Didot Modern is the result of a collaboration between Arnaud Chemin and Nouvelle Noire that started in 2019. It is a hybrid typeface consisting of ten weights, combining upright and italic cuts. The general proportions refer to the Didones from the French printing tradition, mixed with expressive features invoking geometry and minimalism. Flat endings, sharp triangular serifs, and a multitude of stylistic features bring the Didot legacy into the new digital area where elegance and classicism meet technology and rationalism.
Didot Modern is a typeface for text composition of all kinds. With its delicate thin strokes and precise details, it reveals its beauty, especially in large sizes. Through its expressivity, it is tailor-made to fit contents such as fashion, luxury, art publications, fiction or classic literature. Didot Modern is the perfect choice for corporate design or advertising projects. It is distinct and unique enough to stand apart from other Didot-style typefaces such as Bodoni, Scotch Roman or Walbaum. Its emphasis lies on the overall digital feeling the typeface conveys.
The typeface is a tribute to the Didot archetype. It blends original drawings from different historical sources.
The design of the regular cuts is based on various examples: Nicolas Pierre Gando’s imitations of “Didot”, Ludwig & Mayer’s “Didone” and Jules Didot “trois et demi”. While the black styles were inspired by the “normande” style, like Figgins’s French “gros canons”.
However, Didot Modern is not just a melt of history. Arnaud Chemin explains: “By removing the mannerist aspects of some details, the letterforms gained in simplicity. Traditional flourishes such as the teardrop endings looked too baroque. They belong to the past and no longer reflect our contemporary environment. I followed the same path Imre Reiner took almost a hundred years ago to design the Corvinus typeface. It is an experiment on modernising high contrast letterforms, giving them a more mechanical look.”
Last but not least, Didot Modern benefits from a broad stylistic set, which contains alternate characters (A R Q V W & a f g j r t v w y) based on the aesthetic of Grotesk typefaces. Arnaud Chemin describes them, explaining that “there was an interesting aspect in combining these different styles. The Grotesk construction is directly inherited from Clarendon, which itself is inherited from the Didot-style typefaces. There is a common ground which allows a good hybridization, and the result is great!”.