OverviewStylesCharacter setFeaturesIn useBuying options

Karela: overview

Karela is a humanist slab serif family. Karela is also the Basque word for gunwale, this is, the widened edge at the top of the side of a boat, where the edge is reinforced with wood or other material and to which the thwarts are attached. Gunwales resemble the way slab serifs reinforce vertical stems giving a more robust appearance to the letters. The sturdy, solid and often mechanical structure that is customary in slab serif or mechanistic typefaces is softened in Karela applying subtle tweaks as humanist proportions, slightly curved endings in ascenders and curved edges in serifs.

The influence of calligraphy is noticeable all over the character set, especially in counters and letters with instrokes like “m”, “n” and “r”, and it becomes explicit in the italics. Karela pursues to give a human touch to a strong and highly functional structure. It seeks for the ideal combination of strength, precision and warmth of the wooden parts painstakingly handcrafted by ancient boat builders. On the other hand, Karela is a uni-width (or multiplexed) typeface family, it means every character keeps the same width across weights. This along with its low contrast and generous x-heigh makes it a very convenient choice for editorial uses when low resolution is a concern.

Karela means the upper edge of a ship's side

William Dwight Whitney, The Century Dictionary: An Encyclopedic Lexicon of the English Language, (New York, NY: The Century Co., 1911)

The sentence "grades in steroids" set in Karela

Karela typeface specimen 1

Karela typeface specimen 3

First released on 14th February 2020

Karela: styles

Roman | Italic

Karela text thin headline sample

Karela thin text

Italic | Roman

Karela text italic thin headline sample

Karela text italic thin sample

Karela: Character set

Karela comes with 1060 glyphs.
If you do not find the character or glyph you need, please contact me and I will be happy to add it to the fonts.

Character set of Karela Typeface

From June 2017 capital letter ß is official in German. This is what it looks like in Karela.

Poster showing capital eszett in Karela typeface

Karela supports more than 220 languages:

Abenaki, Afaan, Oromo, Afar, Afrikaans, Albanian, Alsatian, Amis, Anuta, Aragonese, Aranese, Aromanian, Arrernte, Arvanitic (Latin), Asturian, Atayal, Aymara, Azerbaijani, Bashkir (Latin), Basque, Belarusian (Latin), Bemba, Bikol, Bislama, Bosnian, Breton, Cape, Verdean, Creole, Catalan, Cebuano, Chamorro, Chavacano, Chichewa, Chickasaw, Cimbrian, Cofán, Cornish, Corsican, Creek, Crimean Tatar (Latin), Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dawan, Delaware, Dholuo, Drehu, Dutch, English, Esperanto, Estonian, Faroese, Fijian, Filipino, Finnish, Folkspraak, French, Frisian, Friulian, Gagauz (Latin), Galician, Ganda, Genoese, German, Gikuyu, Gooniyandi, Greenlandic (Kalaallisut), Guadeloupean, Creole, Gwich’in, Haitian Creole, Hän, Hawaiian, Hiligaynon, Hopi, Hotcąk (Latin), Hungarian, Icelandic, Ido, Igbo, Ilocano, Indonesian, Interglossa, Interlingua, Irish, Istro-Romanian, Italian, Jamaican, Javanese (Latin), Jèrriais, Kala Lagaw Ya, Kapampangan (Latin), Kaqchikel, Karakalpak (Latin), Karelian (Latin), Kashubian, Kikongo, Kinyarwanda, Kiribati, Kirundi, Klingon, Kurdish (Latin), Ladin, Latin, Latino sine Flexione, Latvian, Lithuanian, Lojban, Lombard, Low Saxon, Luxembourgish, Maasai, Makhuwa, Malay, Maltese, Manx, Māori, Marquesan, Megleno-Romanian, Meriam Mir, Mirandese, Mohawk, Moldovan, Montagnais, Montenegrin, Murrinh-Patha, Nagamese, Creole, Nahuatl, Ndebele, Neapolitan, Ngiyambaa, Niuean, Noongar, Norwegian, Novial, Occidental, Occitan, Old Icelandic, Old Norse, Onĕipŏt, Oshiwambo, Ossetian (Latin), Palauan, Papiamento, Piedmontese, Polish, Portuguese, Potawatomi, Q’eqchi’, Quechua, Rarotongan, Romanian, Romansh, Rotokas, Sami (Inari Sami), Sami (Lule Sami), Sami (Northern Sami), Sami (Southern Sami), Samoan, Sango, Saramaccan, Sardinian, Scottish, Gaelic, Serbian (Latin), Seri, Seychellois Creole, Shawnee, Shona, Sicilian, Silesian, Slovak, Slovenian, Slovio (Latin), Somali, Sorbian (Lower Sorbian), Sorbian (Upper Sorbian), Sotho (Northern), Sotho (Southern), Spanish, Sranan, Sundanese (Latin), Swahili, Swazi, Swedish, Tagalog, Tahitian, Tamazight, Tetum, Tok Pisin, Tokelauan, Tongan, Tshiluba, Tsonga, Tswana, Tumbuka, Turkish, Turkmen (Latin), Tuvaluan, Tzotzil, Uzbek (Latin), Venetian, Vepsian, Volapük, Võro, Wallisian, Walloon, Waray-Waray, Warlpiri, Wayuu, Welsh, Wik-Mungkan, Wiradjuri, Wolof, Xavante, Xhosa, Yapese, Yindjibarndi, Zapotec, Zarma, Zazaki, Zulu, Zuni.

Karela: a uni-width type family

Definition of grades and uni-width fonts set in Karela

Besides its 12 standard styles, Karela offers also four additional fonts called “grades”. Grades are subtle changes in stroke weight in order to compensate for differences in printing media or display conditions of text layouts. To minimize these subtle changes without a reflow of the text they have to be designed with the same character width of the base style. Karela offers 4 grades for its Regular weight: Grade Minus 5, Grade Minus 5 Italic, Grade Plus 5 and Grade Plus 5 Italic. This makes possible to counteract the effect of changes in paper, temperature, paper, background color… In addition, Karela takes this no‑reflowing idea from grades and extends it to the whole range of styles, so the result is a uni-width (also known as multiplexed) type family, allowing to play with any of its weights without undesirable text reflows. Enjoy the layout stability while you experiment and play with variations!

Karela presents also a wide range of Opentype features for a professional text layout (see table below)

The idea of grades explained in three text blocks

Three paragraphs set in Karela Grade Minus 5, Regular, and Grade Plus 5

List of Opentype features of Karela typeface

Karela in use

Karela typeface in use in a postcard

Karela typeface in use in a text layout

Karela typeface in use in an animated poster

Karela typeface in use in a dictionary

Karela typeface in use in a random text

Karela typeface in use in a honey jar label

Karela typeface in use in a biscuit pack

Karela typeface in use in a hook box

Buying options

Karela type family comes in 12 styles plus 4 basic grades (Grade Minus 5, Grade Minus 5 Italic, Grade Plus 5, Grade Plus 5 Italic). Individual styles can be purchased from 36€/30€ (grades are not available as individual styles).
  • Basic bundle (4 styles): Regular, Italic, Bold and Bold Italic styles.
  • Basic bundle+grades (8 styles): Basic + four grades offered at a reduced price
  • Complete pack (16 styles): all 12 styles + 4 grades offered for free.

Print fonts ( Individual styles from 36€ )

Web fonts ( Individual styles from 30€ )

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