What is this font with "divits"?

I input this image (a crude tracing from a poor scan of the Typography 21 book cover) into the type identifier on MyFonts.com and it told me “Bell Centennial”, however, it’s not quite the same. The “divit” thingies (for lack of a better term) really make it unique. Bell Centennial has these on the numbers, but most of its letters are just plain block like a Helvetica. The “divits” are very noticeable on the “E” and every other letter, yet Bell Centennial does not contain these on the standard weight of the font…the heavy black version of the font does though…but I’m looking for a normal and bold weight, not black. Can anyone help?


Those things are called “traps”, and it’s true that only the darker weight of Bell Centennial has them so pronounced. And Carter would never have forgotten to put one in the cusp of the “6”! And there’s also one missing from the top of the “4”. It might be Retina, but TFJ would also not have made such big mistakes.

If/when you find out, please do let me know — I’d appreciate it.


The 4 and 6 very well could have those traps. I traced a small scan as best I could see. I can’t seem to find “Retina”, do you know where? I assume Carter/TFJ would be the creator of the font?

HTF Retina at Hoefler’s site. It’s by TFJ (Tobias Frere-Jones).

There is another font with obvious traps: Christian Schwartz’s
Amplitude — soon to be released by Font Bureau.

Huh, I hadn’t seen a good sample of Amplitude.

I’m not stodgy enough to scoff at the use of traps in a decorative manner (FF Bradlo did it a while aback, and I can dig it), but I do mind the size inconsistencies: like the “A” having deeper cuts than the “M”, and the ones on the “Z” having overly large mouths. I think that’s distracting. Christian (who I think is a talented designer) doesn’t seem to frequent Typophile, so feel free to tell him I said so.  :-)


There will be an article at Typographica (where
he does frequent) about his new font site soon.
You can personally rip into him there. ;)

Said article is up.