” Sweet!

What are its distinguishing characteristics? Sua has a quiet charm. It manages to have a strong personality (check out the  curves extending beyond the stems in letters like ‘a’, ‘b’, ‘g’ and ‘q’) without jeopardizing its functionality—a tricky balancing act. Its clean shapes and humanist structure guarantee legibility, and its slightly wide proportions encourage a calm reading speed—it forces you to breathe, relax, and notice its gentle appeal.

What should I use it for? Branding and packaging projects that demand a typeface with some personality and a high degree of functionality are good candidates, since Sua is flexible enough to use as both display and for short passages of text. It’s a bit challenging for long text blocks though; Haag would prefer you didn’t go there.

What other typefaces do you like to pair it with? Try Dalton Maag’s Bressay or Fontsmith’s FS Brabo for some serif choices that feel oppositional yet harmonious.