How comfortable is Aldus?

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James J Eden's picture
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Joined: 5 Mar 2006 - 9:26am
How comfortable is Aldus?
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Hello.

I'm in the middle of designing a book on the roots of creativity and thinking of setting it in Aldus. The character and the feel is good but the whole thing seems a little tight. Of course it's less efficient than setting in Bembo for example but the book isn't really heavy, like a novel, it's more illustrative. I may have to track it out a little to get a better flow. Yes I've looked at Palatino light but I hate it.

Anyone had experience in using vast amounts of Aldus?

Thanks, James.

Alessandro Segalini's picture
Joined: 5 Oct 2005 - 5:14pm
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What about MT Dante ?

George Horton's picture
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Joined: 20 Sep 2005 - 6:22pm
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I think that taut, textured look is what Aldus is for; it's much my favourite Zapf type, remarkably successful, unusual and subtle, and I recently read a whole Divine Comedy of it with pleasure. But MT Dante is more cheerful and civilised, if that's what you'd prefer.

William Berkson's picture
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Joined: 26 Feb 2003 - 11:00am
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Zapf & Kobayashi reworked Aldus for the new Aldus Nova family. You might check with Linotype on whether they refined the weight and spacing, as this might meet your needs.

James J Eden's picture
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Joined: 5 Mar 2006 - 9:26am
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You're right, Dante's a beautiful typeface but it's just too Italian for this purpose. The craft and ruthelss lookng cut in Aldus seems appropriate. So if it's easy enough to read like you said, I might stick.

Thanks guys.

James J Eden's picture
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Joined: 5 Mar 2006 - 9:26am
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Yeah thanks William. They've opened it some and given it a shave... but as a result they've cut the ascenders! I can't seem to win on this one.

George Horton's picture
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Joined: 20 Sep 2005 - 6:22pm
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I agree that the short ascenders seem a disaster - can you not just lengthen them yourself? Presumably Aldus Nova's proportions had to match Palatino Nova's.

William Berkson's picture
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Joined: 26 Feb 2003 - 11:00am
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I haven't looked this stuff over, but before you conclude that the short ascenders are bad, actually try them at the intended size. Seeing stuff on screen can be very misleading as to how it will work at small size.

George Horton's picture
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Joined: 20 Sep 2005 - 6:22pm
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Fair enough, but the old ascenders were such an important part of the face, nicely counteracting the characteristic vulgarity of the Zapf look. Perhaps I'm not a suitable judge, not being a fan of his own favourite, Optima. And Aldus Nova does seem better made than its predecessor in all other respects, really superbly shiny and convincing.

James J Eden's picture
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Joined: 5 Mar 2006 - 9:26am
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mmm... seems sensible to match the Aldus — Palatino proportions for the Nova range doesn't it. But I'm looking to use my Palatino for titling. As well as giving a nod to authenticity it offers a subtle difference against the text without being a world apart or stepping too close, I like the differences between the two.
Granted, Palatino Nova looks nice in print, but I think the way they are brought closer together with Nova wouldn't work for me.
As for lengthening the ascenders myself... it's a time issue, the 'f' would be especially difficult.

Am I arguing myself into a corner here.

Nick Shinn's picture
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Joined: 8 Jul 2003 - 11:00am
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I once (1991) used a lot of digital Aldus, and re-kerned it in Quark.
I found that combinations such as s-a and p-o, etc., needed opening up.
That relieved the tightness which you spoke of.
The problem was that the bowls were too narrow and squarish to be fitted so tight.
Palatino was the corporate face I had to work with. Aldus was my cheat for text, I used Palatino for Bold, and display. If I were doing the same job now, and had free rein, I would use a contemporary face. Seria, perhaps, has a similar cut and proportion.

George Horton's picture
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Joined: 20 Sep 2005 - 6:22pm
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Well, if one's allowed to use Seria, it's surely one of the greatest types of all.

James J Eden's picture
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Joined: 5 Mar 2006 - 9:26am
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The thought had crossed my mind to use the Palatino for bold text... but doesn't it look silly? I haven't tried it.
Yeah Seria is good, there's characteristics in Joanna that drew me in that direction previously, but it's not 'raw'(?) enough.
I'll try opening those pairs Nick, good call.

p.s. Is my monument falling over?

Nick Curtis's picture
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Joined: 21 Apr 2005 - 8:16am
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p.s. Is my monument falling over?

Yes and no; entasis is an odd thing...

Hrant H Papazian's picture
Joined: 3 May 2000 - 11:00am
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> they’ve cut the ascenders

That seems unwise. Especially since Aldus is supposed to sit in contrast to Palatino (book face versus more large-text face). But Kobayashi is a very very good type designer, so I should probably defer...

hhp

George Horton's picture
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Joined: 20 Sep 2005 - 6:22pm
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Clifford is astonishingly good, isn't it? It's a pity that Updike never got to see it.

Nick Shinn's picture
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Joined: 8 Jul 2003 - 11:00am
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Kobayashi is a very very good type designer

Let's hope he has been working on some original faces which Linotype will release soon.
Dan?

Hrant H Papazian's picture
Joined: 3 May 2000 - 11:00am
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Have you seen Palatino Sans? Out of this world.

hhp

Nick Shinn's picture
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Joined: 8 Jul 2003 - 11:00am
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Yes, I've seen Palatino Sans, and props to HZ.
But Akira hasn't released an original typeface since 2000.
Prior to that, he had a slew.

Hrant H Papazian's picture
Joined: 3 May 2000 - 11:00am
+1

> props to HZ.

I actually tend to suspect that Palatino Sans is more Kobayashi than Zapf. There's a certain refined bravado, an almost samurai-like disciplined audacity that I personally don't associate with Zapf. But it could be my imagination.

hhp

Nick Shinn's picture
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Joined: 8 Jul 2003 - 11:00am
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more Kobayashi than Zapf

With the exception of Clifford and Acanthus (which are nonetheless pretty funky interpretations), Akira's faces are all highly original "what if.." conceptions, and it's that which I miss during these, his Linotype years. But hey, it's pretty cool to have a high-profile steady job and work with the greats, so I can't knock it too much!

George Horton's picture
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Joined: 20 Sep 2005 - 6:22pm
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an almost samurai-like disciplined audacity
I remember from an interview on typeradio Kobayashi saying he had no hobbies; his life was consecrated entirely to type design. He also said that C was a very significant letter. This is not a man who messes around.

Andreas Stiftung's picture
Joined: 6 Apr 2017 - 12:10pm
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The 'Nova' fonts are a disaster.

Andreas Stiftung's picture
Joined: 6 Apr 2017 - 12:10pm
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Tight? Aldus? Hardly! it's quite loose to my eyes.

Andreas Stiftung's picture
Joined: 6 Apr 2017 - 12:10pm
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The original Palatino (1950) and Aldus have similar heights and taller ascenders than the more recent version of Palatino or Aldus Nova. Idiotic to shorten them!