Fournier's picture

¶ What are your favourite Venetian typefaces from the Quattrocento or inspired by the Quattrocento?

¶ Find a list as an example to guide you into the humanistic realm. But feel free to add yours.

❧ Jenson (Nicolas Jenson/Franko Luin/Robert Slimbach)

❧ Golden Type (William Morris/Joseph Phinney)

❧ Kennerley (Frederic Goudy)

❧ Hollandse Mediaeval (Sjoerd Hendrik De Roos)

❧ Cloister Old Style (Morris Fuller Benton)

❧ Eusebius (Robert Hunter/Jim Spiece)

❧ Verona (Robert Wiebking)

❧ Centaur (Bruce Rogers)

❧ Hadriano (Frederic Goudy)

❧ Schneidler (F. H. Ernst Schneidler)

❧ Aurelia (Hermann Zapf)

❧ Guardi (Reinhard Haus)

❧ ITC Legacy Serif (Ronald Arnholm)

❧ Apolline (Jean-François Porchez)

❧ Hightower Text (Tobias Frere-Jones)

❧ Spira (Andy Stockley)

J. Tillman's picture

No links, no pictures, no explanations. It's a rough way to guide someone into the humanistic realm.

Fournier's picture

¶ Venetian style

a calligraphic medieval flavor
thick bracketed serifs
asymetrical serifs on the capitals
oblique serifs of the lowercases terminals
short descenders
large aperture of the lowercases "a, c, e"
lowercase "e" with a slanted bare that looks like a beak
a rough black texture
very low stroke contrast
diamond-shaped punctuations
a dark capital "C" pilcrow
no italics

¶ Find my top three Venetian typefaces:

❧ Jenson (Robert Slimbach)
The best version ever with a wide array of optical sizes. My personal workhorse!

❧ Centaur (Bruce Rogers)
The best version of the early XX th century which is slightly contrasted.

❧ Hadriano (Frederic Goudy)
Goudy's capitals feature his idiosyncrasy. Watch the apex of the "A". I like the rough late medieval flavor.

¶ Notes
I'm curious by two other Venetian typefaces designed by contemporaries.
I wish I had them to dissect and use them.

❧ Spira (Andy Stockley)

❧ Goodchild/Nicholas (Nick Shinn)

¶ Addendum
Find a hybrid one (Jenson+Caslon+Goudy) that seems interesting.

❧ Horley Oldstyle (Frank Pierpont)

Fournier's picture

Iowan Old Style is more Griffo than Jenson. It reminds me Goudy Old Style a bit. It's an early Garalde (Manuce type) and not an humanistic one in the tradition of Jenson's and the slanted cross stroke of the lowercase "e".

quadibloc's picture

Well, in the other thread, I've mentioned Cloister Oldstyle; Kennerley and Eusebius are favorites of mine as well. I also like that imitation of Golden, Jenson Oldstyle.

Looking up Aurelia, while Hermann Zapf had said that he based it on Jenson, I'd be tempted to class it as an oldstyle typeface, but not a Venetian.

But that may not be reasonable. After all, Golden was a very exaggerated take on Jenson, while Eusebius was much more faithful. So Venetians don't have to look like Italia or Jenson Oldstyle. They can look like Centaur.

And, for that matter, didn't Aldus Manutilus also print out of Venice, not just Nicolas Jenson? So is Bembo a Venetian? A page about the Yale typeface seems to think so.

Andreas Stötzner's picture


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