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Robin Parmar

Looking for a libre Venetian

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Robin Parmar

I am compiling a list of libre (open and free) typefaces, in historical and stylistic categories. The aim is to provide a minimal set of tools for first-year design students. I insist on libre faces to ensure a level playing field. This discourages visits to those nasty "1001 typeface" websites.

I notice that I have no Venetian faces, something that would represent the Italian humanists, specifically Nicolas Jenson. The touchstone here would be Bruce Rogers' Centaur, but any reasonable rendering of Venetian hands would do.

Advice and recommendations are welcome!

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Abraham Lee
25 minutes ago, Robin Parmar said:

I am compiling a list of libre (open and free) typefaces, in historical and stylistic categories. The aim is to provide a minimal set of tools for first-year design students. I insist on libre faces to ensure a level playing field. This discourages visits to those nasty "1001 typeface" websites.

I notice that I have no Venetian faces, something that would represent the Italian humanists, specifically Nicolas Jenson. The touchstone here would be Bruce Rogers' Centaur, but any reasonable rendering of Venetian hands would do.

Advice and recommendations are welcome!

A good starting point for a Centaur-like face is Coelacanth, which comes in a plethora of weights and optical sizes, but still lacks italics (apparently in the works, but it's said that for a while now.

https://fontlibrary.org/en/font/coelacanth

I can't tell if this is the original author (Ben Whitmore), but there appears to be some recent development on it here: https://github.com/Fuzzypeg/Coelacanth

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Robin Parmar

That looks perfect for my needs. Thanks so much for such a prompt reply.

As for italics, they are effectively a different face. Bringhurst states that though the roman in Centaur was drawn by Bruce Rogers from Jenson, the italic was drawn by Frederic Warde from Ludovico degli Arrighi. So it's more a matter of finding social pairs of faces, though the refinement of the two in parallel is no doubt part of what makes Centaur so beautiful.

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Robin Parmar

Currently Coelacanth is the only example of a Venetian in my libre collection. If anyone has other suggestions, they are also most welcome.

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Robin Parmar

Yes, the matter of definitions!

Preferably, for pedagogical purposes, it would be best for a Venetian typeface to be designed around a hand from the time period in question. Stylistically, I suppose they would be roman letterforms, though calligraphic, flowing, and open. Nonetheless, I am liking Linden Hill.

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