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Back story: When it comes to restrictive screen and digital environments, designers typically favor the increased legibility of sans serif. But designers Burian and Scaglione decided to turn that convention on its head with their latest typeface, Portada, a serif (yep, that’s sans sans) that rises admirably to the challenges posed by e-ink, harsh grids, and Retina capability. Portada was originally commissioned as a titling typeface for Clarín, the largest newspaper in Argentina, to partner with its BFFs there (best font friends), Adelle and Adelle Sans. The commission was part of a larger redesign project meant to replace Whitney as the main titling typeface and provide a more modern, newsy, and refined feel to the publication.
Why’s it called Portada? “The name means cover page, front, or sleeve in Spanish,” says Burian. “Portada focuses primarily on typography for editorial design, especially for digital media. The underlying meaning seemed to fit well and has a nice sound to it, which is important for a typeface name.”
What are its distinguishing characteristics? Portada’s range of eight text styles, ten titling styles, and one icon set are available within two sub-families, Titling and Text. The Text version is characterized by sturdy serifs, wide proportions, and clear interior negative space adding up to excellent legibility. The terminals stop short of any degree of flourish in order to maximize digital clarity. The titling is a bit more delicate with a stronger stroke contrast and a vivid, calligraphically infused italic. Thanks to low contrast within the letterforms, all of the weights in the Portada family maintain an even color when set as long blocks or columns of scrolling text, keeping things easy on the eyes and minimizing reader fatigue. It retains some subtle calligraphic flourishes in its curves and instrokes that set it apart, giving it a warmth and personality not always evident in other serif faces meant for screens.
What should I use it for? Digital magazines, newspapers, your favorite novel, and all forms of continuous screen reading benefit from Portada’s features.