The Empyrean font family represents the one and only time I set out to design an actual text face that could be used for printing books and or long passges of text. Most of the typefaces I design are meant for headline and display use, but I wanted to challenge myself to take on a text family which is a whole different animal.
Empyrean is loosely based on the original hand-drawings for the “Romain du Roi” (French for ‘King’s Roman’) done in 1695 by Louis Simmoneau. King Louis XIV had ordered the design of a new royal typeface, and those original drawings came out of that process.
I began working on Empyrean in early 2003. Originally the font had a different working name but I finally settled on calling it “Empyrean” just before releasing it commercially through Veer. The word Empyrean means “deriving from or related to heaven”…a seemingly appropriate name for a typeface based on a font made for the “Sun King”
There are four weights in the Empyrean family…Roman, Bold, Italic and Swash Italic. The challenge in designing a text face like this is getting all of the four faces to work together harmoniously as well as tackle the specific needs of a typeface intended for text use. Designing fonts for display use is much more fun and free as the designer has more leeway into what can be done with the letters. Text faces must be designed and spaced very precisely. As any artist is never able to see his or her own work objectively (try as they might) I cannot judge if Empyrean is a success or not, but I was pleased with the end result and customers seem to like it. It was a fun challenge that I enjoyed! As to whether I would do a text family again? We’ll see…
Each of the four weights in the Empyrean family can be purchased separately or the whole typeface family can be purchased at a lower price than 4 x the individual price. Empyrean is available in OpenType format from Veer.