Pursuing perfection: Studio René Bieder’s Vitruv rethinks the French Renaissance Antiqua type genre
“For me, the genre is the boss,” Berlin-based type designer René Bieder tells us, contextualising his perfection-pursuing serif release, Vitruv. “Renaissance Antiquas are bursting with so much perfection that they literally scare me, even now,” he adds, not letting this fear, however, get in the way of exploring the genre himself. “There is so much history, talent, and perfection in them that I didn’t dare to approach the subject for a very long time,” Bieder continues, “but since the genre is not in my library, there was no excuse for me anymore,” resulting in Studio René Bieder’s first direct contemporary interpretation of the infamous French Renaissance Antiquas typeface genre.
Alongside Leonardo da Vinci’s iconic Vitruvian Man inspiring the typeface’s name, the classical influences behind Vitruv’s vivid structure don’t stop there, with Claude Garamond’s sixteenth-century magnum opus and namesake Garamond laying the foundations of the typeface – culminating in a notable, elevated x-height. Praising the latter’s benefits, Bieder explains, “a high x-height should basically increase its legibility,” especially within the text styles of typefaces. “In classic Renaissance Antiquas, rather low x-heights tend to be used,” he concludes, “with the high x-height, I tried to establish this characteristic feature in both the Text and Display versions,” creating two equally powerful and comprehensive optical styles, each with six weights and corresponding italics.
As per Bieder’s previous typeface releases, Vitruv launches with a limited edition poster that is free with the purchase of a complete family licence, this time created in collaboration with Melbourne-based design studio SPGD. If you’d like one once your order is placed, please email your receipt and contact details to [email protected].