CAST is not the name of a new agency for fashion models. It is the acronym of the Cooperativa Anonima Servizi Tipografici – the first Italian digital type foundry.
For about fifteen years there has been much talk about how type design in Italy has matured, but up to the time CAST came on to the scene as a group project in 2013 – following a long incubation – such talk was abstract and a little mysterious. What was missing was somewhere type could be exhibited and purchased.
The scope of CAST, however, goes beyond Italy. Like Italian type design as a whole, the group is made up of people who were trained in various places: the Type Design course at Milan Polytechnic; Reading University MA Type Design course; and the KABK course in The Hague. Other members of CAST have academic backgrounds or are graphic designers who have become passionately involved in type design as an additional venture. What distinguishes them is their ability to work together and share their technical and cultural knowledge in order to give quality type designs visibility on the market.
CAST took shape over the years as people met each other through the type designer and teacher Luciano Perondi. The membership of CAST now includes Riccardo Olocco, Erasmo Ciufo, Marta Bernstein, Alessandro Tartaglia, Roberto Arista, Alessio D’Ellena, Massimo Gonzato and Daniele Capo.
CAST made its debut in 2014 with a small collection of types designed by some of its founding members. Since then, the number and range of types has developed every year. The first non-Italian type was Rafael Dietzsch’s Brasilica, which was conceived for setting texts in Portuguese and the indigenous languages of Brazil. Particularly important is the extensive Sole Serif family, originally designed by Luciano Perondi for the Italian financial daily Il Sole 24 ore as a text type giving a ‘bookish’ and authoritative look to the newspaper. Sole Serif comes in dozens of variants to cope with all editorial requirements.
Rialto dF has been an elusive chimera for a couple of decades and it is good to see recently that it was added to CAST’s list of types. Giovanni de Faccio and Lui Karner started designing Rialto dF in 1995 and since then, despite distribution problems, it has been recognised as one of the best digital types of Renaissance inspiration. Thanks to CAST it has finally been completed and its elegant design is now reaching a wider public.