(x) Old Style Figures {gang}

Can anyone recommend a font with Old Style Figures as part of the regular weight? Eg: Goudy.

And why do fonts with OSF always put them together with the Small Caps or something? Anyone know why?

Also what other sans serif font, aside from The Sans comes with OSF?



> why do fonts with OSF always put them together with the Small Caps or something?

Not always, but usually, yes; because the “default” style of a font generally has to appeal to the lowest common denominator, and the LCD is comfy with the numerals lining up tidily. Since you’re not there to explain to each user why they should prefer OS figs, you eventually end up with lower sales…


Quixotte — Check the “Formatting Codes” link on
the left. The Typohile Forums use a different
formatting scheme than standard HTML functions,
but the <a href=”” thing works too.

Hmm, I was pretty sure that the office edition comes with lining numerals. Will check again more carefully this time.

Btw does anyone else think that signing off as hhp makes him look like he has a big nose and is perpetually sticking out his tongue? :-P

Oh, which other fonts comes with these hybrid numerals? I read on daidala that loire is one such (font). Now that I notice the hybridness of it, I must say that they are really brilliant.

Well, I *do* have a big nose, and metaphorically at least my tongue is indeed always sticking out at something…

Fenway (by Carter) also has hybrids. And one of the numeral styles in FF Atma is hybrid. Lastly, the oldest font I know with such nums is ATF Garamond, IIRC.


90% of Porchez Typofonderie fonts include true OsF versions. Take a look here.


Karen asked “Also, I couldn’t find samples of Myriad Pro’s OSF on the Adobe website. Are they online somewhere?”

Sure, just look at the lower right section of the package page for “related documents” and download either the “glyph complement PDF” or the specimen book PDF.


There are a few other sans serif typefaces with oldstyle figures. Myriad Pro for one (though they only work with apps that support the relevant OpenType layout features, such as InDesign and Photoshop).


I tried to simulate an OSF look by reducing the size by half a point to. But the result is not nearly the same or and only barely acceptable.

I like TheSans but since it’s slightly costly, I like to know other alternatives

Karen —

Bernd Möllensädt’s Formata is a nice sans and has OsF available. They’re in the expert set, so you’ll either have to keep swapping or use a font editor to rearrange your own OsF version. These used to be marketed by Adobe, but I think you can only get them through Berthold now.

A couple of the Font Bureau’s sans serif fonts have OsF available — Benton Gothic, Berlin Sans, and Petr van Blokland’s Productus. I think the last one comes with OsF standard. The others you may have to request specially. But if you find TheSans too costly, these may not be in your price range either.

— K.

Oops — typo: that should have been Möllenstädt.

Perhaps with old-style figures, you get what you pay for. There’s certainly no shortage of FF sans serifs with non-lining numerals as part of the main font:

Fago, Kievit, Meta, Sari, Scala Sans and Seria, to name a few.

Or try a couple from Emigre:

Solex, Triplex

Gee thanks for all the posts,

I might eventually get TheSans. But I just want to check out all the other options to be sure.

Now there are even more fonts to add to my wishlist.

Also, I couldn’t find samples of Myriad Pro’s OSF on the Adobe website. Are they online somewhere?

Speaking of numerals in the fonts of deGroot, he’s one of the very few designers who goes beyond OS figures; he makes what are called “hybrid” figures for some of his fonts: they have larger-than-xheight bodies, and short extenders — a sublime balance.


If I might add: these “hybrid” figures are included in the “office” version of The Sans: a reduced number of weights at a reduced price. It’s a great bargain: we recently had a client of ours purchase a multi-user license for 100 users for the new house style we designed for them, and it didn’t make the slightest dent in their budget. Check Luc(as)’s work out at www.lucasfonts.com. Brilliant stuff: he’s been called the new Frutiger. I kid you not  ;)

P.S. Now if only somebody could tell me how to make these nifty orange links in my posts…