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Craig Eliason said:
That comment arrives at the drawback of “book” as a label: it feels like an optical size but usually is a weight.
A good example of what I mean can be seen in the distinction between Bembo Regular—a notably light design digitised from artwork for metal types—and Bembo Book, a later addition to the family that better represents the weight of those types when inked and used in print.
I would say that the extra “grading” (and this is not just press gain) of Bembo Book when printed by offset lithography compensates for the missing “druk”, that occurred with the original Bembo in letterpress. And as John Hudson mentioned, the first digitization of Bembo was made from font artwork, not a printed image, so was a little on the thin side.
Therefore, if a FL user wanted to include two of these weight names in a typeface, it was debatable which should officially be the heavier, and which the lighter, with the result that in practice, from different foundries, both resulted.
Although Book does occur higher up the list, suggesting that it is the lighter:
The OpenType spec itself indicates that Regular and Normal share the same weightclass, 400.
It does the same thing with ExtraBold and UltraBold (both 800), and Black and Heavy (both 900).
350 = Semi-light