Looking for an old-fashioned font.
September 26, 2010 2:39 PM   Subscribe

Is there anywhere where you can download a font like the one used in 16th-17th century books/manuscripts?

I'm talking about the all-caps font you often see in title pages like this and this. I don't know anything about the history of book printing to know what it would be called so Google is not helping me. It would be great if I could find a similar font, preferably free, on the internet. A friend wants to use the font for his tattoo.

posted by vanitas to Writing & Language (7 answers total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
I think the magic phrase you want is "old style serif." See Serif#Old_Style on Wikipedia for more details.

Once you have the font, other things you can do to make the desired inscription look "old" (in the style of the title pages you linked) are: use all caps, increase the spacing between letters, replace U's with V's and/or J's with I's, and mess it up a little bit with an image filter.
posted by AkzidenzGrotesk at 2:48 PM on September 26, 2010 [1 favorite]

Best answer: The technical term would be old style or "humanist" serif: GLC does distressed versions that may fit your requirements, but they're not free to download.
posted by holgate at 2:48 PM on September 26, 2010 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Enjoy.
posted by theodolite at 2:56 PM on September 26, 2010 [7 favorites]

Response by poster: Jackpot! Thank you all. :)
posted by vanitas at 3:02 PM on September 26, 2010

Essays 1743 is "based on the typeface used in a 1743 English translation of Montaigne's Essays. The font is released under the terms of the GNU Lesser General Public License".
posted by caek at 3:09 PM on September 26, 2010

The League of Movable Type have a few fonts that match your description.
posted by schmod at 6:47 PM on September 26, 2010

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