Interim release of Museum work-in-progress (my version of Centaur)

raph's picture

Greetings Typophiles, and Stefan Seifert in particular,

As you know, I've been playing with Centaur for some years now. I'm in love with the original metal version in all its optically scaled splendor. I consider the digital version available from Monotype to be inferior in quality, especially when compared with the intense beauty of the original. I've had discussions on and off with the folks at Monotype, but ultimately their business interests and my primarily scholarly interests in the font do not match well.

I have fairly little time these days to draw letters, so, at the rate I'm going, it would be years before my Centaur designs would be complete enough to make a real font release. Yet, I feel it would be a shame for people not to have some access to the work I've done.

Thus, I have decided to make a release of the incomplete work in progress. It consists of four optically scaled variants. In order of increasing robustness, those include Monotype Centaur 60pt, Monotype Centaur 14pt, Monotype Bible Centaur 18pt, and Foundry Centaur 14pt. Most variants contain most of a-z, some contain a fairly complete A-Z as well, the Bible version contains 0-9, and there is very minimal punctuation.

I am calling this release "Museum". I cannot legally call it Centaur, even though that is its true name, because of trademark law. As it turns out, "Museum" is the original name chosen by Bruce Rogers, so there is some historical justification.

Here is the release, including all FontForge and Spiro files.

I hope that Typophiles enjoy these fonts and even manage to get some use from them. Since they are released under OFL, the door is open for someone else to come along and collaborate by filling out the glyph range. Last but not least, people may enjoy opening the Spiro drawings and seeing the logic behind the outlines.

Other previous threads relevant to this one:

Bible Centaur
What to do with my Centaur?
Centaur Fonts

hrant's picture

Raph, very generous of you. Especially since, as you must know, taking
some years to finish a self-started font is actually not uncommon. :-)

A couple of things:
1) So your four cuts are individual revivals of those four
existing fonts? As in no interpolation? Do they harmonize?
2) Museum is a lousy name, sorry. Tying in with
the mythical flavor of Centaur, what about Muse?


abattis's picture

Regarding the name, I think "Museum" is okay - there's "It belongs in a museum!" fun to be had in the studio ;-)

Couple of other ideas are Chiron and Lapith:

Chiron was "the superlative centaur" who in _Faust_ imparts "important lessons in [Faust's] search for complete understanding." -

"Lapithes and Centaurus were said to be twin sons of the god Apollo and the nymph Stilbe" -

And a hideous Clerks 2 reference springs to mind: Kellyson.

Dan Gayle's picture

Finally a digital Centaur Bible. Thanks Raph!

fontplayer's picture

Thank you for this. I know someone who loves this font in his books.

akma's picture

Thank you, Raph; these are lovely, and it's very generous of you to turn them loose.

Eyedunno's picture

This is the second thread I'm resurrecting here, but I love this font, and I really hope to see a full version of Museum (or at least as full as is possible).

In the meantime, I've made a FrankenCentaur of my own using the letters from Museum Foundry, as much punctuation as I could get out of Museum Fourteen, the figures from Museum Bible, and everything else from a combination of Museum Bible and Centaur MT (with glyphs from the latter increased 10 em points in FontForge). It's my first time messing with the innards of a font, but I'm pretty happy with the results.

Here's a sample that I typed up from the only book I own in Centaur (that I'm aware of anyway), Shambhala Centaur Editions' Wild Ways - Zen Poems of Ikkyuu:

The top image is using the custom Centaur, the middle image is with Centaur MT, and the bottom image is a detail of the first image, chosen because the fi lig is from Bible Centaur, while the ff lig is from the increased-weight Centaur MT.

Dan Gayle's picture

everything else from a combination of Museum Bible and Centaur MT
Be careful with that. Monotype might not like you distributing their "proprietary" typeface, even if only a tiny part.

But your sample shows how Raph's Centaur would hold up in poor printing conditions, as the screen rendering that you have is as bad or worse as any poorly printed page.

Eyedunno's picture

Oh, I won't be distributing it. I was just playing with adding completeness to the font, even if by means of jury-rigging.

James Arboghast's picture

@Hrant: Museum is a lousy name, sorry. Tying in with
the mythical flavor of Centaur, what about Muse?


Why is Museum a lousy name Hrant?

j a m e s

Stefan Seifert's picture

Hi Eyedunno,

have you checked this one?:

This is from a recently printed book by Stamperia Valdonega in Centaur VAL (digital version from hotmetal MT)
Pictures are very large so better to download them on your computer before viewing if possible.

Love Centaur, too


hrant's picture

James, dunno - it just seems very... flat.


ebensorkin's picture

I agree with Hrant. It lacks a certain life or poetry because it sounds like it dead & over with. Museo get around taht problem as does Muse. I have to admit I don't like Centaur. But I don't think the name is the key issue. Instead, Ralph, thanks for your gesture!

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