Designed by John Hudson of Tiro Typeworks for Microsoft, Gabriola was included in Windows7 and Office 2010, to showcase advanced OpenType features like contextual glyph substitutions.
The goal of Gabriola is to make it easy for users to produce attractive decorative typography, while using layout intelligence in the font to limit the possibilities to inadvertently produce something that does not look good. — Microsoft
The display font comes in a single style only, but it’s packed with features. Among its 4,592 glyphs (v5.92) are Latin, Greek, and Cyrillic characters, as well as numerous alternate forms organized in seven stylistic sets. John Hudson provides an introduction to the various stylistic variants:
Stylistic sets 6 and 7, the rondo styles, are the most elaborate and are powered by a huge amount of contextual substitution lookups in the font layout tables. Not only are the long, flourished extenders—reminiscent of 17th and 18th century split nib ‘round hand’ calligraphy—all carefully controlled contextually to produce nice sequences of shapes, but the end-of-line ornaments are dynamically inserted into the text and change depending on what letters precede them. —gabriolan.ca
Thanks to being bundled with Microsoft’s software products, Gabriola has seen wide dissemination and use. According to the typeface designer, though, this café sign is the first time he’s seen stylistic set 7 in the wild.