A timeless design with bracketed serifs and scholarly ideals.
Designed by Delve Withrington
An important idea in the definition of a university is the notion of academic freedom. The first evidence of this comes early in the life of the first university.
Thoughtfully planned, lovingly drawn, and carefully crafted by Delve Withrington, Helfa will at once seem like an old friend. The stems are not straight lines, rather they are gently concave, curving inward very slightly at the middle. The serifs are subtly cupped and taper to a finish at shallow angles.
Curved strokes have stress strategically located along the circumference and the wedge-shaped terminal is a recurring feature throughout the typeface, especially in the italics. Instead of simply being slanted or oblique, the italic forms are true, drawn italics, distinct from the upright roman letter forms. Made slightly narrower and lighter, the italics are balanced, allowing for differentiation but still blending into a text setting beautifully.
Readability is baked into the design of Helfa with a generous x-height and a reasonable contrast in stroke weight variation. The sturdy, bracketed serifs hold up confidently below 12 points but are still graceful in larger settings. To retain more of a hand-made quality, glyphs with similar shapes like b, d, p, and q are individually drawn, not simply mirrored or rotated using computer software to avoid the letterforms looking mathematically perfect or repetitive.
(There are 267 glyphs in Helfa, but we didn't want to show off too much.)
figures & symbols
Additional features include: Kerning, Fractions, Ligatures, and Ordinals.