Like my earlier design, Manicotti, Trilby uses the nineteenth century French Clarendon as its jumping-off point. This genre is characterized by its backwards arrangement of thicks and thins: the typically-dominant vertical stems are reduced in weight, letting the big slab serifs create a thick, horizontal, railroad track effect along a line of type.
But everything that 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 more surprisingly versatile. While most reversed stress faces are pigeon-holed 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.