Veneziana Czech version of Goudy Oldstyle?


I ran across typeface called Veneziana, which is very similar if not identical to Goudy Oldstyle. The source states that it was published by the Czech foundry http://Grafotechna. The source does not list a designer. Is Veneziana a licensed in 1920 version for the Czech market? http://Here is another reference.


Grafotechna came into existence in 1951. Goudy Oldstyle was designed in 1915 but the family wasn't fully complete until after 1918.

I strongly suspect Veneziana was not licensed from ATF for two reasons: 1) it isn't named Goudy Oldstyle, and 2) it may have fallen under the restrictions of one or more of the several laws passed by the US during that era (1948-53) in the effort to control export of US goods or aid (which may have included IP licensing) to Communist countries. Luc Devroye writes that the foundry was operated by the state so that may have had some bearing on any restrictions.

Thanks George for the provenance. Image source is Jaspert's Type Encylopedia 1970. This is one of the few specimens where Jaspert failed to provide an explanation.

Yes Donshottype, that is where I got the scan. So we can at the moment say that Veneziana is a ripoff?

Slévárna písem, Česká akciová společnost v Praze made Veneziana as Goudy work (before 2nd WW)

Would you be kind as to elaborate?

According to Google Translate, Jan said:

"Foundry fonts, Czech joint stock company in Prague made Veneziana as Goudy work (before 2nd WW)"

Javier, I think that regardless of who actually cast the font you are safe in saying it is a ripoff.

Typograficka pisma latinkova by Oldrich Hlavsa and Frantisek Sedlacek [Praha 1957]
pages 90-91 specimens of roman and italic, "Veneziana - F. W. Goudy, Grafotechna"
and info:
Goudy W. Frederic (1865 – 1947), americký písmař, písmolijec a tiskař. Nakreslil a vydal přes jedno sto druhů písem, z nichž u nás je nejznámější Goudy Old Style, které vydala Slévárna písem pod Jménem Veneziana. ( )
Year 1920 is most probably false, as these specimen books were printed in fifties/sixties by Grafotechna.

This is one of the few specimens where Jaspert failed to provide an explanation.

Yes, but unfortunately many ‘explanations’ in the Encyclopaedia of Typefaces are inaccurate. Also, research in this field would have been so much easier today if the authors of the Encyclopaedia would have mentioned the sources on which they based their entries. 1920 can be anything. A typo, a guess, maybe even a date from specimen from a Czech foundry that was a predecessor of Grafotechna and eventually released the same typeface under another name in 1920. I presume that there were several foundries in the regions that became Czecho-Slowakia after WWII before all typefounding activities in the Czech republic were united in Grafotechna.

Personally, I expect Venezia to be a rip-off of Goudy Old Style. The fact that sometimes the original designer is referred to is not necessarily proof of any license agreement. The rip-offs in the catalogues of many phototypesetting and digital typesetting system manufacturers from the 1970s and 1980s (Alphatype, Autologic, Bitstream, Compugraphic, Scangraphic, AM Varityper, just to name a few) also often refer to the original designers and even to the original names of the typefaces, although neither the designers nor the foundries which first issued the typefaces ever saw any money.

Makes one wonder if the font making business could benefit from something like the system used in the music business, that whenever a song is broadcast on air, or in a store, mall etc. the broadcaster would have to make a payment to an agency that would make payments to creators/owners based on usage. I have no idea how this would work in practice.