Folio Condensed : difference between versions

cedilla's picture


I'm currently comparing all the available versions of Folio Bold Condensed. There are so many! Linotype, Elsner+Flake, URW, Bitstream, Scangraphic... I prefer versions that also offer a Bold Italic weight.

Which version should I consider or avoid at all cost? What are the differences between them. I'm not exactly looking for the most accurate version. Just the most well balanced.


HVB's picture

That's kind of like asking which model Chevrolet you should buy. It depends on what specifics you're looking for, and nobody can answer that but you. They have different character complements, some differences in punctuation glyphs, and some subtle differences that only a discerning eye like yours might see. And the same typeface, from the same vendor, may undergo changes and improvements as time goes by.

I'd suggest comparing them as best you can, side by side, and making your judgement call.

- Herb

cedilla's picture

Thanks Herb and Indra.

I understand that Folio is a precious witness of a past era, and that many foundries digitalized it.

I was thinking about Bitstream, since I heard (sorry, I don't have the source) that they distributed an imperfect copy of Folio under the name Swiss 911, 921, 924. Should I avoid these (Swiss 721 being a Helvetica knockoff)?

I also came across Folio BQ, but I can't find the source. Anyone can help me confirm Berthold Quality actually had a Folio version?

Thanks !

HVB's picture

Yes Berthold had an extensive Folio family. The copyright dates start in 1992. The italics appear to be obliques rather than true italics, but so are Bitstream's. They're not in Berthold's current sales list.

Some years ago Adobe stopped marketing Berthold's fonts. However they are now marketing their own collection of Folio fonts (not to be confused with The Adobe Font Folio) . I have nothing to base this on, but maybe when they separated, Adobe got custody of the Folio family, and Berthold got everything else.

- Herb

Queneau's picture

Swiss 911, 921 and 924 are no versions of Folio, rather, they are different versions of Helvetica (Compressed and Inserat) and Hansaetic. I only the know the Bitstream version of Folio, which seems alright to me, tough I have not used it until now. The URW version is a good deal as well, with wide language support, and a couple more weights. From my experience the URW fonts usually are good quality.

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