About Polias Font Family
Polias is an all-caps uniwidth typeface inspired by an ancient inscription carved on a monoblock stone in hybrid characters — between no-contrast linear sans to low-contrast flared serif. The inspiring inscription is the dedication by Alexander the Great, discovered in the Temple of Athena Polias in the ancient Ionian city of Priene. Stanley Morison mentioned this inscription in one of his lectures:
“The distinctive feature of this inscription consists of a consistent thickening towards the ends of perpendiculars and horizontals.” … “We have not the right to say that the serif was invented for Alexander the Great's inscription, only that this is its first datable appearance.”
The letter proportions are almost identical to the original, but the stroke features have been reinterpreted and characterized. Serif-like nodes at the end of the strokes are subtle extensions that serve to accentuate rather than break its monoline elegance. With an analogy, they are not flowers, but like blooming buds. Polias is a flared sans typeface which is closer to sans-serif forms on the spectrum between sans and serif.
It’s especially light looking by design to convey rather thin and white typographic color of its original monumental look. It comes in eight weights and a variable font, scaled from Thin to Bold. It is multiplexed, so the weights do not affect text lengths. Light weights are closely based on the actual carving of the inscription. Thicker weights can be used on smaller typesettings to compensate for the weight difference of larger letters’ strokes, and to keeping the monoline appearance of the entire text block intact. This method can be used for any purpose, such as setting a hierarchy between the lines or to justify their lengths.
Some of the original letterforms have been preserved and stylistic alternatives such as Ionic four-bar Sigma, dotted Theta, palm Y are provided as open type feature. Some of the other ancient forms, such as the three-bar Sigma (S), the pointed U, were also added for both the Greek and Latin scripts.
Polias is preferable for big type settings such as logos and headlines as a modern representation of perennial classical forms. Its a fine fit for product branding, movie posters, book covers, packaging materials, and more, which require an epic look to attracting attention with a distinctive elegance. Polias can be considered for distinctiveness wherever Roman Capitals work.
As a noun, Polias is one of the epithets of Athena / Minerva, and in this case referring to her role as the protector of the city of Priene. Polias is one of the seven typeface designs in Esintype's ancient scripts of Anatolia project, Tituli Anatolian series.
Founded by Ali Rıza Esin and Ege Esin in 2020, Esintype is a digital type foundry that designs typefaces for analogue and digital media. Creating fonts with both aesthetic and technological care as a result of a working method that prioritises research and testing processes, Esintype focuses on contributing to the cultural diversity of Latin type as a contemporary addition.