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The history of Orbital designed by Aldo Novarese for Reber R41

Image of an astronaut in space and a writing created with the Orbital font
Orbital in use

Orbital is a font designed in 1987 by Aldo Novarese for Reber R41: it is a Bodonian neoclassical that will immediately be included in the dry transfer offer both as a classic font and in a Stencil version for DIY.

A graphic test in Orbital font laid out by Aldo Novarese
A graphic test in Orbital font laid out by Aldo Novarese

Its extreme lightness and readability is due to some particular devices in the design of the letters which are well described by Aldo Novarese during the presentation of the font:

The temples are slightly concave to soften reading" while the letters "are designed in a somewhat squared shape to obtain a compact compositional reading".

Graphics that highlight orbital's unique features
Some of the unique features of this font

The most interesting features concern some letters: uppercase B and R and lowercase a, e, k:

A graphic that highlights the unique characteristics of the Orbital font
Some of Orbital's unique features

Its digitization by Stefano Torregrossa and Fulvio Bisca was carried out on the basis of Novarese's original drawing and was a real love at first sight between the Onice studio! and this Bodonian original: " Orbital has an almost aristocratic elegance: so flexible that it can adapt perfectly to both texts, thanks to the high average eye, and titling, thanks to its strong personality, Orbital is a true typographical masterpiece."

There was no shortage of surprises during the long digitization of the character which lasted almost a year: grappling with the extension of the character, to make it as attractive and complete as possible for modern text needs, the pair of type designers will have the opportunity to work directly on an unexpected discovery: "The design approach was extremely faithful to the original design of R41 for the creation of the Regular, the only apparently existing weight. When we were well advanced in the creation of an Italic extrapolated from the existing weight shapes from the R41 archives, an exceptional document emerged: an original by Novarese, showing some test glyphs for an Orbital Italic, never completed. The comparison between our version and the one designed by Novarese made small but significant adjustments necessary, which were then taken into consideration in obtaining two subsequent weights (Bold and Bold Italic). Ultimately, an operation of great historical and cultural value was carried out on Orbital.

The new Orbital italic found in the Reber R41 archive during the digitization of the character.
The new Orbital italic found in the Reber R41 archive during the digitization of the character.

You can find this iconic character not only as a digital font but also as a transferable one in the Very format and a transferable Stencil in our DIY line.

A graphic created with the Or font
Orbital in use

Orbital®️ is an Italian and European brand of Reber R41 and is protected by law.


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