Visible Language archive issues freely downloadable

I’ve been fixated on Galliard for a few decades now, and Granjon’s types that preceded it, and other newer types also based on those. By way of a few breadcrumbs I managed to find a 1985 article in Visible Language that Carter wrote about Galliard, and noticed to my delight that most issues apart from the most recent three are downloadable for free. Just browsing some of the other articles, there’s similar quality stuff from Zapf and the other usual luminaries. Enjoy the rabbit hole!


  • It also explains why the alternate italic bicameral g is nowhere to be found in more recent Galliard versions.
  • Mark SimonsonMark Simonson Posts: 1,648
    edited November 2023
    Also, the cover art depicts Donald Knuth's Metafont digitization of Sumner's drawings. The issue is quite an artifact of type history.
  • konrad ritterkonrad ritter Posts: 200
    edited November 2023
    I too love Galliard, but I have to say, modern revivals of Granjon's font have mostly been a bust. Compare the way his font makes on paper (Cicero Romain, fig. 12 in Carter's article) with the way Carter's font looks in that very same piece. Preternatural, transparent beauty vs something you have to squint at as it plods along. Then they digitized Galliard, which made it even worse. A washed out, spindly grayish mistake that's long overdue for a hard correction. Or maybe a rethink from the ground up. 

    I'm just a rank amateur, so what it for what it's worth, but to my mind, the only digital revival that comes close to the magic of Granjon's art is Mr. Louette's Gustine. A country mile ahead of anything else I've seen. 

    Also, the pun on Granjon's name is cute -- a charging bull -- but, of course, the name comes from Grand Jean. Robert, son of Big John.  
  • Turns out Gustine is based on Haultin, not Granjon. My bad. 
  • @konrad ritter do check out Galliard eText that Carl Crossgrove adapted for ITC some years back, as well as Graveur by Juanjo Lopez, which includes an optical axis.

    I will always love Galliard. It looks great in The New Criterion on the paper they use, but perhaps I’m used to reading it for thirty-one years. I think of Zapf Renaissance as the Galliarding of Palatino. If ever a font were due for an OpenType overhaul, that would be the next.
  • <3 Yes, @John Butler! I have always loved Zapf Renaissance Antiqua, but want a version optimized for body text (contrast and spacing), not quite so thoroughly in the phototype-display genre.
  • Zapf printed several of his own books in Zapf Renaissance at text sizes. On the right paper it’s perfectly readable to me. I think the “need” for thicker small optical sizes has been overhyped at times. Scangraphic (via E+F) does have both body- and headline-spaced versions, “SB” and “SH” suffixes respectively. The outlines are identical but metrics are optimized for the typical sizes. I have a license for the body copy version. The bigger problem is just the need for manual ligatures and other pre-OpenType drudgery when setting it. Contextual swashes would be icing on the cake.
  • konrad ritterkonrad ritter Posts: 200
    edited November 2023
    @konrad ritter do check out Galliard eText that Carl Crossgrove adapted for ITC some years back, as well as Graveur by Juanjo Lopez.

    Yes to both. I had forgotten about the eText cut. You're right to praise it. (Now if only somebody would do an eText version of Carol Twombly's Caslon, which it plenty deserves.) Also, thank you for the shoutout to Graveur. I don't think that font gets enough credit. A personal favorite of mine. 
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