Centaur® Font Field Guide
FOUNDRY: Monotype, DESIGNER: Bruce Rogers & CLASSIFICATION: Serif Old Style
A distinctive design that performs best at larger sizes in headlines and short blocks of text copy. Centaur should not be combined with equally distinctive designs.
Two weights with corresponding italics. A suite of swash characters are included with the italic designs.
- Bruce Rodgers originally wanted the typeface to be called “Kent” after the name of the director of the private press for which it was initially designed.
- The italic, first called “Arrighi,” was designed in the late 1920s by Frederic Warde.
The design is based on the 1470 font of the Venetian printer, Nicolas Jenson. Drawn by Bruce Rogers, and first released in 1914 for a private press, Centaur was made available as a commercial typeface in 1929.
While originally designed for text copy set in metal type, Centaur’s small x-height, delicate serifs and idiosyncratic characters detract from legibility. This is especially true in small sizes.
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