About this font family
Pirouette is based on a logo that Japanese designer Ryuichi Tateno created for a packaging design project in 1999 (a shampoo container!). Tateno’s logo experimented with complex, overlapped swash letterforms. He continued to develop these outside of the initial packaging project, until they took on a life of their own. Eventually, Tateno designed a full typeface out of the logo, Pirouette, which was the first place display face in Linotype’s 2003 International Type Design Contest. More…
The Pirouette typeface contains six different fonts. The basic font is Pirouette Regular. This is an engraver’s italic lowercase paired with elaborate swash capitals. The swash capitals have two visual elements in their forms: thick strokes and thin strokes. Pirouette Text includes the same lowercase as Pirouette Regular, but the uppercase letters are much shorter and simpler. This “text” font can be used to set longer amounts of copy. Pirouette Alternate contains different lowercase glyphs and additional ligatures, which can be used as substitutes for the lowercase forms in the Pirouette Regular and Pirouette Text fonts. Pirouette Ornaments contains swashes and other knick-knacks that can either be added onto the end of a letter, or used as separate decorative elements or swooshes (accolades) on a page.
Pirouette Separate 1 and Pirouette Separate 2 are two fonts that can be layered over top of one another in software applications that support layering (e.g., most Adobe and Macromedia applications, as well as QuarkXPress). Pirouette Separate 1 contains the thick stroke elements from Pirouette Regular’s uppercase letters, as well as the same lowercase glyphs that can be found in Pirouette Regular and Pirouette Text. Pirouette Separate 2 contains only the thin stroke elements from Pirouette Regular’s uppercase letters. By layering Pirouette Separate 1 and Pirouette Separate 2 over one another, you can give the uppercase letter’s thick and thin stroke elements different colors and create unique, more calligraphic designs.
The Pirouette family, Tanteno’s first commercial typeface, was greatly influenced by the calligraphic and typographic work of the master German designer, Prof. Hermann Zapf, especially his Zapfino typeface.