Cahiers typographiques

Learning to set type, one font at a time. Souvenir ― Base 9 ― Garamond

A typesetting exercise involving a trio of fonts. In my case Garamond, Souvenir and Base 900.

All students received a different trio of fonts, out of which we were only allowed to use one for the actual composition of the booklet. The two others were to be studied and featured in the end product but only one of the three was supposed to be used.

This gave a good overview to the class as to how typefaces evolved historically. We were also asked to display historical events that were close to the issuing date of the font, thereby giving a good idea as to the context in which the letters were designed.

This exercise was also a good opportunity to study one of the earliest screen fonts, Base 900. Optimisations made for the screen back then thought me a lot about what to consider as a font for use on screen.

I also took this chance to use a version of Garamond that was open in terms of licensing. EB Garamond is a slightly altered version based on the Berner Specimen, now republished under the SIL Open Font License. This paired with a reprint of Yannis Haralambous's article about Unicode and typography finally brought on a debate in class about the fonts we were blatantly using.

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