When I was doing the sketches for Capitolium, early in 1998, I considered
proposing a sans serif for Rome based on the precursors of imperial Roman
capitals. Few of these letters from the republican period have survived.
They are partly geometrical, with circular O’s, and have very little
variation in thickness and very small serifs — really not much more
than thorns. It was from these letters that sans serifs were developed
at the end of the nineteenth century.* However, the Agenzia romana per
la preparazione del Giubileo decided that a seriffed type would be more
suitable for Rome. In the end I took Vesta (named after the temple of
Vesta at Tivoli, the ancestral home of all sans serifs) and developed
it further on my own initiative. The Roman geometry has gone, there is
now a slight difference between thick and thin, and the letters are narrower.
Vesta can be used in combination with Gulliver, Capitolium and Coranto.
* Mosley, J., The Nymph and the Grot. The Revival of
the Sanserif Letter, London, 1999