Side quiz: What's wrong here?

Miguel Sousa's picture

Something is *really* wrong here. What is it?

Stephen Coles's picture

I'm guessing InDesign Optical Spacing and negative tracking. "Tight but not touching" taken too literally. Evidence: 'nn' and 'gu' kerns.

Norbert Florendo's picture

My immediate gut reaction is that the lowercase "g" feels out of place. I will have to look up the face to confirm.

david h's picture

The "g"!?!?

Miguel Sousa's picture

Spot-on Norbert!! :^D
The g is set in Baskerville, while everyhting else is Bembo :^/
Feel free to continue the "quiz", sharing all the gems you can find ;^)

(BTW, I did not make this up. It really exists and it's out there!! I took it from a book cover found on Amazon)

Thomas Phinney's picture

Although InDesign optical kerning isn't perfect, it can't be responsible for this one (even with negative tracking added). This is clearly hand-kerned to get that consistently almost-touching look. Feels like something done in late 60s or the 70s.

The two letters "u" in Portuguese look like they are randomly raised just a bit for no good reason.

T

shawkash's picture

I think there is something wrong with "e" of Bembo at Portuguese's.
I am not sure of Celebration's "r", btw.

Norbert Florendo's picture

WOO HOO!
"g" I'm speechless. Guess I should always trust my gut.
This quiz is a little harder since one has to find a typeset anomaly that's not overly obvious.

But since I've had no luck with the other Type Quiz, I'll try to keep this one going. =)

Mark Simonson's picture

I remember seeing that same Baskerville g with Bembo many years ago on a poster or something. I'm not sure, but I think I may also have even seen it in a type sample book. I think there was a dodgy off-brand film font of Bembo going around back in the seventies.

If you look up Bembo in the Solotype catalog, you can see the same hiccoughing u's in it. Too bad it doesn't show the g. It may have been in one of the other Dover type books. Anybody have the "Classic Roman Alphabets" volume? I don't have that one handy and I'm pretty sure it's in there.

Stephen Coles's picture

Ashamed I missed the mismatched 'g'. Doesn't anyone else find the kerning really wrong?

Randy's picture

You're bound to get whack spacing if take a book type and make it tight but not touching.
Serif to round will always be crazy tight compared to serif to serif.

paul d hunt's picture

looks like a case for Contextual Alternates Man™®!

Mark Simonson's picture

Check it out:

(From "Classic Roman Alphabets" by Dan X. Solo, Dover Publications, 1983.)

Norbert Florendo's picture


(Above) April 2005 -- Monotype announces a new, meticulously rendered revival called Bembo Book. This cut is closer to the x-height proportions of the metal cut than the digitized versions below.


(Above) Bembo Linotype


(Above) Bembo Monotype

Stephen Coles's picture

Thanks guys! Typophile got 200X better since image posting was enabled.

Norbert Florendo's picture

Yeah, but how did Dan Solo goof slipping in the lowercase Baskerville "g"?

Mark Simonson's picture

My guess is that the film font contained the mistake. How it got there is a mystery, but one possible explanation is that it was put there deliberately by a reputable film font maker to sniff out pirates, in other words, type houses (or employees of type houses) who were copying and reselling the fonts. (Phil Martin confirmed the existence of this practice when I interviewed him for Typographica.) You see this occasionally in old film font catalogs. I remember noticing quite a few in the notorious Type Films of Chicago catalog we had at a magazine I worked for around 1980. I believe some of these "mistakes" have even made it into digital fonts by people who are making fonts by scanning specimens from old film font catalogs.

Norbert Florendo's picture

Mark, that not only sounds plausible, but probably the most feasible of reasons.

So what does that say about type revivals in general?

And for most graphic designers who may want to "faithfully" produce a piece in period style of Bembo, and believes "faithfully" in Monotype (or Linotype) to provide a "faithful" version of Bembo, only to find that Monotype decided to release an even more "faithful" version of the cut in Bembo Book.
Then we BASH graphic designers for not understanding typography. :-(

Mark Simonson's picture

"Faithfulness" is a debatable point with any revival, regardless of who does it.

Graphic designers live in a different world from typographers and type designers. Some of us live in both worlds. It's sort of like being one of those guys who has more than one family, neither of which knows about the other. (My graphic design family has called the missing persons bureau, though.)

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