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I've been seeing this a lot lately but don't know what it's called (I assume that the fonts are different members of one family). Help!
The inescapable and quite controversial -- loved by graphic designers but derided by typographers -- Mrs Eaves, Zuzana Licko's interpretation of the Baskerville model.
And why is it hated so?
Typographers don't understand Mrs Eaves any more than classical musicians understand Beck.
Robin Kinross has compared Mrs Eaves to a loose bicycle. My own favorite comparison involves a beautiful woman with a serious speech impediment. One shameful thing is to have coupled such superb letterforms with such horrid spacing. Another shameful thing is that so few designers who use it are paying attention.
If you ignore the aesthetics of it and look at the technical. . . All you have to do is make a photopolymer plate and try to print it letterpress. There is something quite wrong there. Emigre fonts are "designed" for graphic designers, other than that they technical disasters. There is something quite wrong with them that I suspect has to do with a failure to understand the relationships of letterforms one to another. The only thing I can compare it to are those depth perception tests you take during an eye examination. Is this letter closer to you than this letter? Well, imagine erratic accumulation of color on a letterform relative to another letterform, and that's what you get. Letters jumping out at you. Maybe letterpress functionality should be the litmus test of type design.