Emigre has finally released a type family I’ve had my eye on for years: Cardea by David Cabianca. A contemporary serif family with plenty of snap to it, the design is rooted in historical models that Cabianca has digested and rethought over the course of many years.
Cardea began life as a Cabianca’s degree project at the University of Reading’s M.A. typeface design program back in 2004, samples of which have been shown to other students (including myself) in the program in years since then. In some ways, Cardea was an early example of a style of sharpened, mature text face that's been coming out of design programs like Reading and the Type & Media in the Hague: lots of influences from type history, the writings of Gerrit Noordzij, and a vigorous mix of hard and soft elements in the letterforms.
Cardea, though, benefits from the years of Cabianca setting it aside and returning to it. It looks great, and that snap feels incredibly fresh, no matter how long the ideas have been gestating.