Designing Faunus

Written by Sindre Bremnes

Faunus is not Satyr Display. While the two very obviously share the same DNA, Faunus actually started out as a variant of Satyr, optimised for mid-size screen typography, intended as a titling typeface for our website.

After some experimentation, Faunus was redrawn to work on paper too, meant for the middle range (say, 14 to 24 points or so).

A comparison of Faunus and Satyr . Faunus has increased contrast and tighter spacing, but not decreased x-height. The character widths are just slightly narrower than Satyr’s.

There are very obvious differences in the letter-shapes, in the proportions, in the details and in the weight (Faunus is slightly heavier) as well. These differences do not necessarily stem from the optical optimisation, but rather from wanting to draw Faunus as an independent typeface, with its own micro-logic. That’s why I gave it a name of its own.

In the past, different sizes of a typeface often showed distinct differences. William Caslon was a prominent exponent for this approach. Faunus is among the first purely digital typefaces to follow suit.

Satyr Display (and several intermediate sizes) is planned for future release. In the meantime, Faunus and Satyr will happily play together on the page, or on screen.