Paris, Holland, Munich, Slovakia, Switzerland … Fedra
is an altogether pan-European typeface. Swiss designer Ruedi Baur
commissioned it from Peter Bilak
in around 2000, while living in Paris. It was intended to be a warm, elegant replacement for Univers in a new corporate design for the insurance company Bayerische Rückversicherung AG
But before the font was completed, a multinational took over the company and the project was abandoned. Fedra, however, survived and thrived in Peter Bilak’s own type library, Typotheque
. Early Fedra customers brought with them requests for additions to the font, and a monospaced version followed, along with extended language support and a wider range of weights.
Then, in 2004, came the serif version. Or to be more precise, Serif A
, which used the same proportions as the sans-serif version, and Serif B
, with proportions of its own. (Bilak likes to compare their relationship to that of Gill Sans
.) The sans-serif fonts were released multilingually (in 70 languages) from the start, with Greek and Cyrillic characters included, once again confirming the typeface’s pan-European credentials.
The Finnish company magazine
Tule ja katso (“Come and see”) has been set in Fedra since 2002