Where can I find Quirinus font family

Kilmc's picture

I'm working on my personal identity and site design and I found Quirnus by Alessandro Butti in the encyclopaedia of typefaces. I can only seem to find it in bold but I'd love to get the regular and italic as well. Does anyone know if these have been digitised and if so where can I buy the family.

Thanks for any help you can give


Indra Kupferschmid's picture

Nick Sherman did a revival under the Cooper Type program last year, but I guess it’s not all finished yet.

Kilmc's picture

Thanks for that. It's quite a beautiful typeface. I hope it gets completed in the near future.

androsans's picture

I'm working in a Type and Printing Museum in Italy. I should have a printed specimen of Butti's Quirinus, since the font was designed for Nebiolo Typefoundry. There were two series: Light and Demibold.

Nick Shinn's picture

What is the difference between Quirinus and Corvinus?

oldnick's picture

What is the difference between Quirinus and Corvinus?

There are quite a few differences, actually. There are a number of subtle differences in the uppercase characters—immediately obvious in the C and M—and the lowercase characters with ascenders in Quirinus are unserifed at the top. Alessandro Butti is generally more playful in his designs than Imre Reiner…or, at least, that is my humble opinion...

I should also note that Ludlow's Eden iis in the same ballpark, as is Stephenson Blake's Coronation, the latter being distinguished by its rather odd, clumsily rounded serifs.

Nick Shinn's picture

Giorgio by Christian Schwartz is a revival of Corvinus.

Indra Kupferschmid's picture

I wouldn’t call Giorgio a revival of Corvinus, more “inspired by”. Maybe take a closer look at the fonts in question to see the differences. There also had been Mondial, Schadow and Sparta plus a bunch of single-style jobbing designs in that vein (eg. Radio, Rundfunk, Patria, Kontrast, Pergamon etc).

Nick Shinn's picture

OK, I generally use the term “revival” to refer to faithful digitizations, rather than fonts which add cuts or styles to a family, change details, or provide variants, which is what Giorgio does.

Given the distinctive nature of Corvinus, I would say that Giogio comes within the bounds of what is generally understood to be a revival, although the term “redesign” would probably be more accurate.

In fact, while many redesigns/revivals meekly tone down the more distinctive features of their model, Giorgio not only incorporates many of the unique details of Corvinus, but also ramps up its fundamental qualities—its squareness and its thin vertical serifs.

Indra Kupferschmid's picture

I still think you haven’t seen the full family, Nick. There is more Corvinus than the black skyline style revived by David Berlow and interpreted by Christian Schwartz. I tried to explain that what you probably mean by “distinctive nature” isn’t so singular to this one typeface only but was a general trend in the 1930s all foundries tried to jump on with their own releases.

FB Skyline, a rather faithful revival of Corvinus black condensed: http://www.fontbureau.com/fonts/Skyline/

A spread of Corvinus: http://www.flickr.com/photos/bogtrykkeren/4277301002/sizes/l/

I wrote a blog post about Corvinus but it is not edited and illustrated yet. In the meantime I uploaded specimens to my flickr. http://www.flickr.com/photos/kupfers/tags/corvinus/

oldnick's picture


Thanks for the specimen book scans. I am tempted to amend my contention that Butti is more playful than Reiner: the cursive versions of Corvinus are a trip. I am experiencing some acute specimen-book envy...

Antonio Cavedoni's picture

Nick, you need to check out Fluidum, also by Alessandro Butti. It’s pretty much a script version of Quirinus.

Nick Shinn's picture

Indra: …what you probably mean by “distinctive nature” isn’t so singular to this one typeface only but was a general trend in the 1930s…

The distinctive quality isn’t a trend, it’s a typeface design.
Someone invented it—fons et origo—and as far as I am aware that was Reiner, with Corvinus.

oldnick's picture


I'm familiar with Fluidum; in fact, I'm working on a font based on the regular weight of the original. AFIK, the only weight currently available digitally is the bold...


which the Linotype website attributes to Aldo Novarese (—insert interrobang here—)

And Nick,

I believe that the general trend to which Indra is referring is high-contrast letterforms, as are found in Broadway or Nubian, for instance. Reiner's unique contribution was to add the treatment to the vertical serifs.

Indra Kupferschmid's picture

Well, you cannot say that Imre Reiner invented high-contrast typeface with thin vertical serifs in general.

What “distinctive quality” of Corvinus do you mean exactly then, Nick? As I said, there have been similar jobbing typefaces before the release of Corvinus in 1934, eg. Radio and Rundfunk by Berthold, Meridian by Klingspor, Kontrast by Weber, Eden by Ludlow, and several later, like Bayer-Type from Berthold, Mondial by Stempel, Candida by Ludwig & Mayer, Schadow by Weber, Patria from Schriftguss AG, Die Schlanke by Ludwig & Mayer, Pergamon by Ludwig Wagner, Quirinus, or Sparta from Genzsch & Heyse.

However, Corvinus was more extensive and indeed more widely known than the others, especially outside of Germany.

Nick Shinn's picture

I’m not familiar with all those faces, Indra.

I don’t believe that trends define typefaces, but vice versa.
Trends are critical rationalizations of properties that are common to a sequence of type designs identified by a critic, historian, or cultural commentator. Even if the critic recognizes a commonality which has not previously been articulated, it was nonetheless first created in an individual type design, and named subsequently.
A typeface is a collection of related design themes which have been realized with synergy—the whole concept is greater than the sum of the parts, it’s an emergent quality.

Corvinus is a type which combines:
- high contrast
- vertical stress
- squarish rounds
- vertical hairline serifs on blunt-ended terminals of curved strokes

Imre Reiner found a way to fuse those together into a unique design.

If Eden is Corvinus without the vertical thin serifs, then the question is: which came first?
Because it looks like one is an adaptation of the other, with or without those serifs.
(Although they might have occured independently, but how would one know?)

Giorgio has it both ways, with alternates.

…you cannot say that Imre Reiner invented high-contrast typeface with thin vertical serifs in general.

With Nick (Curtis), I could say that he invented this:

And if another designer used that device in a squarish didone, then it would be a copy/revival/redesign of Corvinus.

Indra Kupferschmid's picture

Oh! Good you showed the image. I overlooked that you said vertical, even repeated it but had normal, horizontal serifs infront of my mental eye.

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