Etrusco Now is the revival of a lead typeface originally cast in lead by Italian foundry Nebiolo in the early 1920s. Heavily inspired by the design of the Medium weight of Schelter & Giesecke’s Grotesk, Etrusco was, like Cairoli, an early precursor of the modernist grotesque superfamilies: a solid, multi-purpose “work-horse” typeface family that could solve a wide range of design problems with its range of widths and weights.
When designing the new incarnation of Nebiolo’s Etrusco, the Italiantype team directed by Cosimo Lorenzo Pancini and Mario de Libero decided to extend the original weight and width range to keep this “superfamily” approach. Etrusco Now has twenty-one styles widths in three widths of seven weights each, with matching italics; the original weights for the typeface have been collected in the Etrusco Classic subfamily.
Etrusco Now new widths allowed the team to include in the design many nods and homages to other vintage classics of Nebiolo. The lighter weights of the normal width have been heavily influenced by the modernist look of Recta, while the heavy condensed and compressed widths refer to the black vertical texture of Aldo Novarese’s Metropol. This infuses the typeface with a slightly vintage mood, making Etrusco at the same time warmly familiar and unexpected to eyes accustomed to the formal and cold look of late modernist grotesques like Helvetica.
Contemporary but rich in slight historical quirks, Etrusco Now is perfect for any editorial and branding project that aims to be different in a subtle way. Etrusco Now’s deviations from the norm are small enough to give it personality without affecting readability, while its wide range of open type features (alternates, stylistic sets, positional numbers) and language coverage make it a problem solver for any situation.
Like its cousin Cairoli, Etrusco is born out of love for lost letterforms and stands like its lead ancestor from a century ago, at the crossroads between artsy craftsmanship and industrial needs.