In order to give new imput to the art of typeface design in Italy, Nebiolo Company held, in March 1910, an artistic competition for a new alphabet conception, so the best-ranked design would be transformed into a real new typeface. 42 competitors participated and, although the first prize was not technically awarded, “Ancora” resulted as the best typeface, created by the designer-typographer Natale Varetti of Turin. Nonetheless, the new alphabet was transformed into a full-fledged metal typeface in 1924, renamed “Tanagra” in honor of the Greek city in the center of Boeotia.
The new font, although not significantly detached from the classical Roman form, introduced decorative elements that allowed its use in both rational and artistic compositions. This font appears very clear and easy to read, with very high ascenders and some decorations that make it distinctly retrò.
Finally, after almost 100 years, this peculiar character has been digitized taking it as a model the shapes of the 16 points size (other dimensions have significantly different contrasts and proportions). To adapt it to modern use, some glyphs have been modified, but all the originals are available as Stylistic Alternate OTF, as well as all the swashed variants while the missing ones were added.
This font, with its Italic variant, is available on MyFonts.