In 1459, while visiting his dying mother, italian painter Piero della Francesca spent seven days creating a fresco of a pregnant madonna in a small country church in the hilltown of Monterchi (Italy). Hailed today as one of the masterpieces of Italian Renaissance, the fresco was given a new branding in 2019 by Art Director Riccardo Falcinelli who asked the Zetafonts team to develop a custom font for the project.
The resulting typeface system, designed by Cosimo Lorenzo Pancini together with Andrea Tartarelli and Maria Chiara Fantini as a rework of Francesco Canovaro original Beatrix Antiqua, is a 50-weights ode to the beauty of classical roman letterforms, that pairs elegant alternates and quirky ligatures with an array of design options for clear and effective editorial, signage, logo and wayfinding design.
The base display family, Monterchi, allows endless design expressions with a range of six weights from the slender thin to the strong extrabold, all with matching italics and an array of over one hundred discretionary ligatures. A fine-tuned companion Monterchi Text has been developed to excel in body use, with a larger x-height and wider spacing - clear and legible even at small sizes.
The use range of the family is enriched by Monterchi Serif and Monterchi Sans that feature different contemporary interpretations of the same classical geometric skeleton, allowing for layered editorial design and variation. All the fifty fonts in the Monterchi Type System feature an extended character set of over 1100 glyphs covering over 200 languages using the Latin alphabet, as well as Greek and Russian Cyrillic. Open Type features include small caps, positional figures, alternate letterforms, stylistic sets and discretionary ligatures.
With his elegant, historical aesthetic, Monterchi embodies the spirit of early Renaissance and the humanist obsession with constructed and geometric beauty - still managing to function as a workhorse family, ready to help any designer in need of a timeless classic look, or looking for the right ligature to transform a simple word into a striking wordmark.