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Emily Jing Sum Chan’s Ascentis offers a contemporary twist on 18th-century neoclassical typefaces

While studying at Parsons School of Design in New York under typographer Lynne YunEmily Jing Sum Chan found inspiration in 18th-century neoclassical type families such as Bodoni and Didot. Drawn to the era for its importance within type history, Chan explains that her attraction was also born from the desire to create something more “modern, contrasting and organic in comparison to what’s been done before”.

Her resulting creation, Ascentis, is a display serif that offers an experimental take on classic thick-and-thin forms through star-shaped terminals and intense curvatures. A coherent juxtaposition of sharp, smooth, historical and modern styles, the typeface possesses an unconventional character that pushes typographic conventions. As well as her neoclassical inspirations, Chan reveals that she “loves to find inspiration from the world”, with nature, in particular, helping to define Ascentis’ “seamless fusion of organic and geometric forms”.

On the back of the six-month-long creation process, Chan tells us that she’s already working on her second font, as well as more weights and styles for Ascentis. Ascentis is available upon request, please reach out to Chan on Instagram via DM to @lil.emili – she adds that she “would love to hear from you and get Ascentis in your hands!”

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