Clarendon Type // HELP (URGENTLY!!!!) - AYUDA - (URGENTE!!!)

MadMax's picture

I´m searching for Information about Robert Besley and Besley´s Clarendon Type

I´m a student of Graphic Design from University of Buenos Aires, Argentina and I´m working on an investigation of the Clarendon Typography. Luckily, I´ve found this site. I´ve been looking for information about Robert Besley and his Clarendon family type but I could not find anything. I´ll apreciate very much if you could help me with some references where to find or if you could send me some info for my investigation.  

Thank you very much,  
Maximiliano del Intento

My email: /

A quién corresponda:

Soy estudiante de la carrera de Diseño Gráfico en la Universidad de Buenos Aires, Argentina... Estoy haciendo una investigación sobre Robert Besley, creador de la typografía Clarendon... y lamentablemente en diversos medios intenté obtener información y no tuve éxito.

Agradecería infinitamente si usted pudieran enviarme algún tipo de info relacionada o en su defecto alguna referencia de búsqueda ya que sinceramente ya no se me ocurren alternativas.
Desde ya muchísimas gracias!
Atte. Maximiliano del Intento.

Mi email: /

Norbert Florendo's picture

Basic information on Slab Serifs

The first typeface to be registered:

"The first face to be registered was Besley’s Clarendon type in 1845. It has been argued that Besley’s foundry was not the first to offer a typeface of this kind, but the act of naming the face and registering that name secured the grounds to defend its ownership. By the mid nineteenth century typeface names were acting as marketing tools and marks of property and effectively this remains the case.
-- from Thirty-six point Gorilla
by Emily King

If I find more I will post it.

Yes, I'm old, but I'm back in style!

Norbert Florendo's picture

Much more information on Besley and Clarendon.

Yes, I'm old, but I'm back in style!

Norbert Florendo's picture

About Besley & Co.

Gee... I can't seem to edit previous posts to add new info... whaz up?
Yes, I'm old, but I'm back in style!

MadMax's picture

Norbert Florendo!
Thanks very very verrrryyy much!!!!! I´ve been searching the web for 5 days and just find the first add you posted! Thank you very much...

I have another question related to this investigation... I´m trying to stablish the relation of how many new fonts where founded from this clarendon type, and also how many foundries sell this font and fonts that are similar or copies from Besley´s Clarendon Type.

Maximiliano del Intento

PS: I´m a little bit rusty with my english...

Norbert Florendo's picture

I understand you very well, Maximiliano.

The new information you ask for requires deeper research.
My suggestion to you is to go to Google and enter your search terms like this: clarendon type besley

I'm not sure the link below will work because it is too long, so just use the instructions above.

Yes, I'm old, but I'm back in style!

MadMax's picture

Excelent! It worked!

Norbert... I´m quite confused... at first sight I read at the web about this Robert Besley designer and his Clarendon Type... then I found another designer called "Hermann Eidenbenz" that seems to have a participation in the font creation... In some places I found that the Clarendon Type was designed by this Hermann Eidenbenz?¡?¡? Ouch! Don´t know what to do!!

Maximiliano del Intento

Norbert Florendo's picture

First, please know that many designers are credited when making a version of the original typeface. The original was done in 1845 by Robert Besley!

Hermann Eidenbenz created a version of Clarendon in 1953.

I was just about to give you this link about Freeman "Jerry" Craw, who created a famous version called Craw Clarendon. I had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Craw several times at Type Directors Club meetings, so you know it can't be as old as the original Clarendon.

I don't think you will find EVERY variation of the original Clarendon, but just know that the two above are very well known and accepted.

Yes, I'm old, but I never met Robert Besley!

Jackson's picture

Lawson's Anatomy of a Typeface has a chapter on Clarendon typefaces. Great book for type history.

rs_donsata's picture

Maximiliano, some outstanding contemporary clarendons I wouldn't miss are Font Bureau's Giza, Storm's Farao and Hoefler's Proteus project.

I have a copye of Lawson's Anatomy of a Typeface, so if you have an speceific question on the topic I could search it.


MadMax's picture

RS! thanks!!
Do You have a printed Copy of that book? or you can send me that Chapter on Clarendon Typefaces via email?

I´m going to try finding it somewhere in Argentina!

ps: I´m quite sleepy... sorry for my english.

Maximiliano del Intento

MadMax's picture

Jackson, the same question for RS....

Thanks for all your help! Thanks, thanks, thanks!!!

PS: I´ve found much more precious information here than 6 days searching on the Web!

Maximiliano del Intento

rs_donsata's picture



MadMax's picture

Hector Muuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuchas miles de gracias!!!
eternamente agradecido!!!

And thanks, thanks, thanks to those who gave such wonderfull help!!!!

Maximiliano del Intento (Argentina)

MadMax's picture

I suppose this is a quite a silly questions... but i´m translating this beautifull chapter and i found this word... and really don´t know the exact word in spanish... does anyone can give me an approximate definition of it: Stem.

Thanks again!

Maximiliano del Intento (Argentina)

rs_donsata's picture

"Stem" es fuste. Un gusto poder ayudar, ojalá te sea de utilidad.


MadMax's picture

Thanks Hector!!!

Estoy tratando de traducir el capítulo y encontré un par de definiciones que no sé la traducción! me podrás ayudar''? muchiiiisimas gracias! las detallo más abajo!

HI! I´m trying to translate to spanish the Chapter from Anatomy of a Typeface by Alexander Lawson and I have some words that don´t know the exact translation to Spanish!! Please I need your help!!

The words are:

Display types
Normal joining stroke
bracketed Serifs

Thanks very much!

Max (Argentina)

Maximiliano del Intento

adiazpaz's picture

Hola Max (and others)

Why don't you come to the Comunidad Hispanica forum here in Typophile? It's in the "Special Interest Groups".

lirapoe's picture

I also found that some people think, Clarendon was originally used at The Oxford University Foundry in 1900. That foundry had a Clarendon Building.

I just wanted to say thanks for this forum. I also had a project on the Clarendon Typeface, and I found most answers right here.


BlackLetter's picture

Hello RS!
On the 24th of July in 2005 you sent a chapter (from Lawson’s Anatomy of a Typeface) about the Clarendon typeface to MadMax, who did some research on the topic.
One year ago I started with my work concerning the Clarendon. I "redesigned" it for poster applications, which means that I drew it in FontLab using the "Meisterbuch der Schrift" by Jan Tschichold.
Now I used the information from last year´s discussion in this forum, but I think the chapter could be quite interesting for me, too!
Please send it to me!
Thank you

alvaropdelatorre's picture

please: Norbert FLorendo. i´m a graphic design student and i'll love to know what do you mean about the sentence "Yes, I'm old, but I'm back in style!"

Thanks a lot.

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