Made up of sixteen individual weights and spread over three different optical sizes, Essonnes is designed to bring utility back to the Didot genre.
It’s a common belief among designers that Didones don’t work for text. This wasn’t true in 1819 and it isn’t true today. Like its forbearers, Essonnes is a truly optical family—not just a study in adjusting contrast. The text and display weights have been designed from the ground up for their intended roles. This means that everything from the height of the uppercase & lowercase letters have been specifically tuned for their intended purpose.
Like many typefaces, Essonnes started after falling in love with a piece of history. In this case, it was the eccentric forms of Pierre Didot’s Type and the evolution of the High contrast Didone throughout the 19th century. It was out of curiosity and love for these forms that led to the first draft of what would become Essonnes back in 2011.
These unique situations screens, modern printing methods, the previous 200 years of typographic innovation since the original design, my own life experiences—have led to a typeface that, while based on history, is not stuck in it.