Basilia® font family

Designed by André Gürtler in 1978
Among the countless typefaces available today, the Modern Face style is relatively underrepresented. During the 19th century and then later with the competition from the mechanized hot metal types and film setting, a number of attractive headline types appeared in this style. For text, however, the available types were limited to those based on tried and true classics like Walbaum, Didot and Bodoni, which were created between 1780 and 1830, as well as a few variations from the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th centuries. The demand for new Modern text types remained nonexistant until the 1960s.

Such was the situation when the Haas'sche Schriftgiesserei (Haas Type Foundry) commissioned me to come up with a concept and sketches of a new hot metal type. I was able to convince the director of the foundry that there was a niche to be filled with contemporary Modern typography. Another reason for the production of a new type was of a technical nature: the introduction of a new setting technique should not be limited to existing typefaces, but instead should lead to innovative text types suited to the demands of the new applications.

André Gürtler, Basilia's designer: I began to work on the concept and initial designs of the new text type in 1968. I wanted to give the type a classical look, expressed above all in the strong stroke contrast between the robust verticals and fine horizontal strokes and serifs. This is one of the main characteristics of Modern typography."

"This new typeface, Basilia, is distinguished by its soft, open appearance as well as a number of details which together mark a departure from historical models. For example, it has nothing of Bodoni's round letters and their angular, narrow spacing, and displays instead round forms with a much softer stroke in the curves. It was very important to me to avoid the Modern characteristic of stiff, vertical, grid-like strokes and to create instead a lighter, more transparent type. I retained the Modern style by using straight horizontal serifs at right angles to the strokes to still give the type its sense of rigidity."

Three sketches for Basilia (normal, italic, and bold) were finished in 1973. Only the 9-point size was produced at first. In the following years, basic weights were made and adapted to filmsetting."

Basilia Italic

Basilia® Italic
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COM supports at least 56 languages.

US$ 35
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388 characters



Catalog number: 16843905

Case-Sensitive Forms

Tag: case

Function: Shifts various punctuation marks up to a position that works better with all-capital sequences or sets of lining figures; also changes oldstyle figures to lining figures. By default, glyphs in a text face are designed to work with lowercase characters. Some characters should be shifted vertically to fit the higher visual center of all-capital or lining text. Also, lining figures are the same height (or close to it) as capitals, and fit much better with all-capital text. The user selects a block of text and applies this feature. The dashes, bracketing characters, guillemet quotes and the like shift up to match the capitals, and oldstyle figures change to lining figures.


Tag: frac

Function: Replaces figures separated by a slash with 'common' (diagonal) fractions. The user enters 3/4 in a recipe and gets the threequarters fraction.

Standard Ligatures

Tag: liga

Function: Replaces a sequence of glyphs with a single glyph which is preferred for typographic purposes. This feature covers the ligatures which the designer/manufacturer judges should be used in normal conditions. The glyph for ffl replaces the sequence of glyphs f f l.

Localized Forms

Tag: locl

Function: Many scripts used to write multiple languages over wide geographical areas have developed localized variant forms of specific letters, which are used by individual literary communities. For example, a number of letters in the Bulgarian and Serbian alphabets have forms distinct from their Russian counterparts and from each other. In some cases the localized form differs only subtly from the script 'norm', in others the forms are radically distinct. This feature enables localized forms of glyphs to be substituted for default forms. The user applies this feature to text to enable localized Bulgarian forms of Cyrillic letters; alternatively, the feature might enable localized Russian forms in a Bulgarian manufactured font in which the Bulgarian forms are the default characters.


Tag: ordn

Function: Replaces default alphabetic glyphs with the corresponding ordinal forms for use after figures. One exception to the follows-a-figure rule is the numero character (U+2116), which is actually a ligature substitution, but is best accessed through this feature. The user applies this feature to turn 2.o into 2.o (abbreviation for secundo).


Tag: sups

Function: Replaces lining or oldstyle figures with superior figures (primarily for footnote indication), and replaces lowercase letters with superior letters (primarily for abbreviated French titles). The application can use this feature to automatically access the superior figures (more legible than scaled figures) for footnotes, or the user can apply it to Mssr to get the classic form.


Tag: dpng


Tag: ornm

Function: This is a dual-function feature, which uses two input methods to give the user access to ornament glyphs (e.g. fleurons, dingbats and border elements) in the font. One method replaces the bullet character with a selection from the full set of available ornaments; the other replaces specific "lower ASCII" characters with ornaments assigned to them. The first approach supports the general or browsing user; the second supports the power user. The user inputs qwwwwwwwwwe to form the top of a flourished box in Adobe Caslon, or inputs the bullet character, then chooses the thistle dingbat.

Discretionary Ligatures

Tag: dlig

Function: Replaces a sequence of glyphs with a single glyph which is preferred for typographic purposes. This feature covers those ligatures which may be used for special effect, at the user's preference. The glyph for ct replaces the sequence of glyphs c t, or U+322E (Kanji ligature for "Friday") replaces the sequence U+91D1 U+66DC U+65E5.

These COM fonts have been optimized with a minimum of 387 characters. COM fonts support a minimum of

Tag: Com

Function: These COM fonts have been optimized with a minimum of 387 characters. COM fonts support a minimum of 56 languages: Afrikaans, Albanian, Basque, Bosnian, Breton, Catalan, Cornish, Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, Estonian, Faroese, Finnish, French, Frisian, Friulian, Gaelic (Irish, Scots), Gagauz (Latin), Galician, German, Hungarian, Icelandic, Indonesian, Irish, Italian, Karelian, Ladin, Latvian, Lithuanian, Maltese, Moldavian (Latin), Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Rhaeto-Romanic, Romanian, Saami (Southern), Serbian, Slovak, Slovenian, Sorbian, Spanish, Swahili, Swedish, Turkish, Turkmen (Latin).

These fonts support the Basic Latin character set. Each font is Unicode™ encoded, and available in d

Tag: Basic Latin

Function: These fonts support the Basic Latin character set. Each font is Unicode™ encoded, and available in different formats. Please review the product information for each font to ensure it will meet your requirements.

Technical details
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