Brasil was originally designed as a headline typeface in 1973 and was expanded as a text family in the mid-1980s. Georg Salden drew on his calligraphic experience when designing this typeface. Although Brasil belongs to the sans serifs, the contrast and movement correspond to a true Antiqua. Because of its greater linearity, it is undoubtedly closer to a sans-serif typeface. However, the vertical stems end with a clear emphasis (like a serif font) and the curves are very expressive. Both result in a more closed yet lively line formation than that of pure sans-serif typefaces could do.
Brasil has a large x-height. Typical is a swelling of the stroke at the northeast (e.g. B, D, R, h, m, n,) and southwest (e.g. U and u) curves. Thickening in the right perpendiculars of h, m and n, before the curves of f and t, also in the descenders of J, j, g and y. All other curves become ‘evenly’ thinner towards the horizontal. The ß is unusual in that it does not recall its origin from the fracture, despite its moving course. Brasil appears factual and precise in small continuous texts, and reveals its ornamentation in large sizes.
The italics, which do not hide their writing character, are closer to the Antiqua than the upright styles. This is clearly visible in the strokes of A and E. The capital letters draw their relationship to the lower case letters from these elements. Preferably set with old-style numerals, italics are also very suitable for longer texts. Poetic literature in particular is rather expressive set in Brasil italics.
The italic weights of Extralight, Light and Regular contain additional alternative letters with swashes.