Taca is a typeface built around a shape that Portuguese designer Rúben Dias calls a “squircle” — neither square nor circle. We usually associate the rounded, convex box with the television screens of the 1960s and Aldo Novarese’s classic typeface, Eurostile. But whereas Eurostile is cold and machined, Taca is warm and rugged, as if it was molded from clay or carved from stone.
Taca’s organic nature is also derived from another unique feature: rounded crotches at the right angles where perpendicular strokes meet. This subtle finish, along with blunt stroke endings, softens the otherwise rigid skeleton.
With such a strong conceptual vision, Taca could be relegated to the bin of experimental designs, severely limited in their application. But that fate is usually born of a less experienced maker. As a teacher, designer, and letterpress printer, Dias is a type user, keenly aware of the functional requirements of good type. Taca is therefore not a slave to its concept, but a working font family, effective in various sizes and environments. Its lettershapes break away from the base shape whenever it makes sense for legibility, while still maintaining the flavor of the design as a whole. That said, a set of squircle-shaped alternates give the user the flexibility to get more stylized if the situation calls for it.
Fitting to its functional aims, Taca has many of the features one expects of a proper text font: upper- and lowercase figures, case-sensitive punctuation, and Extended Latin language support.
The simplicity, openness, and squareness of Taca’s forms also make it an ideal design for the pixel grid of screen displays.