I am totally enamoured with Commercial types latest release Tanja. Although it is made of tiny modular dot components it has a gestural style (and human quality) that is unexpected for a typeface in this genre.
I found it really visually intriguing when I first spotted it on Twitter I couldnt work out (on the scale it rendered on my iPhone 5s screen) where Tanja's subtlety and delicateness came from. It wasn't until I saw the spec up large and in high definition, I realised these ingenious dots vary in scale. the shoulders narrow the stems swell - this dot typeface is very cleverly distributing weight. Via Commercial Type's instagram account I discovered - the dot proportions were made possible by a special tool Frederik Berlaen developed, which allowed us to fit dots within strokes and adjust the space between them evenly. The resulting letterforms are a joy to look at!
"Typefaces made from circles are an intriguing proposition for graphic designers. Many are created for technical reasons, such as for the dot matrix printers, or for large screens at sports events. Often they are simple sans serif forms, but Tanja is something unique; a Renaissance dot typeface. Based on the monolinear Marian 1554, Tanja began life as the proposed logo for a German publisher. Though the idea is simple, a seriffed dot typefaces, in its details it reveals a complexity as the dots vary gradually in size. Like Marian, it closely follows the historical models of Garamond and Granjon, but has a contemporary aesthetic, a remix of a remix of a classic. Designed as a display typeface for sizes above 30 point, it comes with various numeral styles, small capitals, swash letters and ligatures. "