Kakao is a font family of stylistically similar fonts loosely based on calligraphy and handwriting. Its creation was inspired not only by handwritten typefaces of the sixties, but also by the diversity of street typography – shop windows, sign plates, adolescent tags, graffiti and even love messages written on walls. Vojta started to sketch the Kakao family in 2011. When drawing Kakao, he frequently referenced Bohumil Lanz and Zdeněk Němeček’s book Typeface in Advertising (published by Merkur Publishing House, Prague, 1974). During the course of the twentieth century, publications for arrangers that included manuals for hand drawing of letters were common in Czechoslovakia. These were primarily intended for window dressers and shopkeepers. They taught the proper ways of writing banners advertising discounts, price tag labels, and even taught how to label a whole shop window.
Vojta stole the above-mentioned book during his studies at primary school. He tried sketching using various methods, primarily using brushes, drawing ink, and rectangular and slanted felt tip pens. Kakao script is largely based on Vojta’s handwriting.
The font family consists of three stylistic variations of one theme. Black has all the bells and whistles of a typical display typeface: heavy and dominating, able to command all graphical output. Small contrast, low uppercases and short ascenders and descenders are all attributes of a modern type which doesn’t limit itself to larger text sizes only, but can cope with sizes smaller than ten points equally well. Variance in character shape boost its already good legibility. Cursive seeks to stay true to its title and applies most of the methods typical for cursive forms. It’s narrower and has a slight inclination to the right, but more importantly offers distinctive character alternations, including several playful loops. Kakao Script completes the set with its calligraphy-inspired continuous forms, where individual letters tie into one another, allowing more space for its distinctive calligraphic characteristics. It also contains two types of uppercases, activated according to the given context. These are modest versions used in text set with uppercase; lowercase letters feature distinctive swash letterforms and various context alternates.
A good script cannot do without a number of stylistic alternates and a wider range of two and three-letter ligatures, which lend variety and authenticity to the text. Kakao offers, besides alternates, also initial and terminal forms; lowercase numerals are included as a matter-of-course. Each typeface contains a set of currency symbols, so you’ll be able to create any number of lunch menus or shoe, book, LP, bratwurst price tags in no time. The only limit is your fantasy.
Vojta started to sketch the Kakao family in 2011. When drawing Kakao, he frequently referenced Bohumil Lanz and Zdeněk Němeček’s book Typeface in Advertising (published by Merkur Publishing House, Prague, 1974).
The Kakao family was presented in Font magazine for the first time. Presentations of the latest student fonts appear in the centrefold of the magazine on a regular basis. Font, issue 109; 2010.
Design: Vojtěch Říha
Number of fonts in a family: 3 (Script, Cursive, Black)
Number of glyphs per font: 735, 785, 644
Release date: 2014
Tabular Figures (tnum)
Stylistic Sets (salt ss01 – ss10)
Contextual Alternates (calt)
Discretionary Ligatures (dlig)
Old Style Numerals (onum)
Localized Forms (locl)
Case Sensitive Forms (case)
Slashed Zero (zero)