Aldus Italic - Stop or Go?

plubird's picture


curently I digitize a humanistic cursiv of Aldus Manutius. It is a lot of fun. What do you think should I go on?

Aldus Italic

Greets Jens

fonthausen's picture

Yes, you should go on. But i think you'd have to have an roman to go with it.

I like the fatness of the type. And the way you digitized it. Although you'll hve to do a little about spacing and kerning. (you could try to base those on leadtype, no kerning?) If you want to claen the forms up, beware of not loosing of loosing the vitality it has now.

For modern use, you might want to have a small 's' (or not!)


andrij's picture

go on, sure!
i like espessialy this rough outlines.

William Berkson's picture

The small s is also traditional, and should be part of the font. It was used as a final s, and perhaps also as initial s - I don't remember. The long s was dropped after the French revolution, I believe.

plubird's picture

Thanks for the comments!

to jacques: if i wanna make like Aldus the Caps has to be roman. So he dont italiced the caps rigt? maby hav to try with the AdobeAldus...
Spacing and Kerning... hmmm view my other typedesign and you will see this is one think that I really have to learn. But i will try also to overtoke it from the original.

To William and jacques: Of course a "short s" comes... Are there chances to embed it with a Opentype feature?

BTW: I must made many more ligatures for this. But what will happan if make somesthink like this: "fi" and "ie" What if both ligaturs are after another in one word??

Okay thanks for the comments... mabye some more?

Greets Jens

eomine's picture

Very nice, I enjoy its irregularity. Although "q" and long-"s" look exaggeratedly heavier than the other characters, to me. And "a" is too small?

About your ligature question ("fi" and "ie"): maybe you should just design a "fie" ligature? ;-)

gulliver's picture

This is a beautiful design, and it has
quite a bit of potential.

I don't think it needs a companion roman,
necessarily. Aldine italics were meant
to function independently. It's only relatively
recently that we have begun to pair them
with roman fonts.

I also think that a bold version would go
against the spirit of the face. This design
could easily stand alone as either a text
or a display face.

I agree with you that the caps should probably
take either a roman or sloped roman form. I'd
encourage you to try an upright roman first
for the caps to see how it works.

I also agree that you should design a short "s"
for beginning and ending letters of words.

As for ligatures, I say design as many as seem
to suggest themselves. You should definitely
include a full range of "f" ligatures ("fb", "ff",
"ffi", "ffj", "ffl", "fft", "fh", "fi", "fj", "fk", "fl", and "ft"),
as well as "c" ligatures ("ch", "ck", "ct", etc.)
and "s" ligatures with long and short "s".
You might also consider a "Th" ligature,
as well as ligatures for the article adjectives,
common prepositions and conjunctions
(The, "the", "An", "an", "Le", "le", "La", "la",
"El", "el", "From", "from", "And", "and",
"&c", "etc.", etc. :-) )

I also wouldn't change the "a" very much,
as it looks nice to my eye, and seems to fit
the spirit of the Aldine italic.

Best of luck. This could be a great font.


glutton's picture

I love that outsized S... sweet! I agree with David that a Roman isn't necessary. Just have fun and don't worry about what other people think you HAVE to have in it. Worry about what you want to have. If you want to have a bitmap of a rodeo clown as part of your font, do it up!

plubird's picture

Great! it is going on! Made some changes...
k, v, w, x, y and z are stil missing. The w is a uu fake...

William Berkson's picture

The way you have gotten the soft, antique look without lumpy outlines is great. Spacing seems to be a particular challenge with this style. Did the original have a lot of ligatures with the long 's'? These may be necessary for good spacing.

plubird's picture

Maybe i should post the original from wich I digitize. The spacing in the original isnt perfect either, I guess. I also want to digitize the The great Q

pablohoney77's picture

any thing new on this one? i think you have something beautiful here.

plubird's picture

Dear paul

hmm.. it doesnt happent much to this. Personaly it was allmost a study bedause the font is very individuality. Bur her is image of the current standings. So added many ligatures and some Uppercase (wich are Romanstyle) and the et Sign

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