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Sweet Dulcinea del Toboso

On the heels of Retype’s elegant, intricate Medusa and Krul, Ramiro Espinoza releases the foundry’s third sophisticated script on Type Network.

Dulcinea is not a true revival of a specific historical script. The new script, the result of Ramiro Espinoza’s exploration of the exuberant calligraphy of the Spanish baroque period, was inspired by the work of Pedro Díaz Morante and Juan Claudio Aznar de Polanco. These two writing masters practiced a fascinating style, an Iberic interpretation of the quirkiest variants of Italian chancery script. They are separated by exactly one century, but their work overlaps; influenced by Morante, Polanco thoroughly assimilated his writing style and then expanded on it.

Dulcinea typeface specimen
Dulcinea is a wonderful hybrid of contemporary refinement and historical exuberance.

Though not a faithful tracing of Morante’s or Polanco’s hand, Dulcinea respects the playful spirit of its precursors. Many of the letters in the original models looked rather antiquated and sometimes contained flaws, so Espinoza reworked them to create a consistent non-connecting script more in tune with contemporary tastes. All of the forms worth preserving were recalibrated and seamlessly integrated into the new design. The dynamic swirls of the historical style augment the script with intricate capitals and refined swashes. An impressive array of ligatures keeps swashes and other extending parts from crashing into one another. The ligatures are activated automatically to create beautiful, effortless connections.

Examples of the stylistic sets, ligatures, and swashes in Dulcinea.
Two Stylistic Sets and the Swash OpenType feature allow users to increase the level of ornamentation in Dulcinea gradually.

OpenType features increase Dulcinea’s usability and versatility, making the design progress from graceful to dizzying. The Swash feature (swsh) adds lighthearted extensions to ascenders and descenders. It also influences the shapes of ligatures as they morph into more elaborate connections. The Swash feature can be applied either globally or letter by letter, depending on the text and on the user’s preference. Stylistic Set 1 (SS1) affects the capitals and ampersand, enhancing their ornamentation with complex swashes and curls. Stylistic Set 2 (SS2) offers a second variant for the letters A, D, G, M, and N.

Dulcinea typeface specimen
Dulcinea’s swirling forms add elegance and polish.

Espinoza designed Dulcinea for setting attractive headlines and display type, but it can also be deployed for short bursts of text. Its scintillating forms produce gorgeous invitations and wedding announcements, and elevate editorial spreads and posters to vertiginous heights wherever sophistication and elegance are called for. The intricate capitals, swashes, and ligatures create typographic treatments that are perfect for branding luxury items like perfume, lingerie, or cosmetics. Last but not least, Dulcinea creates elaborate wordshapes that can be used out of the box for logotypes. Espinoza’s new script does a lot of heavy lifting, but also invites playful exploration on the part of the user. Take it to the limit.

Like all Retype fonts, Dulcinea is available for desktop, web, app, and ePub licensing. Webfonts may be tested free for thirty days. To stay current on all things Retype, subscribe to Type Network News, our occasional email newsletter featuring font releases, foundry happenings, type and design events, and more.

The Type Network staff tends toward the quixotic.