Having focused mainly on serif fonts, with the exception of Palatino last week, it is time for something a little different. Officially Optima is a sans serif font, but it is a little more than that. Although is follows many of the rules of a sans serif font, for example the italic version simply being the normal at at angle, it breaks several too.
At the end of ascenders and descenders the stroke width gets wider as if starting to form a serif. While the capitals follow a more classical formation similar to Palatino. It is these differences which make Optima such an interesting alternative. It can be used both where a serif or a sans serif would be suitable and, because of its slightly dual nature works well with a wide variety of design, headline types and graphics.
When I launched Gabriel Design the first logo was designed using Celtic imagery and logo face. I used Optima as my main typeface as it reflected the vintage nature of the logo without looking old fashioned or staid. It is interesting to note that Optima has been used both on the Vietnam war memorial and the 9/11 memorial, as well as more commercially by Marks &Spencer and the Premier League over the years.