About this font family
Italian Old Style, designed by Frederic Goudy in 1924, was digitized by Paul Hunt in 2007. In 2013, it has been updated by James Grieshaber and is now offered as a Pro font. The newly expanded Pro font includes all of the original ligatures, plus small caps and expanded language coverage in all 4 Pro styles.
LTC Italian Old Style is not to be confused with the English Monotype font also called Italian Old Style, which is an earlier design from 1911 based on William Morris’s Golden Type that is based on Nicholas Jenson's Roman face. Goudy went back to Jenson’s original Roman and other Renaissance Roman faces for his inspiration and the result is what many consider to be the best Renaissance face adapted for modern use. More…
Bruce Rogers was one of the biggest admirers of Italian Old Style and designed the original specimen book for Italian Old Style in 1924 using his trademark ornament arrangement. These ornaments are now contained in the pro versions of the Roman styles- Regular Pro and Light Pro.
With most digitizations of old metal typefaces, one source size is often used as reference (as was Goudy’s method for his own cuttings of his Village foundry types) so that all sizes refer to one set of original artwork. The original hot metal fonts made by Lanston Monotype (from Goudy’s drawings) and other manufacturers used two or three masters for different size ranges to have optimal relative weights (smaller type sizes would need proportionally thicker lines to not appear thin and larger sizes would require thinner lines to not appear to bulky). The variations in size ranges can also be affected by the size of the cutter head in making the master patterns.
The light weights of LTC Italian Old Style were digitized from larger display sizes (14, 18, 24, 30, 36 pt) and the regular weights were digitized from smaller composition sizes (8,10,12 pt.). The fitting for the regular weights is noticeably looser to allow for better setting at small sizes. Very few font revivals take this approach.