Like my earlier design, Manicotti, Trilby’s jumping off point is the nineteenth century French Clarendon. This genre is characterized by its backwards arrangement of thicks and thins: the typically-dominant vertical stems are lightened, and the thick horizontals and serifs create a railroad track effect across the page.
While Manicotti is cheesy, over-the-top, and stereotypically Western, Trilby isn’t. In Trilby, I pushed aside the French Clarendon’s usual showy excess, and focused on the effects of unconventional weight on an open, contemporary letter structure.
Trilby’s subtlety also makes it surprisingly versatile. While most reversed stress faces are limited to a few words on a poster, Trilby can set paragraphs. It is cuter and quainter than your average slab, and transcends mere novelty as a wholly useful contemporary design with offbeat charm and subtle wit.