When I first approached this design back in 2003 I wrote myself a design brief that called for a simple sans serif “avec serifs” (with serifs).
Its emphasis needed to be on text usage but to be at home in display sizes. A range of weights with a controlled step from one weight to the next, uniform character sets, spacing and kerning throughout the range. Attention to openness of counter spaces would be paramount to work in text sizes. Matching italics should be true italics not merely slanted – with a cursive feel.