Weiss? Zapf Renaissance? Aldus?

johnland's picture

I would be very interested in type persons views on these three faces, all of which I love, but are not much used.

The latter two are both by Zapf. The Renaissance is a wonderfully clear face, with character, but not too much. Aldus has a lovely hand woven feel to it. And Weiss is such a deco beaut, but again, very clear and unfussy.

Any thoughts as to why we seem them so rarely??

John

blank's picture

Sometimes I think that many Renaissance fonts fall by the side because almost every designer out there already has Adobe Garamond, Adobe Jenson, and Palatino.

Nick Shinn's picture

Any thoughts as to why we seem them so rarely??

That was then, this is now.

typequake's picture

Given the composition of this forum, you can understand the bias in favour of new designs.

I like Weiss, but I've never warmed up to Aldus.

Nick Shinn's picture

More bias: we'd certainly see a lot more of them if there were Adobe Weiss and Aldus Next.

But seriously, a typeface becomes redundant unless it is revived with some semblance of a new idea, a reinterpretation to renew its relevance. That has happened with Garamond, Bodoni, Jenson, Optima even, but not yet with these other faces.

dan_reynolds's picture

Actually, there is an Aldus nova. It is delivered with the Palatino nova family. It is optimized, like Aldus itself, for book setting.

Nick Shinn's picture

There goes my theory!
So to revise it -- perhaps Aldus has suffered in the shadow of Palatino?

dezcom's picture

Then there were but a handful of faces, now there are millons. The odds are not as good as they used to be.

ChrisL

dan_reynolds's picture

> Aldus has suffered in the shadow of Palatino?

I concur. Aldus is basically the "optical" size of Palatino for books. You have to make the effort to buy it, too. AND it has a different name, so its readiness may not always be apparent, AND it was never mass-bundled, unlike Palatino itself.

(…AND their is no "Aldus Sans"…)

Nick Shinn's picture

And it only has one weight, which cuts down on its functionality.
I've used Aldus as the text face of a magazine, with Palatino Bold as its bold, but that took a little off the class of the piece.

dezcom's picture

"(…AND their is no “Aldus Sans”…)"

There is no Palatino Sans either except for the name only :-)

ChrisL

blank's picture

(…AND their is no “Aldus Sans”…)

Are we really supposed to miss a lame marketing gimmick?

dan_reynolds's picture

Yeah, but names count for a lot. If Aldus had been named Palatino Book, I believe that it would have found much higher distribution. Its intended name back in the 1950s was Palatino Light, I think. But the D. Stempel AG and/or German Linotype marketers at the time wanted to give it a different name. I guess what helped back then is a hindrance now?

Nick Shinn's picture

Aldus is a bogus name anyway, dude was Aldo Manuccio.

Palatinus, anyone?

I like those title pages by Baskerville with his home town as "Birminghamiensis"

Talk about "Latinization"!

ben_archer's picture

Birminghamiensis, Manchesterius and of course Londinium...

John, do you know the book 'Fonts & Logos' by Doyald Young? Features quite a lot of beautiful Zapf work and comments about same, which I hadn't known about. I agree with the other respondents here that Aldus and Zapf Renaissance were simply outshone or out-marketed (depending on your degree of cynicism) by the rest of the man's prodigious output. And Aldus may be underrated, but that 'one weight only' thing does get in the way.

Weiss may be unfussy, and may be quite like Bernhard Modern in terms of its elegant proportion, but I recall using it as a business report text face and it appears very pale – a bit spidery really, on the page.

dan_reynolds's picture

…I think that the idea is that in "proper" book setting, one would not use a bold. Although Aldus nova does (finally?) have a bold and bold italic. And Aldus nova's fonts have small caps, etc. So no more complaining! ;-)

poms's picture

>Aldus Nova
Is there a book out, set in Aldus Nova?

I really love reading "old Aldus" in books (literature). Very nice italics, if you like that kind. Palatino, what is that? :)

@Dan
Aldus LT has Oldstyle Numbers for the regular-weight and italic, plus Small Caps for regular.

johnland's picture

Really grateful for the plethora of responses!

But Dan, I am not a professional typographer, and would like to know this about Aldus Nova (which I checked out out at Linotype. Apart from the additional fonts that now come with it, is it very much better looking than the version I have (Elsner and Flake, I think), which looks very good to me.(I loathe bold, too!)

John

poms's picture

Weiss, i like too.
The Italics are quite narrow and "special", some would say a bit off or difficult. I see it more as a display-face (because of its very characteristic style and the "funkyness between regular and italic"), though it's good to read in textsizes.

You may look at Anziano which "shows touches of Weiss", S. Hattenbach the typedesigner says about it.
http://www.fountain.nu/catalogue/anziano.asp

johnland's picture

thanks, Ben. I will check out the book

john

johnland's picture

I have looked at Anziano, and like it very much. Thanks for that.

john

johnbutler's picture

I agree, I love all three of those designs. Zapf-Renaissance was one of the most expensive single font packages I've ever bought. I believe I dropped $300 or so on it back in 1996 or thereabouts. I bought it from Fonthaus, who was distributing it for Scangraphic. I think Scangraphic's collection was later absorbed by E+F or Linotype.

It could use an overhaul. There were some metrics and kerning problems with the version I bought.

The complaint about the absence of a bold verison of Aldus and its corresponding italic is now answered with the Aldus Nova release, but for now it's only available as part of the large Palatino Nova package bundle. Sadly it will be a while before I have the $999 to spend just to get to those two new weights. Palatino Nova is also missing Palatino Heavy, which I was always fond of. I also miss the look of the foundry versions and the alternate extenders, and the original Palatino Italic swashes. Seeing those is still a rare treat.

johnland's picture

John

I did not pay a lot for Zapf Renaissance. I did buy it quite recently (about a year ago) through Myfonts, at a very reasonable price, from a good foundry, I think Elsner and Flake and it really looks good.

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