Origins of PT Serif

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Fiz de la Peña
Fiz de la Peña Posts: 64
edited February 2022 in History of Typography
Hello everybody,

I have noticed that PT Serif by Paratype is virtually everywhere in all kinds of websites.

I would like to know if it would be possible to trace the origins of this typeface. By this, I mean not the history of the font itself, but rather the exploration and historiography of its forms - is there a similar predecessor (maybe from decades ago!) or an earlier design that pre-dates the current PT iteration?

Thank you very much for your help and kindness.

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  • Marc Oxborrow
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    If you haven't already checked their site, Paratype offers a little background.

    "The fonts were developed and released by ParaType in 2010 with financial support from Federal Agency of Print and Mass Communications of Russian Federation."
  • Fiz de la Peña
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    Hello Mister Oxborrow,

    Thank you very much for the link. It is clear that the website describes the physical characteristics of the font. To wit: "The letterforms are distinguished by large x-height, modest stroke contrast, robust wedge-like serifs, and triangular terminals."

    What I am looking for, though, is an ancestor/predecessor of this typeface that shares the basic features of the contemporary one. Many typefaces are somehow inspired by earlier designs (not that there's anything wrong with that!) and I suspect this may also be the case with PT Serif.

    I would love that someone could be able to point out to the original model of PT Serif and draw attention to the differences between them.

    Again, thanks for your quick and prompt answer.

    Best regards,

    Fiz de la Peña
  • John Butler
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    It reminds me of Lucida and of some Gerard Unger designs.
  • Thomas Phinney
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    AFAIK, there is no terribly direct ancestor for either PT Serif or PT Sans. Certainly there are typefaces with similarities, but both were conceived as new typefaces, not direct reworkings of anything else.
  • Fiz de la Peña
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    It reminds me of Lucida and of some Gerard Unger designs.
    Thank you very much.

    : )
  • Denis A Serikov
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    The easiest way to clarify information is with Alexandra Korolkova, Art Director of Paratype and one of the authors of this font:
    _https://www.facebook.com/alexandra.korolkova

  • John Savard
    John Savard Posts: 1,092
    edited February 2022
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    It reminds me of Lucida and of some Gerard Unger designs.

    To me, it resembles Chaparral by Carol Twombly, or FF Tisa, or Leo from Canada Type more than Gerald Unger's Swift, or Lucida Bright. Not to mention Alegreya.
  • John Butler
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    Other designs that come to mind are Droid Serif and Cambria. And I should emphasize the subjectivity of my wording “reminds me of” as opposed to “looks like.” The overall color and proportions strike me more than serif-by-serif details.
  • Fiz de la Peña
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    Other designs that come to mind are Droid Serif and Cambria. And I should emphasize the subjectivity of my wording “reminds me of” as opposed to “looks like.” The overall color and proportions strike me more than serif-by-serif details.
    Thank you very much.

    : )
  • Fiz de la Peña
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    The easiest way to clarify information is with Alexandra Korolkova, Art Director of Paratype and one of the authors of this font:
    _https://www.facebook.com/alexandra.korolkova

    Thanks for the very sensible advice.