(x) Magnificat - Gamme (lookalike) {Mike Freiman}

does anyone know where I cam buy Magnificat. It’s a very OTT black letter font used very well in Another Magazine. Its name may have changed but that’s what it was called in the 1976 penrose annual. I’ll try and scan a pic for you.


I went to London in the summer of 1973 and picked up a brochure about the competition. I think there was a Letraset Gallery at the time...not sure, though.

When the award was given, Stilla only had lowercase letters. It's a nice typeface, but I'm not sure it was so good a design without caps that it deserved 3rd place.

Re: Magnificat
Actually I had my business card printed, where my name was in Magnificat, 18 years ago, at a printer in Bremerhaven, Germany. Later I wanted this "magnificent";-) font in digital form, but only found that Friedrich Peter, living in Canada was the original designer. I think he also designed Vivacious... not sure though.
Anyhow, nowhere is this font available, which is a pity.

There is a Wikipedia page on this font: http://it.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magnificat_%28font%29

look at this:

Since I've stumbled on this thread nearly five years late, no one will read this, BUT ...
I thought the comment by Friedrich Peter about receiving no royalties was pretty sad. Magnificat won second prize in Letraset's 1973 International Typeface Competition, for which there were 2590 entries. According to the company's handout, he received £750 and a "generous royalty agreement." I never saw Magnificat used, however -- or either of the other two cash winners: Bombere, by Carla Ward of Washington, DC (£1000); and Stilla, by Francois Boltana of France (£500).

The judges were Derek Birdsall, Roger Excoffon, Colin Forbes, Armin Hoffmann, Herb Lubalin, and Marcello Minale.
(Was that the only international competition that Letraset sponsored?)

There were 18 more winners, who were also supposed to have received a royalty deal but no cash. I really didn't see much of any of those fonts in use, either -- except for the still-popular LeGriffe, by Andre-Michel Lubac, and Vic Carless's Shatter.

Shatter was one of three winners in the group of 20 that were based on Helvetica. The other two were Process and Suds -- the latter was Helvetica Medium caps that were made up of black outline + white fill circles of various sizes, to look like letters made of soap bubbles.

My favorite of all the winners was Vincent, by Trevor Vincent of the UK. It was a deco-ish face with thin white lines that sectioned the letters to suggest ceramic tile. I never saw a full showing of it.

Interesting historical information, Christopher. Where did you find the information?

You might be interested to know that Boltana's Stilla is alive and well, and available from three sources. Sadly, the designer is no longer among us, and I have no idea if his estate gets royalties.

- Mike Yanega

Nowhere to be found on the internet. :/


This is one of several sites I check now and then for new, quite unique output and I thought “Hey, isn’t that … “.

Way too often this happens with queries here that have been archived for a month or two. Ah well.

Fred Peter’s type designs ended up with Letraset and then ITC after they bought the dry transfer company to whom they were originally licensed. Last time I spoke to him (he lives in Vancouver), he complained that he had never received any royalties from ITC for sales of Vivaldi. I don’t suppose he gets any from aIa either.

It Would Be Nice if someone in the know could inform aIa that Mr. Peter is still very much alive so the two the two might work something out where the font gets sold at myfonts.com and Mr. Peter starts getting royalties for it again. Then this could come to something closer to a Happy Ending.

Ignorance is never an excuse, but I find that some font pirates have in the past changed their behavior when they become more fully informed of what exactly they’re doing to people. Microsoft’s response to the Book Antiqua problem is a good example of this.

Does Mr. Peter get royalties for the Bitstream version of Vivaldi? Cos I have a license for it and use it. :-(

Johns H & B,
. I just sent off an inquiry, including a link to this thread, to Kivart (aIa). I tried to spell things out as clearly but simply as possible for translation purposes, but who knows how clearly the matter will be understood at the Japanese end.

Playing Devil’s Advocate here …

Both ITC and Esselte list Magnificat under their trademark listings:

ITC, Letraset, Linotype -> none of them seem to offer Magnificat as a digital font. Nobody seems to.

Here’s a reference I thoroughly enjoyed, but failed to find last night, that confirms Mr. Lawley’s evidence trail leading to Magnificat:


May we (me being a neophyte relative to you) reasonably assume that Magnificat likely never got past the dry transfer sheet state?

OK, so here we have a mid-20s Japanese designer/typographer who probably comes across a print usage of Magnificat somewhere (Gamme’s ‘a’ is different from the image Philip Kelly shows, which suggests that Kivart didn’t see all of the characters of Magnificat). “Beautiful!” he exclaims. What could he reasonably conclude about its status as a font?

If it were a font, the language barrier would make the necessary detective work mighty tough. I’d have to agree here, though, with your statement about ignorance not being an excuse.

If it’s not even a font, the mission to find a source would have been well nigh impossible! Heck, he may even have (quite reasonably IMO) concluded that the print image he saw was hand drawn.

In light of this, I’m:
1) Glad that Kivart digitized the thing. It’s hardly something to “widely use”, but it’s unique, arguably beautiful and evidently usable in magazine copy. It surely would never have seen the light of day as a font without Kivart’s skills. Plus, it’s an original version, with, apparently, at least one character different from Magnificat to boot.

2) Pretty sure that “font pirate” is overkill condemnation here.

3) Hopeful that Kivart contacts Mr. Peter, which would now be the right thing to do

I found from Latraset that it’s creater is called friedrich peter. But I still can’t find it. I would be prepared to give up if I didn’t see the entire family in the last four issues of Another Magazine.

Yeah, I came across that too. Here’s some info on
the creator. The typeface itself on the other hand…

Thank you I had not found that site. It says

His typeface design work has been awarded in several international Typeface Design Competitions. The widely used

Well, maybe no one on Typophile could find it
because it simply hasn’t been digitized yet? I ran
both typeface name and designer through some
search engines, but to no avail.

If it has been released under another name, then
we still can’t find it without that scan you promised
us in your initial post. I guess nobody who read
your post has access to Another Magazine nor the
1976 Penrose Annual. I haven’t, so basically I’ve
got no clue what the typeface looks like.

Here is a sample:magnificat

I don’t know what to tell you about the relationship between your ‘Magnificat’ and this, but your sample image matches up exactly with the f-o-n-r of aIa’s free font ‘gamme’:


Mike, do you mind if my jaw drops to the floor? I hope
this is no inconvenience to you, but I’m thoroughly
impressed by this find.



Well Jonathan, you must be one happy bunny: not only
will you be able to “widely use” this typeface, but
it’s free to boot! ;) All that thanx to Superfreiman!