Hermann is one of our most readable typefaces so far. Since last year, the W Design team had been examining closely the possibility of developing a text font. Thus, we dug into concepts within some of our favorite novels, such as The Steppenwolf and Brave New World, written by Hermann Hesse and Aldous Huxley respectively. Ideas like duality, surrealism, and wildness mainly appeared. With these concepts in mind, we analyzed carefully the typefaces used in both Hesse’s and Huxley’s creations; Sabon and Garamond showed up catching our attention and, of course, awakening our admiration. Consequently, the challenge was to combine the key features of these fonts with the concepts already identified. At first, we made a text font which was suitable to compose long texts. However, we realized that we needed to refine some characteristics to convey all the ideas. A full set of capital discretionary ligatures was designed, which convert Hermann in a display font when is required. We also designed swashes (from A-Z) and final forms (in letters h, k, m, n, r and x in romans, and in letters a, d, e, h, i, l, m, n, r, t, u, x and z in italics), conveying more dynamism and versatility when it comes to composing visually.
Hermann was designed not only to be accurate in terms of legibility but also to be wild and bold. That is why we took a big leap and designed from the beginning a font that is inspired by the world of 20th-century novels, using the name of one of its greatest exponents, Hermann Hesse.