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- Medium Italic
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The Capricorn family has six weights including regular, medium, black and their italics featuring lining numerals which are numbers aligned with capital letters. An alternative [::http://die-gestalten.de/fonts/detail/?id=d7f6f0d8141281fd011418b4251c0056 Capricorn Old Style Figures] package with all six weights is also available with old style numerals - very useful and beautiful when set within text.
Gehlhaar is now working on the script version of Capricorn which dgv plans to release this fall.
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“Combustion Point L.A.”
Berlin’s Die Gestalten Verlag is now releasing the font Capricorn by Jens Gehlhaar. It’s another good reason to take a closer look at the L.A.-based creative director and his projects.
We have Critzla from the Berlin-based design collective Pfadfinderei to thank that Capricorn is now enriching our typographical landscape. If Critzla had not spent twelve months convincing Jens Gehlhaar to release the font, then he would have never touched his original drafts again. In 1994, Gehlhaar had drafted initial designs for a sans-serif font in the weights regular, bold, italic and bold italic out of a few letters that appeared on one of his poster designs.
At that time, various type designers – for example Zuzana Licko with her Matrix Script – were contributing to a renaissance of script fonts. Also inspired by the script fonts of the 1930s to 1950s, Jens Gehlhaar created a script variety of his Capricorn in which transitive serifs unite the letters. He first read about the terms transitive and reflexive serifs, which are not widely used in German, in the work of Robert Bringhurst. While reflexive serifs have two sides and thus need two strokes, transitive serifs only need one in order to suggest a connection to the next letter.
As with the old version, the new Capricorn is a narrow running font with straight edges. But the elimination of details that were too slanted has given it a considerably calmer rhythm. The original version already contained strokes that followed the flow of writing, but Gehlhaar has now made them even more unified. The italic now has several transitive serifs and he also reworked the vertical proportions (the ascenders and the height of the capitals were quite a bit higher before).
The result is a timeless sans-serif font that is especially suited for use in magazines. It has good legibility as a body text although one should refrain from using it in a size smaller than 9 point. The roundings at the stroke endings of the verticals give it an especially interesting look.
Capricorn is available now in the weights regular, medium and black. Jens Gehlhaar is also planning to rework the script version and release it this fall. The name Capricorn doesn’t hold any special meaning for him as far as the font is concerned. It’s his astrological sign.
When he was fifteen years old, Jens Gehlhaar already knew that he wanted to be a type designer. “Before that, I designed cars and houses,” he grins, “but since I got my first Letraset catalog, I have had more fun designing the captions for illustrations than creating the illustrations themselves.” During his studies at the Fachhochschule Niederrhein in Krefeld, Germany, he focused on typography. His graduation project for his master’s degree at CalArts (California Institute of the Arts) in Valencia, California was also about fonts. He designed a kind of Über-alphabet called the CIA Compendium, an encyclopedic sans-serif font system that depicts the variety of Latin letter forms.
He grew up near Koblenz, Germany and, after his studies in Krefeld, founded his own studio Gaga Design. In 1995, he felt too hemmed in and escaped to his graduate studies in California – an important career decision. “If I had grown up in Berlin, perhaps I would have stayed in Germany”, he said once in an interview. “But as it was, I just needed to get away.” The professors at CalArts were so impressed by the talented German that he began teaching a type design class there directly after graduation.
One year later he started teaching typography at Art Center College of Design in Pasedena, which got him a visa. On the side he worked as a freelancer for renowned agencies such as Wieden+Kennedy or ReVerb. Actually Jens Gehlhaar was planning to become a professor, but then Fuel, a motion graphics studio in Santa Monica, bought one of his fonts and invited him to present his work. They initially hired him to design several icons, but he soon found himself drawing the storyboards for the ESPN X Games, the Olympics of extreme sports.
“At the time TV Design was the most exciting thing, since it was just after After Effects was launched" recalls Jens Gehlhaar. “Designers had access to the means of production for the first time which attracted quite a few good people. There was also much more work in comparison to web or print design and it was good cash. Since I did the job quite well, I stuck to it."
Admittedly, the now 41 year old Gehlhaar can’t imagine being permanently employed at these companies. The company's founders were talented indeed, but nonetheless, they were not designers. This was until he met Brand New School’s Jonathan Notaro, a fellow CalArts graduate who launched the studio in 2000 - three months later Jens Gelhaar found his creative home there.