First draft of Caslon(esque) typeface; Cardinal

Tomi from Suomi's picture


This evening I had a look at some old logos I've made, and came across a bird I've made to a friend of mine. It's fleur de lis turned into a bird; a cardinal. I wanted to use that as a fleuron, so I copied it to FontLab, and started buggering about. Soon it started to have very Caslon-like look, so I went with that.

Here is what I have this far:

And here's a pdf.

Lower case 'g is a bit dark, but otherwise it's not too bad in my opinion.

Cardinale1.pdf29.95 KB
rosmedia's picture


I like the wobbly " g "
it is like it is almost falling sidewides... I like that. wild!

however if you ask me (but you won't) then I think the " r " is a little to fat/bold up to the right.

how about making it a little slimmer like the top left of the " a "

Tomi from Suomi's picture

Thanks, I like the form of 'g' as well, it's just a bit dark at he bottom loop. That's an easy fix. And 'r is a bit unwieldly. I'll fix that one as well.

quadibloc's picture

I like the face, although it doesn't remind me too much of Caslon. The lower case is closer to Garamond... and the upper case isn't even old style!

Tomi from Suomi's picture

Well, I did say Caslon(esgue). I've thaught that Caslon is in fact a Transitional Style (even though it is a bit of an odd man out with the rest). Here is full upper- and lower case.

Stefan Seifert's picture

I like your specimen!

Except for the first one maybe where the 3 points are.
Here I think to be classic should be half a blank before it.


Very nice typeface, too

Tomi from Suomi's picture

Thank you, Stefan-

This is very much work in progress; ellipsis is not finished yet, same with many other characters. I've posted italics as well. What do you think of those?

Stefan Seifert's picture

I have seen from another thread that you also work on Fournier.
Great choice!!!

I don’t find the Italic. Where is it?


Tomi from Suomi's picture

Hi, Stefan-

Italics are under way. You can see them in this same Serif critique, under 'Cardinale'.

And yes, that Fourier: I was commissioned to make a bold version of the typeface, and I made that. While doing that I noticed the state of MT Fournier; it was horrendous! Points were all over the place, and beziers pointing everywhere. I started thinking about making a revival of Fournier then.

But then I went to my library, and found a facsimile of Fournier's Modéles des Characteres de l'Imprimerie. It's a copy number 320 of 600 from the Printing Library of the Saint Bride Institute from 1965 with an introduction by James Mosley.

There is no bold variant there. It is a single font with sizes from larger than Gros Canon to Nonparelle with italics and small capitals and some special cuts and a huge amount of ornaments and borders.

Adobe seems to be the only seller of Monotype original. This should be an interesting project with pretty steep learning curve.

This will take a while, though :·)

Stefan Seifert's picture

Hi Tomi,

sure is, that Fournier is one of the most beautiful typefaces all over the history of printing. Not casualy early Bodoni works were (successfully) inspired by it.
Italic is particularly charming and unbeaten in my eyes.
And Monotype versions in the past have been weak, indeed.
I also found beautiful specimen of Fournier type in the university library at Hamburg, Germany,
though I believe that were reprinted ones.
Go on with Fournier!
You should also look for Fournier interpretations on this site. I belive Raph Levian did one, but I am not quite sure about. But if he did it will sure be worth looking for it.


Tomi from Suomi's picture

I agree that Fournier today is not what it should be, and I'll see what I can do about it. It will take time.

Bendy's picture

Whoah! Sorry I missed this one! Great stuff, Tomi :)
Only a few little comments for the mo. Hopefully I'll call back later ithis week.
D looks a bit light on the right, and perhaps a bit too oval. I think O, o and Q could be somewhat darker on the heavies.
R is quite skinny, especially in the middle.
b looks a bit unresolved on its bottom spur. I'm afraid it'll look blobby in small settings.
I'd make the foot serifs on p and q longer I think. And probably r as well. r could be wider?
Join of u looks high.
y looks a bit sloped.
Think the corners on z should be slightly rounded.
The uppercase looks a bit light compared to the lowercase and I suspect the serifs would look nice a few units thicker as well as perhaps the hairlines.
I like the fleuron.
I know you're a fan of flipped quote marks but do you think they fit this font?

Is this quite a display sort of font?

Tomi from Suomi's picture


This is still work in progress, but I must say you have many good points. I'll go through your points, an probably keep flipped quotes. But let see what happens. Happy to get your comments.

Syndicate content Syndicate content