There's just been a lot of type terms I've never really knew how to pronounce because they're just not words you hear everyday. Wondering if anyone could help me or at least say how you pronounce them

Haas (hahss? ahss?)
Akzidenz Grotesk (always said ack-zee-dens gro-tesk, but I've heard a type director say a weird pronunciation along the lines of ack-zee-den grawt. Possible abbreviation?)
Lubalin (loo-buh-lin?)
Bodoni (bo-doe-knee or bo-doe-nai? I've heard both)
Arial (ah-ree-AL or like aerial? also heard both)

PublishingMojo's picture

I believe it's loo-BAH-lin.
Bodoni rhymes with baloney.
And Peignot is pain-YOE.

Karl Stange's picture

You might find this FAQ useful:

timd's picture

Akzidenz Grotesk – Ak Grot, which might be what Grawt was.


George Thomas's picture

Speaking of pronunciations, we had a customer call from New Orleans once and ask if we had the typeface "Arostel".

Arostel? Never heard of it. He didn't have anything with the name on it in front of him; it was given to him verbally. After several minutes on the phone with him, he was able to more or less describe it to us, and we finally figured it out. Eurostile.

We all had a good laugh about that one.

Joshua Langman's picture

Pronounciation is a very nice eggcorn — well done.

I believe: aerial is fine. Trinité is tri-ni-TAY — note the accent mark. Or, depending how much you want to anglicize is, tree-nee-tay etc.

Haas is just hahss.

AHK-zi-denz gro-TESK, as far as I know.

Definitely bo-DO-nee.

Joshua Langman's picture

Actually, can I submit a few?

What about Oldřich Menhart?

Zuzana Líčko? (This is LITCH-ko, right?)

Jovica Veljovic (ho-VEE-ka vel-HO-vic? I'm guessing?)

Anyone want to add some more?

cerulean's picture

My mother has been known to habitually misread Belwe (bellway) as Bewle (byool).

eliason's picture

What about type size names:
long primer,
I seem to remember hearing that those which come from French are not usually pronounced like the French in English usage.

After I mispronounced it in a TypeCon talk, Matthew Carter came up to inform me (with characteristic politesse) that the middle name of Theodore Low DeVinne rhymes with "cow," not "toe."

hrant's picture

Probably because AFAIK Carter idolizes DeVinne. Which is entirely understandable!


Igor Freiberger's picture

Lubalin > loo-BAH-lin (open a)
Bodoni > boh-DOH-nee (closed o)
Arial > ah-ree-AL or EH-ree-al
nonpareil > non-pah-RAY (open e)
brevier > breh-vee-EH (closed e)
bourgeois > boor-GWAH (open a)
primer > pree-MEH (closed e)
pica > PAEE-kah (open a)
Trinité > tree-nee-TEH (closed e)
Peignot > pehn-OH (closed o)
Oldřich > old-REE-eek (weak r, short ee)
Líčko? > LEE-tch-koh (č = tch)
Veljovic > feh-lee-OH-fee-tch (j = short ee)

pealwah's picture

Thanks Igor! And everyone else who helped. Mispronunciation of type terms is one of my biggest fears.

pealwah's picture

Good way to explain how Lubalin is pronounced?

Joshua Langman's picture

Thank you, Igor.

eat it and die young's picture

Herb had a slide he would always show:

He didn't care if people pronounced it:

But it was wrong.

eliason's picture

Peignot > pehn-OH (closed o)

I think Victor's "pain-YOE" is closer on that one.

hrant's picture

Peignot is a tricky one. The "i" seems like it should be audible, but from what I know it is in fact something like "peh-NYO".

BTW don't pronounce Trinité with a "y" sound at the end - that's like cowboy talk.


Nick Shinn's picture

I’ve come across some interesting pronunciation for the sizes, such as “Numpree”, “Primmer” and “Burgess”, which is something like the way I would have expected English tradesmen to mangle the Frenchy lingo in days of yore.

Now, would the amateur gentlemen, they of the private presses, have followed suit?

Minion like onion, not Min-ee-on.

kentlew's picture

After I mispronounced it in a TypeCon talk, Matthew Carter came up to inform me (with characteristic politesse)

After a talk in which I referred to Rudolph Růžička using my best attempt at a Czech pronunciation (Roo-zhee-tchka), Matthew similarly pointed out to me that after coming to the States, he was simply known as “Roozika” by all his friends over here.

Igor Freiberger's picture

Peignot with IPA: pɛˈɲo

BTW, how to pronounce Hrant?

ˈigɔɹ ˈfʁaɪbɛʁɡɐ

hrant's picture

I don't know IPA, so it would be something like "huh-rahnt" (we don't inflect syllables in names, or actually anywhere unless it's emphasized à la Italics... for which we have a floating mark*... which is why we don't need Italics nearly as badly as you guys :-). And please don't trill the "r" even if that makes it sound more authentically ethnic. :-)

* U+055B


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