Faces I wish were digitized: MT Neo-Didot

lindenhayn's picture

This is Monotype's "Neo-Didot", released in 1904 (IIRC). I've only seen it used once, in this wonderful 1985 edition of Lucian's stories and dialogues, produced by Franz Greno.

As far as I know, this face hasn't been digitized yet, which is a shame, as the digital Didots currently available have a stroke contrast way too high to be useful for longer stretches of text...


NeoDidot01FullRes.png284.55 KB
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andreas's picture

It's a lot of work and you would be the only one licensing it.

riccard0's picture

you would be the only one licensing it

I doubt that.

lindenhayn's picture

I'm sure there's more than one person who has licensed Storm's Walbaum, Shinn's Scotch, Preuß's Prillwitz, ITC Bodoni, Ingeborg, Miller or any other of the fine (re)incarnations of classicist typefaces available today.

blank's picture

Start learning Fontlab.

Chris Keegan's picture

I agree, very nice.

ncaleffi's picture


being a Didot-obsessed too (albeit more on the "first manner" punches cut by Vafflard around 1780), I agree that a contemporary rendition of a Didot-text type would be useful. In the meantime, the digital type that resembles most your sample seems to be Fayon:


Maxim Zhukov's picture

Series Nº 27 (Neo Didot) had a Cyrillic (‘Russian’) version. I don’t know when it was developed. A lot of books in USSR and world-wide were set in Neo Didot.

Neo Didot was so popular that around 1940 its Soviet clone was developed, Obyknovennaya Novaya Garnitura (‘Ordinary New Typeface’). It was custom-designed for the 4th edition of Lenin’s Collected Works (its 1st volume was printed in 1941, and the last one, 39th, in 1967). That typeface was later released for general use. It is now offered in digital form by ParaType, under the name New Standard.

The picture above comes from a Russian edition of Camille Flammarion’s Petite astronomie published in Berlin in 1922 (it was printed at Spamer Druckerei, in Leipzig).
marcox's picture

Nicola, thanks for the link to Fayon. I've been to OurType's site recently but managed to miss it. Gorgeous!

Nick Shinn's picture

H&FJ's "6pt" Didot might fit the bill.

Applying a stroke value in InDesign/Quark will reduce contrast.

marcox's picture

...or ITC Bodoni 6 or 12, both designed for use at text sizes.

lindenhayn's picture

thanks everyone for your replies! Fayon looks great indeed; I particularly love its italics. As for New Standard -- this just how invaluable a few real people's advice is, compared to WhatTheFont, which didn't come up with New Standard even though it's in MyFonts' database. I'll go check out that Lenin edition you mentioned; I'm sure there's a few copies in Berlin's libraries...

ITC Bodoni has been a long-time favorite of mine; in its category, it's probably the most accessible and reader-friendly face I've worked with so far.

@Nick: I'm glad to hear »stroke value« mentioned by a pro, as I've always thought this is only what non-pros do (hoping to emulate good old ink squash). So I never even tried it, as I'm a non-pro myself, trying to avoid anything that's only done by non-pros :) ...are you suggesting this is a serious option, or even a standard procedure in book production? Same goes for the artificial »bold« feature found in font editors. Of course one could apply a tiny (vertical) bit of it, to fatten up the hairlines, but I can't imagine the results to look anything but awful -- I might be wrong though; maybe I'm just too old-fashioned...

Nick Shinn's picture

Nils, I believe one should trust the judgement of one's own eyes, and experiment rather than operate blindly on someone else's principle, even if it is commonly held.

I first used the Stroke feature to strengthen type when creating small caps in InD and Quark, for typefaces where there were none.
I combined it with adjustments to tracking and horizontal scaling.

Cheating has been going on in typography for aeons: shaving metal type to squeeze in justification, for instance.

I'm wary of faux bold, a little bit is OK, but the more it's used, the more "cleaning up" that needs to be done afterwards..

"Stroke" is the basis of how type designers make "grades" and optical sizes.

Celeste's picture

Speaking of Monotype faces which were never digitized, what about reviving Emerson ?

Celeste's picture

Wow, I hadn’t seen this one — thanks, Kent.

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