Farnham

mili's picture

I just spotted Farnham (Display, probably) used in headlines in a Finnish newspaper's travel special. To my shame this is actually first time I've seen it properly, and noticed, that the serifs are different in caps and lc. The caps ones are slanted and lc are straight, which is quite interesting. Is this typical for a certain style and are there other fonts like that?

Miss Tiffany's picture

Mili, could you post a picture? I'm looking at Farnham Display and Text and I don't see that.


William Berkson's picture

Tiffany, I think Mili is talking about caps vs lower case in one font.

The caps do indeed have slanted serifs, and the lower case flat. Farnham was inspired partly by Fleishman. If you look at DTL Fleishman, the most faithful revival, it has flat serifs on both upper and lower case. Mercury, by Hoefler and Frere Jones is also inspired partly by Fleishman, and there both upper and lower case have slightly angled serifs.

So this decision to have upper and lowers case different in Farnham is Christian Schwartz's innovation, it seems.

Edit: I just checked the Jaspert Encyclopedia and the Enschede metal Fleishman there, which I think is the original, has flat serifs, like the DTL digital version.

mili's picture

Yes, William, that's what I meant, but didn't express myself very clearly.

Is this a unique font with a system like that?

muzzer's picture

did you even go to his website??

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Chopper Reid says "Harden the **** up".

Renaissance Man's picture

Muzzer, you should be Muzzled. Why are you always so damned crude, abrasive, and offensive?

Tell's picture

You shouldn't be shocked by offensive behavior from someone who admires Chopper. Not that that excuses it, just gives a level of insight.

mrschwartz's picture

Mili, I did write a bit about this on my site, but looking at it again, I can see how there might still be some question:

"His [Fleischman's] serifs are an odd mix of wedge-shaped and rectangular, as dictated by where the characters needed additional weight. "

I certainly can't credit myself with any kind of innovation here. When I looked at some of the larger sizes of Fleishman's Roman, particularly No. 68, in an excellent little specimen that Enschede put out for one important anniversary or another in the early 20th century (sorry, I can't seem to find the specimen right now, or I'd give you the name), the cap serifs seemed to have some taper, and the lc serifs seemed to be flat. I may have been wrong, but it seemed to work in the early version of Farnham, so I kept it. Flattening out the serifs on the caps made them look weak and bland to me, especially with the tapered thins on E F M N etc.

Incidentally, Sports Illustrated didn't like the mix of serif forms, so they hired me to redraw the lc serifs with the wedge form for their 2005 redesign. I think it looks okay, but i think it's less interesting than the mix, which is probably a good thing - in SI, photography is the main focus.

Miss Tiffany's picture

Mili, I don't know if I'd call it unique or not, but according to Christian it is an inherent part of the style.

William Berkson's picture

>some of the larger sizes

This variation in serif shape may be partly a feature of Dutch type.

I don't know original examples of Van Dijck's work, but in Caslon's, which was influenced by it, there is a variation with optical size.

In smaller sizes the serifs are a bit variable: sometimes straight, sometimes somewhat slanted. In the very large large size caps Caslon gave the caps bracketed serifs, and much higher contrast. These forms are the basis of Caslon 540 and Matthew Carter's Big Caslon. In both these revivals, the both the caps and lower case have bracketed, or curved serifs, as opposed to wedges.

Looking at James Mosley's reprint of Caslon's 1766 specimen book, I only see one example of a lower case serif on the biggest sizes, but it it is straight, and unbracketed, like Christian's Fleishman sample, while the caps have bracketed, high contrast serifs.

In all the sizes of Caslon, the vertical serifs on the CEFGST are wedges or softened wedges.

hrant's picture

Christian, do you mean the huge (and glorious) specimen book of 1918?

hhp

William Berkson's picture

Ok, here's the Caslon Four Lines Pica that I was talking about. Mosley questions whether the lower case is from Caslon's hand, but I don't know why. In the Two Lines Great Primer, which is smaller than this, the lower case seems to be bracketed like the upper case.

In my Caslon revival in production, the bracketing increases at larger optical sizes, but I try to keep a family resemblence between sizes, and between upper and lower case.

mrschwartz's picture

Hrant, no. I worked from a small specimen from 1930. The cover says "Joh. Enschedé en Zonen, A Selection of Types" and the half-title page reads: "A selection of types from six centuries in use at the office of Joh. Enschedé en Zonen at Haarlem, Holland, Printed & Issued in the year MDCCCCXXX". The title page is in Latin. It's a little heavy on van Krimpen's work, considering they had six centuries worth of stuff to show - van Dijck just gets four pages, one of italic and three of fraktur, while Lutetia is shown in a large range of sizes - but it's a great little book and I don't think it's particularly rare or expensive.

Apologies to Mili for hijacking the thread to geek out about specimen books.

hrant's picture

I know of that specimen book, but have had trouble finding it.
Maybe I'm being too cheap. :-)

hhp

muzzer's picture

"Muzzer, you should be Muzzled. Why are you always so damned crude, abrasive, and offensive?"

I dont mean to be! I just tpye as fast as I can because I am quite busy, my eyes are damn near ****, and my big stumpy fingers fight with the keys. So I just say what I think as quick as I can. Plus I thought that we are all grown ups and can handle honesty. And why do you have suchan ugly annoying icon?? I thought this sort of animation was relegated to cheap websites wanted you credit card details.

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Chopper Reid says "Harden the **** up".

muzzer's picture

Christian you did a pretty good job with that!! It it really good to see how far you push the forms away from the original and it still has the essence you know? Those fleshmann 'a' and 'e' are just so bloody lovely. Both of you are talented buggers eh!!

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Chopper Reid says "Harden the **** up".

hrant's picture

> And why do you have suchan ugly annoying icon??

Brings to mind the term Renuisance Man...
(Sorry Steve, I'd been dying to use that! :-)

hhp

muzzer's picture

hahaha!

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Chopper Reid says "Harden the **** up".

Linda Cunningham's picture

Ah, muzzer, thanks for joining the "f**k annoying animated logos" gang. ;-)

mili's picture

Thank you all, this is very educational.

Apologies if I'm asking stupid or obvious questions, I'm still learning about type. A few years ago I wouldn't have even noticed the differences in those serifs. Then I would have only seen the word and its meaning, now ofen the meaning is less interesting than the font, and it's all down to Typophile!

mrschwartz's picture

Hrant, I've seen it recently for $35. Too pricy for you? You may not be able to find van Dijck, Fleischman, Gando, Rosart, Didot L'Ainé, and de la Tour all printed letterpress, in one book, for cheaper...

ebensorkin's picture

Saaay. Where would that have been? You can reply offline via my profile if you want. (Or not). I have found it online for $50 or so.

hrant's picture

$35, we can do. :-)
You used to have my email, but here it is in case: hpapazian_at_gmail_dot_com
Thanks a bunch.

BTW, I thought the Van Dijk fonts were long lost by the 20th century.

hhp

William Berkson's picture

>Van Dijk fonts were long lost

I googled to find the story, and was somewhat shocked that the whole of book Dutch Type is on line at google.books [low res]. According to Mittendorp, only one italic physically survived, and that was the basis of the request to Jan van Krimpen to produce a roman for it, which became Romanée.

However, the Van Dijck specimen sheets exist, and these evidently are the basis of the DTL revival by Gerard Daniels, called Elzevir.

I can't tell much on the low-res image on Google Books, but it seems that the large size font, 'Ascendonica Roman' is like the Caslon Four Lines Pica in having bracketed serifs on caps and unbracketed on lower case--but not consistently. The DTL Elzevir has bracketed serifs on both upper and lower case.

It does seem that Christian is the first one to make this variation in serifs--which seems to hold for large sizes in 17th Century Dutch type--a general rule within a font family.

hrant's picture

> the Van Dijck specimen sheets exist

I'm wondering out-loud here, but could the book
Christian cites have reproduced that somehow?
Or maybe it just shows that one surviving italic.

hhp

kentlew's picture

It does seem that Christian is the first one to make this variation in serifs—which seems to hold for large sizes in 17th Century Dutch type—a general rule within a font family.

Not quite the same thing, but: I'm pretty sure that for Caledonia, Dwiggins originally drew bracketed and slightly cupped and tapered serifs for the capitals, but straight and mostly square-cut flat serifs for lowercase. I think this is preserved in some of the digital versions.

-- K.

hrant's picture

Another drop added to the bucket (more like giant septic tank)
of debt, and I'm the proud owner of the Enschede specimen book
that Christian mentioned! It is quite nice.

To clear up the Van Dijk thing:
There are four fonts show: one italic and three blackletters.

hhp

William Berkson's picture

Looking back at my earlier post, I see I may have not been clear that 'Dutch Type' does include copies of printed specimens of several romans by Van Dijck. The matrices were evidently lost, which is probably why the 20th Century Enschede specimen book doesn't include them.

hrant's picture

> The matrices were evidently lost

As were the fonts and punches. His Armenian though (which
is arguably the best Armenian type ever made) might actually
survive, on San Lazzaro. One day I'll find out.

hhp

charles ellertson's picture

now of[t]en the meaning is less interesting than the font

Another one lost to advertizing.

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