Type designer Wesley Poole‘s foray into the discipline was as a sign painter in Napa Valley—origins that inform the stylish vigor and detailed craft of his new typeface, Contempo Élan. Classical and audacious in equal measures, the face refuses to conform to expectations of a traditional script. The unusual widths become a retro trellis on which glamorous flourishes hang—the capital C, O, and R stand out in particular.
The idiosyncratic charm of the typeface can be attributed to Poole’s design method: he challenged himself to approach each character in a new way, paying special attention to lower loops (capital X, Y, P) and crowning swashes (capital C, E, F). Contempo Élan also includes a second face adorned with dots, conjuring constellations of a singular calligraphic galaxy. ANNA MALSBERGER