The Designers Foundry’s extensive sans serif family Halisa is inspired by socialist era signage
The Designers Foundry have worked alongside Warsaw-based type designer Jan Estrada-Osmycki on the design and release of Halisa – an extensive type collection that consists of five families, each with six weights and two variable files.
The typographic inspiration and practical cause for Halisa’s creation came from a branding project developed by Estrada-Osmycki, who was tasked with crafting the visual identity for a sugar-factory-turned-hotel in Żnin, Poland, and sought influence in the socialist era signs from the period. Beginning to draw a bespoke typeface based on these letterforms, originally only in upper case condensed bold, Estrada-Osmycki soon became intrigued by the thought of exploring the potential for variability in the typeface. This saw him embark on a journey to draw Halisa’s families at the extreme ends of character construction, tasking himself with challenging legibility at all scales.
The final typeface is bursting at the seams with every OpenType feature under the sun, including contextual alternatives and stylistic sets such as hexagon tittles and single-storey ‘a’s and ‘g’s. The result portrays a somewhat industrial and mechanical aesthetic that finds its individuality through the super-ellipse form of its base. These contrasting architectural elements culminate in a pragmatic aesthetic that’s consistently applied across all 60 of Halisa’s weights, providing a powerful toolkit for any designer in any situation.