Between Transitional and Modern Faces?

Fournier's picture

The style known as Scotch Roman is considered as a modern face.
But if you look closely at the design of a Scotch Roman, it appears it has the bracketed serifs of the transitional faces.
Modern faces in the Vox-AtypI definition are called Didones meaning Didot and Bodoni. These two types have hairline serifs.
Punchcutter Richard Austin who previously worked for John Bell and gave him transitional types was the creator of Scotch Roman.
I observed some specimen of Scotch Roman that have the high contrast of the Didones.

What is your view on Scotch Roman inside the Vox-AtypI category system?

hrant's picture

Good observation.
I just hope nobody proposes the addition of a Transtransitional category... :-)

hhp

Fournier's picture

Let's now analyze a selection of types known as Scotch Roman.
Have you noticed that each of these teypefaces have a peculiar tail in the capital Q?
Share your views and keep in mind the Vox-AtypI category system.

Scotch Roman (A.D. Farmer)
De Vinne (1893/Schroeder)
Century Roman (1894/Benton)
Monticello (1946/Griffith)
Moderno FB (1995/Lipton)
Miller Banner (1997/Carter+Frere-Jones)
Benton Modern Display (2006/Lipton)
Escrow (2006/Highsmith)
Scotch Modern (2008/Shinn)

Fournier's picture

And what do you of think of Modern no. 20 and
Ed Benguiat's Modern no. 216?
How do you consider these two Moderns: Scotch Roman or Didone?
Please give me your interpretations because it is a matter of minute details.

Nick Shinn's picture


I have proposed Scotch Modern as a distinct category.
See page 5 of the PDF specimen, which explains the evolution from Didone to Scotch Roman to Scotch Modern, shown above.

Fournier's picture

Thank you very much. I appreciated your enlightening rundown on the Scotch Roman and your Scotch Modern in particular.

5star's picture

Nick, read the PDF thanks ...your Figgins Sans is kinda nice.

quadibloc's picture

I'm favorably impressed by the typeface as well. I like the Scotch Micro version the best, of course. I also like its broad glyph coverage.

Nick Shinn's picture

Thanks! Simon Esterson used the Micro version for Eye magazine, body text and decks, and it didn’t look at all strange. I would not have thought to do that—having scrupulously mimicked the effect of 150-years ago, with optical sizing, I was so invested in that idea that I forgot my own mantra, which is that you never know what will work until you try to make it work, and see what happens.

quadibloc's picture

There's nothing wrong with optical sizing. But there's also no reason you couldn't have made Scotch Micro Micro which starts with the assumption Scotch Micro is what the 11 point looks like, and Scotch Micro Micro is the corresponding 6 point.

After all, a smaller optically sized font is bolder and wider - and bold, condensed, light, and wide weights of typefaces exist without being related to optical sizing, as well as different typefaces differing in these characteristics.

Optical sizing may involve other parameters as well, but the fact that a certain quantity of boldness and wideness makes a 6 point face correspond to an 11 point face doesn't prevent that quantity from also being approximately what the 11 point size needs to look better to someone. And that was likely because of how tastes changed in 150 years.

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