Contrast Foundry

retail & exclusive typefaces

Contrast Foundry


Chimera is the result of an experiment with the reversed broad-nib model. The typeface started as a graduation project for Type and Media course at The Royal Academy of Art in The Hague.

Intended specially for display use, Chimera includes two low-contrast text companions in addition. The text styles are an extension to the display ones. They keep the same concept, but are adjusted to be able to perform in smaller sizes. Although all the styles in the family are based on the same concept and share certain characteristics, they are not meant to be used together. Each one works individually, bringing its own unique style. However text styles can work as companions to any of the display ones.

Each of the styles is a separate master and has been entirely drawn from scratch, which gave me a freedom to differentiate the styles. I was able to not only distinguish the contrast, but also find individual solutions to certain shapes. This way it was possible to make design decisions that complement the styles more.

One of the main design features of the typeface is a very big x-height and narrow proportions. Another special element is an inktrap, which appears mainly in the lowercase where two thick strokes meet together in order to reduce the amount of black. The bolder the style gets, the tighter spacing becomes. It is also evident that shapes become more solid and clean. Simplifying comes to an extreme point in the Black, where some serifs disappear completely.