Karela is a humanist slab serif family. Karela is also the Basque word for gunwale, this is, the widened edge at the top of the side of a boat, where the edge is reinforced with wood or other material and to which the thwarts are attached. Gunwales resemble the way slab serifs reinforce vertical stems giving a more robust appearance to the letters. The sturdy, solid and often mechanical structure that is customary in slab serif or mechanistic typefaces is softened in Karela applying subtle tweaks as: humanist proportions, slightly curved endings in ascenders, and curved edges in serifs.
The influence of calligraphy is noticeable all over the character set, especially in counters and letters with instrokes like “m”, “n” and “r”, and it becomes explicit in the italics. On the other hand, its low contrast, generous x-height and the constant width of characters across weights makes it very convenient for editorial uses when low resolution is a concern. Karela pursues to give a human touch to a strong and highly functional structure. It seeks for the ideal combination of strength, precision and warmth of the wooden parts painstackingly handcrafted by ancient boat builders.
Besides its 12 standard styles, Karela offers also four additional fonts called “grades”. Grades are subtle changes in stroke weight in order to compensate for differences in printing media or display conditions of text layouts. To minimize these subtle changes without a reflow of the text they have to be designed with the same character width of the base style. Karela offers 4 grades for its Regular weight: Grade Minus 5, Grade Minus 5 Italic, Grade Plus 5 and Grade Plus 5 Italic. This makes possible to counteract the effect of changes in paper, temperature, paper, background color… In addition, Karela takes this no‑reflowing idea from grades and extends it to the whole range of styles, allowing to play with any of its weights without undesirable text reflows. Enjoy the layout stability while you experiment and play with variations!
Karela presents also a wide range of Opentype features for a professional text layout.