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Gabriola is a display typeface designed by John Hudson. Named after Gabriola Island, in British Columbia, Canada, it is primarily intended for use at larger sizes, but can also work well in short passages of text. The Gabriola font can add elegance and grace to titles, subheads and other situations in which a more decorative style of type is appropriate.
The design of Gabriola was inspired by an idea from music: that the same melody can be played in multiple modes, each with its own expressive characteristics. Gabriola was developed with advanced OpenType features and has been optimized for advanced ClearType rendering to improve legibility on screen.
The advanced OpenType features in Gabriola makes it come alive. There are eight different stylistic sets, allowing users to set the same text in different modes, from the plainest style to the most elaborated and fanciful. Each style is distinctive, yet each harmonises with the others around the dominant basic construction of the letters.
In addition to the stylistic sets, Gabriola contains very extensive contextual glyph substitutions in each style, improving the fit of the letters and, in the more elaborate styles, avoiding ugly collisions or over-use of ornament.
The goal of Gabriola is to make is easy for users to produce attractive decorative typography, while using layout intelligence in the font to limit the possibilities to inadvertently produce something that does not look good.