The Halisa Collection comes in two variable files / five families: Condensed, Narrow, Regular, Wide and Extended. Each family has six weights: Thin, Light, Regular, Medium, Bold, Black, Heavy and corresponding Italics.

Halisa is a vast collection of semi-constructed grotesque typefaces with an industrial origin and mechanical character. The design is based on a super-ellipse, giving the curves a squeezed, boxy shape, which is more noticeable in heavier weights and helps preserve legibility on lower resolution screens. Regular and lighter weights are more transparent because of this. Overall there is a consistent, considered balance of neutrality and character through all 60 weights and widths. Halisa is a robust and flexible workhouse that offers a wide palette of typographic tools fit for any use.

Process / method:

Halisa is a byproduct that outgrewn the product it was designed for originally. While working on a commission to develop a visual identity and signage system for a XIX century sugar factory in Żnin, Poland that was being converted into a hotel I was provided many factory signs, mostly from socialist era, which served me as a starting point for the project. I decided to draw a font based on it. First it was only uppercase condensed bold, then thin and by the end of the project I had a typeface, full identity and signage system – logos, pictograms, arrows etc. packed into one variable font file.

I decided to further explore the variable technology based on the first factory sign drawings. So the first task was to draw an extended version and then operating with the extremes to find the right proportions and balance between industrial, unadorned character and legibility in smaller sizes / longer texts. 

After a long time of experimentation my focus shifted towards defining, refining and redefining the Regular cut, but only using the master curves in the extreme cuts. I would compare the process to performing a surgery with a probe. I could say it’s a study of interpolation — how to distribute shapes across weights and width to maintain balance, legibility and consistency of the whole system.

OpenType features include case-sensitive forms, ligatures, lining, old-style and tabular figures, localized forms, numerators, denominators, fractions, ordinals, scientific inferiors.

Stylistic set 1: hexagon dot

Stylistic set 2: alternate german double s, alternate ampersand

Stylistic set 3: single-storey a

Stylistic set 4: single-storey g