The Flavium is the most faithful digital reconstruction of the Roman lapidary characters engraved on the marble plaques indicating toponymy and street numbering of the streets of Rome, precisely in the version in use from the end of the 60s until the early 90s of the twentieth century.
The toponymic plates of Rome are made of white travertine, with little or not veins at all, and bear the entire title, in some cases together with a brief description in smaller characters below the title itself. Chiseled on the top right corner, the district to which the road belongs is shown (municipality, district, area, district and other). Finally, the plates are finished with a frame thread.
The font used is the Roman lapidary, a font in use in Rome since ancient times. The Roman lapidary is a specialized font that was used in a variety of architectural and artistic applications, such as epigraphs, monumental buildings and stones in general. One of the most notable uses involved the creation of road signs, which were used to mark the boundaries of Roman territories and to provide information on important places along the roads.
The process of creating these gravestones was highly sophisticated and labor intensive. The stonemasons would first select a suitable block of marble or stone, then carefully measure and trace the design for the text to be engraved. Next, through the use of a variety of tools including chisels, hammers and drills, the sign was carefully carved into the stone. Once the carving was completed, the craftsman carefully polished and smoothed the surface of the marble or stone. The lapidary font, also known as serif font or serif from English, is a typeface characterized by serifs, small transverse lines at the end of the strokes that make up letters and numbers.
The font’s serifs also helped make signs easier to read from a distance, which was especially important for drivers navigating busy city streets. The classic and elegant look of the font is seen as a reflection of Rome’s rich history and cultural heritage.
Unfortunately, on the new street gravestones we have recently witnessed the loss of manual engraving, carried out by the craftsmen, supplanted by the mechanical one that uses commercial and particularly unsuitable typographical characters such as Times New Roman (a beautiful Roman font, but certainly not lapidary in proportions and in conception) or of the Palatine, a font that imitates the proportions of writing on paper, certainly not of stone engraving, where it appears awkward and dark.
Instead, this beautiful typeface was chosen for its legibility and durability, as well as its ability to convey a sense of history and heritage. The new font is available on MyFonts in three different versions: the Regular , which shows the serifs as they are reported by most of the street tombstones, the Full Serif, which has more elongated serifs and finally the Sans Serif with slight flaring instead of thanks.