Martin Majoor’s most famous typeface was named after the La Scala opera house in Milan
, inaugurated in 1778 by Maria Theresa. The type designer later gave three reasons for his choice of name: FF Scala
was originally designed for a concert hall (the Vredenburg in Utrecht), its roots go back to the time of Maria Theresa, and Scala means “spectrum”, which seemed appropriate for a family that includes both serif and sans-serif fonts, and ranges from Light to Black and formal to decorative.
and FF Scala Sans
are two families built on the same form principle. The sans-serif font was created a year after the release of the Roman version, by removing the serifs and adjusting the contrast. The “skeletons” of both fonts are identical.
The Scala skeleton: the Sans and Serif families are based on the same basic form
When the typeface was released, the publisher and typographer Robin Kinross
of Hyphen Press enthused: “Scala incorporates all the best features of a good Dutch typeface: it is neo-classical, but without following any one historical precedent, it evokes Dwiggins and Gill, with a style of its own in the tradition of van Krimpen, its italics follow a lively, emphatic rhythm, and of course the figures are text figures.”
The New York designer Ellen Lupton designed this type sample for the book “Made with FontFont”, published in December 2006