Optima nova® font family

Designed by Akira Kobayashi
Hermann Zapf in 2002
Optima™ was designed by Hermann Zapf and is his most successful typeface. In 1950, Zapf made his first scetches while visiting the Santa Croce church in Florence. He sketched letters from grave plates that had been cut about 1530, and as he had no other paper with him at the time, the sketches were done on two 1000 lire bank notes. These letters from the floor of the church inspired Optima, a typeface that is classically roman in proportion and character, but without serifs. The letterforms were designed in the proportions of the Golden Ratio. In 1952, after careful legibility testing, the first drawings were finished.
The type was cut by the famous punchcutter August Rosenberger at the D. Stempel AG typefoundry in Frankfurt. Optima was produced in matrices for the Linotype typesetting machines and released in 1958. With the clear, simple elegance of its sans serif forms and the warmly human touches of its tapering stems, this family has proved popular around the world. In 2002, when it was finally possible to produce digital alphabets without technical limitations and compromises, and more than 50 years after the first sketches, an expansion and redesign of the Optima family was completed and released as Optima nova.
Hermann Zapf and Japanese type designer Akira Kobayashi collaborated on the project, which included re-working of the existing weights and the addition of several new weights for a total of 40 fonts. Small caps, Old style Figures, light, heavy, and condensed fonts have been added.
The original Optima was never manufactured with a real italic, only an oblique version of the roman. Optima™ nova has a complete range of beautifully designed real italics; the new italic forms , of the e, f and g are especially notable.
The titling face includes capital letters with special and unusual letter combinations and ligatures, making it an excellent choice for headlines, logos and advertising purposes. Optima continues to be an all-purpose typeface; and Optima nova works for just about anything from book text to signage."

Optima nova Condensed Demi

Optima nova® Condensed Demi
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PRO supports at least 33 languages.

US$ 79
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389 characters



Catalog number: 16742993

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.

Stylistic Alternates

Tag: salt

Function: Many fonts contain alternate glyph designs for a purely esthetic effect; these don't always fit into a clear category like swash or historical. As in the case of swash glyphs, there may be more than one alternate form. This feature replaces the default forms with the stylistic alternates. The user applies this feature to Industria to get the alternate form of g.


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 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.

Famous Linotype fonts from the last decade

Tag: Platinum

Function: Famous Linotype fonts from the last decade

Technical details
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