Naming a typeface can be one of the more difficult tasks for a typeface designer – although not for Brigitte Schuster. “I wanted a name that fits the typeface‘s character – and one that is easy to remember,” she explains. “I also liked the idea of comparing my typeface to a spice that enhances flavor. The choice was a natural: Cardamon. The Cardamon™ typeface influences text copy as much as the spice Cardamon adds its essence to food.”
While its bolder weighs are perfectly suitable for large display applications, it is in continuous text copy that the Cardamon family shines. One of Schuster’s goals was create an unpretentious design, yet one that still has a distinctive and commanding demeanor. The italic’s lively shapes also serve as excellent counterpoint to the angularity of the roman characters.
Although she is a seasoned graphic designer, Cardamon is Schuster’s first typeface design. “Typeface design was not love at first sight,” she confesses. “Working as a graphic designer, over the years, I developed an increased interest in typography and type. At first, I was just interested in typography (the use of type) but, as I became more intrigued in the details of typography, the typeface and its letters became more and more compelling. It probably helped that I also became involved in calligraphic writing.”
“One of Schuster’s goals was create an unpretentious design, yet one that still has a distinctive and commanding demeanor.”
Before she began her career as a graphic designer, Schuster studied art and design in Italy, Portugal and Canada. It was at the Koninklijke Academie van Beeldende Kunsten (KABK) in the Netherland’s Royal Academy of Art, however, that she refined her craft of typeface design. In addition to her career as a graphic and editorial designer, Schuster is a teacher and writes for several design magazines.
When asked: “If naming Cardamon was not difficult, is there anything about the design that was a challenge?” Schuster responded, “The time it took me to complete the family.”
“Because my graphic design projects took primary priority,” she continued, “I was only able to work on Cardamon from time to time. As a result, the family had a four-year gestation. And every time I began working on it after an interruption, I found new details, which needed addressing. The more the typeface developed, the more glyphs there were for me to adjust.” At one point Schuster decided to change the design of the serifs, which necessitated her modifying just about every character in the family.