Chikoria by Riccardo Riggio
Chikoria is an unusual script face for display work. With its decisively quirky appearance, it could be the perfect choice for light-hearted entertainment or cheerful communication
Chikoria: the convivial script
Designed by Riccardo Riggio for CAST Studies, Chikoria has several extraordinary features, the most eye-catching of which is the inverted thick/thin contrast. Unlike the Renaissance Chancery italics, here the imaginary flat nib has various angles with the letters showing thick parts top and bottom instead of left and right. Letters a, g and f (with a descender) cling to the italic tradition, but Chikoria’s slant is much greater than Chancery italics.
From the flat nib to the pointed brush – with a jaunty step
The inverted thick/thin strokes make whimsical letterfoms and add to Chikoria’s jaunty step. The hooked entry strokes, the tapered exit strokes and the smooth curves recall the flat nib or quill but also a pointed brush, as traditionally used in Japanese and other Asian calligraphy.
A fresh and consistent calligraphic face for titling and display
Despite its entry and exit strokes, Chikoria’s lowercase letters are not joined, except for ligatures ff, fi and fl. In order to balance the dark areas of all the letters, deep inktraps have been added where possible. The cursive uppercase letters have traditional proportions and work nicely with the lowercase. All of the unusual features of Chikoria make an energetic script face for titling and display.
It’s all about chicory
The name ‘Chikoria’ [tʃiˈkɔrja] refers to the Italian ‘cicoria’ (chicory) but also to the Japanese チコリ(transliterated: ‘chikori’), which also means chicory. Chicory is indigenous in western Asia, North Africa, and Europe; it is also common in China, Australia and North America, where it was brought by European settlers. Cooked or raw – there are plenty of recipes from all over the world – chicory is full of healthy substances. ‘Referring to a universally recognised and appreciated plant,’ Riggio explains, ‘with the name Chikoria I wanted to provide my typeface with a sort of intercultural passport.’
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