Wednesday, January 18, 2017

What typefaces are most similar to Garamond?

This query came via email

What typefaces are most similar to Garamond?

Some would be typefaces frequently classified as Oldstyle.
Caslon, Bembo, Berkeley, Berling, Galliard, Goudy, Times, Minion, Palatino, Venetian, Weiss.


These all have similarities, letters are open with serifs and marked contrast between thick and thin strokes.
Many other typefaces exist to explore in the oldstyle classification. It can be hard to choose.
Garamond is a favorite typeface to work with.

More about Oldstyle

Oldstyle typefaces tend to have a warm, graceful appearance. Styled after classic Roman inscriptions, their characteristics developed out of the traditional hand lettering form of scribes printing with a broad tipped pen held at an angled.


Moveable type developed mid 1400, the first letterforms resembled what was familiar the traditional hand lettering form. Very big books were what were printed, and predominantly these were books read out loud. The printed books typefaces had to be readable.

Oldstyle typeface design objective was for setting readable, lengthy bodies of text. This design characteristic of oldstyles make them so the the typography is transparent to the reader. The character forms don’t interrupt the communication, they are “invisible” and don’t trip the eye when reading.

Oldstyle typefaces have serifs. Upon close examination of the lowercase serifs you see slant and serifs connect to the main strokes with a curve. This is “bracketed”.

The strokes made a gentle transition from thick to thin, like the broad tipped pen made. Looking at the e, o, the bowl and counter of the p and d, note the thinnest parts of these rounded forms. When thinnest parts are connected by a diagonal line, this angled line is called the stress, oldsyle typefaces have a diagonal stress.

old style lowercase e and o with diagonal stress line through thin parts of letter strokes








Oldstyle typeface classification is a good choice when setting continuous blocks, pages of set type that people can read.





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