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Classic Typefaces

Jason Chapin
Last edited June 29, 2015
No burning enter this place

Cut as a private version for the Nonesuch Press in the early 1930s, Monotype Bulmer was first released for general use in 1939. Based on types, cut by William Martin circa 1790, used by the Printer, William Bulmer, in a number of prestigious works, including Boydell's Shakespeare. Martins types combined beauty with functionality. Narrower and with a taller appearance than Baskerville, it... Read More

Don’t treat me like a potato

Eric Gill designed Perpetua font in the early part of the 20th century, basing it on the designs of old engravings. The formal impression which this font lends to any text is due in part to its small, diagonal serifs and its medieval numbers.

Do not annoy by playing golf

Albertina was a typeface ahead of its time. It was in the early 1960s when designer Chris Brand, an accomplished calligrapher, aspired to draw a typeface based on the principles of calligraphy. Unfortunately, typesetting machines of that era put many restrictions on designers. Characters had to be drawn within a very coarse grid, which also defined their spacing. Technological limitations meant... Read More

Tether even a roasted chicken

The text typeface Apollo™ was designed by Adrian Frutiger in 1962-64, and was one of the first fonts produced by Monotype for use on their new phototypesetting machine at that time. The legible and robust Apollo has a small x-height, gently bracketed serifs, moderately open counters, and a primarily oblique axis. Frutiger designed the roman to have enough heartiness to produce a good impression... Read More

Mind the static electricity

Bodoni expresses the beginning of the Industrial Revolution; its serifs are flat, think and unbracketed, while the stress is always on the mathematically vertical strokes. Bodoni believed in plenty of white space and therefore descenders are long. The M is rather narrow; in the Q the tail at first descends vertically and the R has a curled tail. The italic, like most continental modern... Read More

The world without his nucleus

The first slab serif fonts appeared at the beginning of industrialization in Great Britain in 1820. Clarendon and Ionic became the names for this new development in England, known as English Egyptienne elsewhere in Europe. Clarendon is also the name of a particular font of this style, which, thanks to its clear, objective and timeless forms, never lost its contemporary feel. In small point... Read More

Monotype.Design Studio and William Martin
Monotype 1790
Eric Gill
Monotype 1928
Chris Brand and Frank E. Blokland
Monotype 1965
Adrian Frutiger
Monotype 1962
Karl-Erik Forsberg and E+F Design Studio
Elsner+Flake 1951
Giambattista Bodoni and Monotype.Design Studio
Monotype 1790
Hermann Eidenbenz
Linotype 1953
Jim Parkinson and William Addison Dwiggins
Linotype 2010