About this font family
Times with a Human Face: In my article of the same name which appeared in the magazine Font, volume 2000 I described the long and trying story of an order for a typeface for the Czech periodical Lidové noviny (People’s Newspaper). My task was to design a modification of the existing Times. The work, however, finally resulted in the complete re-drawing of the typeface. The assignment, which was on the whole wisely formulated, was to design a typeface which would enable “a smooth flow of information in the reader’s eye”, therefore a typeface without any artistic ambitions, from which everything which obstructs legibility would be eliminated. A year later Lidové noviny had a different manager who in the spring of 2001 decided to resume the cooperation. The typeface itself definitely profited from this; I simplified everything which could be simplified, but it still was not “it”, because the other, and obviously more important, requirement of the investor held: “the typeface must look like Times”. And that is why the above-mentioned daily will continue to be printed by a system version of Times, negligently adjusted to local conditions, which is unfortunately a far cry from the original Times New Roman of Stanley Morison. More…
When I was designing Lido, the cooperation with the head of production of Lidové noviny was of great use to me. Many tests were carried out directly on the newspaper rotary press during which numerous weak points of the earliest versions were revealed. The printing tests have proved that the basic design of this typeface is even more legible and economical than that of Times. The final appearance of Lido STF was, however, tuned up without regard to the original assignment – the merrier-looking italics and the more daring modelling of bold lower case letters have been retained.
The typeface is suitable for all periodicals wishing to abandon inconspicuously the hideous system typefaces with their even more hideous accents and to change over to the contemporary level of graphic design. It is also most convenient for everyday work in text editors and office applications. It has a fairly large x-height of lower case letters, shortened serifs and simplified endings of rounded strokes. This is typical of the typefaces designed for use in small sizes. Our typeface, however, can sustain enlargement even to the size appropriate for a poster, an information table or a billboard, as it is not trite and at the same time is moderate in expression. Its three supplementary condensed designs correspond to approximately 80% compression and have been, of course, drawn quite separately. The intention to create condensed italics was abandoned; in the case of serif typefaces they always seem to be slightly strained. I named the typeface dutifully “Lido” (after the name of the newspaper) and included it in the retail catalog of my type foundry. In order to prevent being suspected of additionally turning a rejected work into cash, Lido STF in six designs is available free of charge.
I should not like it if the issuing of this typeface were understood as an “act out of spite” aimed against the venerable Times. It is rather meant as a reminder that there really are now alternatives to all fonts in all price categories.