Dimitri Kayiambakis's picture

Anybody who knows a good version of Poliphilus? I bought it some time ago but was disappointed to find out it looks traced and badly spaced. Also, the italic that is supposed to go with it – Blado has problems in my opinion. Any thoughts?

pattyfab's picture

I have the Monotype versions of Poliphilus (and Blado). It's a quirky font but does the trick IMHO. I'm not aware of another version.

dtw's picture

I've got the same version and echo what Patty said. It looks a little distressed, but is meant to...
Ever since I chose to block pop-ups, my toaster's stopped working.

Stephen Coles's picture

As an alternative with a more complete family, you might enjoy MVB Celestia Antiqua. Can you describe what you mean by "traced"?

joeclark's picture

Poliphilus is like Bembo: It cries like a sensitive little boy at summer camp when it isn’t printed in letterpress from original metal cuts. I would personally use a typeface designed in the last 10 years instead.

Also: G-d, I hate Bembo’s long-tailed R.

Joe Clark

Stephen Coles's picture

Joe - You'll be pleased to hear Robin made the revised digitization, Bembo Book, with an alternate R.

Dimitri Kayiambakis's picture

Traced meaning looks like scanned and outlined in illustrator.

Nick Shinn's picture

Traced meaning a hand-drawn outline made on tracing (semi-transparent) paper, over a photographic enlargement.
That was presumably how Poliphilus was originally "designed".

Dimitri Kayiambakis's picture

Yes, probably right. The letters just reminded me of the results I often got working with Adobe Streamline and a scanner before everything was digital. Re-drawing logos for example.

billtroop's picture

The design goal for Poliphilus, as everyone here should know as the story is told in Talley of Types, was to provide a type so that you could set a page of Aldus's original and have it be indistinguishable from the original. This was considered to be an error soon after, and Bembo was the result. There is a good Scangraphic version, but it may have a different name. That will probably have fitting by Albert-Jan Pool or Volker Kuester - - if it does, it would be worth looking at even for that.

However, much though I hate to agree with Joe Clark about anything, he is absolutely spot-on in his comment. Bembo and Poliphilus look pathetic unless printed letterpress. Because our expectations of Poliphilus are lower, I have a feeling that the digital version may not be quite so disappointing.

Bembo Book was designed after the Monotype 'C' photomaster, which was optimized for 13 points - - arguably not the best approach.

But seriously, if you want to use Bembo - - go to a letterpress printer! It may be cheaper than you think!

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