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BEHIND THE SCENES, TYPE DESIGN · March 2, 2014

Finding Forma

Type designer David Jonathan Ross.


Forma is a neo-grotesk typeface by the Italian type foundry Nebiolo. It was designed in 1965–68 by a team of eight designers, spear-headed by Nebiolo’s art director, Aldo Novarese. This is the story of its revival.

Roger Black first saw Forma at the Nebiolo stand during the Drupa exhibition in 1977. He’s loved it ever since. To him it was the answer to monotonous Helvetica, which, by the mid-’70s, was already overly familiar and overused. Like Times Roman, it became “ground into the dirt by one-size-fits-all masters,” said Roger, when included ...

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