Dictionary style, thoughts?

katy_bug's picture

Making a contact card for a doula referral network I am a part of. Since people always ask, I thought about putting the definition of doula on one side and the contact info on the other.

I went with a typewriter font since I am going for dictionary style. Thoughts?

riccard0's picture

Good idea, but dictionaries don’t usually use typewriter-style typefaces.

nina's picture

Agreed. Also, your justified setting (on a relatively narrow column) will need more massaging to work/read comfortably; most of your wordspaces feel too wide, which feels awkward («unique   childbirth   experience»)

katy_bug's picture

What typeface would you recommend? Yes, I need to work on the word spacing.

JamesM's picture

A small detail, but I notice you have it all lower case but end with a period. My dictionaries either write their definitions as sentences (cap and period) or as phrases (all l.c. and no period).

riccard0's picture

Some suggestions here:

katy_bug's picture

I have been looking through some old books and found this dictionary of plant terms. I like the font. I need some ID help on this one. I can't quite put my finger on it.

JamesT's picture

It reminds me of Kepler although the italics state otherwise.

Bendy's picture

That non-kerning 'f' makes me thing it's an old Monotype font, which may not have been digitised. Still it's definitely worth posting in the Type ID forum.

kentlew's picture

Monotype could handle kerning f’s, Ben; it’s Linotype that could not. (Although, that doesn’t mean that Mono always cut kerning f's. Often they did not. But that wasn’t a mechanical limitation.)

This is most likely one of the relatively generic Old Styles, which usually went by just a number. Both manufacturers had plenty of similar faces in the genre.

I’d have to pull out my old catalog to identify which one. But it probably doesn’t matter, because most have not been digitized.

A few digitizations in the general category:


The roman and bold would not necessarily have been part of the same family. The Old Styles generally date from a period before our modern concept of type family had fully emerged.

Bendy's picture

Hah, I always get those muddled! Back to the textbooks! Thanks Kent.

Wow, MT Old Style really does have drastically different bolds.

kentlew's picture

It helps to have seen the two different machines in operation to understand what’s possible and distinct between the two. But it’s mostly just historical trivia now.

Often the bolds were pulled in from other designs altogether. Sometimes they would be renamed and married together (what we Americans might call “a shotgun wedding” ;-)

Or compositors would just make their own combinations as the situation required. Often an Old Style was paired with an Antique or Ionic/Clarendon for emphasis, since these styles were naturally bold.

The combo in the posted example seems to be a little bit more closely related (but only a little).

As I said, our modern notion of “family” was only just taking shape at the turn of the 20th century and was by no means pervasive.

Bendy's picture

Well I'm about to study my MA in Typeface Design so I'm sure I'll get properly acquainted with all the historical trivia; somehow it feels important to have at least a ballpark understanding of these things. Thanks for starting me off! :)

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