Cairoli was originally cast by Italian foundry Nebiolo in 1928, as a license of a design by Wagner & Schmidt, known as Neue moderne Grotesk. Its solid grotesque design (later developed as Aurora by Weber and Akzidenz-Grotesk by Haas) was extremely successful: it anticipated the versatility of sans serif superfamilies thanks to its range of weights and widths, while still retaining some eccentricities from end-of the century lead and wood type.
In 2020 the Italiantype team directed by Cosimo Lorenzo Pancini and Mario De Libero decided to produce a revival of Cairoli, extending the original weight and width range and developing both a faithful Classic version and a Now variant. The Cairoli Classic family keeps the original low x-height range, very display-oriented, and normalizes the design while emphasizing the original peculiarities like the hook cuts in curved letters, the high-waisted uppercase R and the squared ovals of the letterforms. Cairoli Now is developed with an higher x-height, more suited for text and digital use, and adds to the original design deeper inktraps and round punctuation, while slightly correcting the curves for a more contemporary look.
Born as an exercise in subtlety and love for lost letterforms, Cairoli Now stands, like its lead ancestor from a century ago, at the crossroads between artsy craftsmanship and industrial needs. Its deviations from the norm are small enough to give it personality without affecting readability, and the expanded weight and width range make it into a workhorse superfamily with open type features (alternates, stylistic sets, positional numbers) and coverage of over two hundred languages using the latin extended alphabet.