EN/ Preto Sans Development

The new typeface family Preto Sans has been released after a longer time period. Some hidden details will be shown in this article.

Work on the project:
2008 – 2009 – Studies at Type and Media, Preto family (Sans, Semi and Serif) as a  diploma project (Beta version)
After 2009 – comparing the characters across the families and refining them
October 2011 – Preto Sans released

Preto Sans Basic: 8 fonts, 415 glyphs per font
Preto Sans: 8 fonts, 540 glyphs per font



Look at the difference between the beta version, what is the result of studies at Type and Media (blue) and the final version (purple). Most visible changes are, when you compare letters C, J, Q, f, j, r, s, y.


A lot of details were changed. More refined and crisp version were produced after that.  Typeface aim of the typeface is to be legible for long text, so the harmony in shapes and letterspace should produce the smooth reading. Therefore the shapes were reviewed to achieve balanced rhytm and match with Preto Serif.


It is not so visible, but the final version is slightly larger. Letters in beta version seem to be smaller when set next to the serif paragraph.


Oldstyle numbers have different sizes compare to lining numbers so they better blend in lowercase typesetting and they don’t disturb the text paragraph.



Many hours were spent on proofing. Very often designer needs to spend hours looking at printed typesetting, because the feeling of the typeface is visible from the text texture as well, not only from details. The neverending tests were made on digital printer in different languages, different sizes.


Since the development took so long, some friends used Preto beta versions for their publications. I was able to review some inktrap mistakes, which are visible after ofset printing. Both coated and uncoated papers were used.


Type designers unfortunatelly don’t save trees…


Kerning is also an important part of the font quality. Many hours were spent with this so designers who will be using Preto Sans won’t need time on setting optimal spaces in between letters.

Preto Sans is unfortunately still only 1/3 of the Preto typeface project. To release the first member took almost 2 years since the studies in the Hague. Preto Serif and Preto Semi will be released soon.

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Preto Sans info page and buying options