Bodoni Font

Bodoni Font

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Introducing Bodoni Font

Bodoni Font is an original serif typeface created by Indestructible Type. It is inspired by the designs of Giambattista Bodoni. The font was designed and maintained by Owen Earl, founder of the “Indestructible Type” font foundry.

Bodoni is a key typeface within the modern style that appeared at the end of the 18th century and which represents the culmination of 300 years of evolution of the Roman typeface. His designer, Giambattista Bodoni (Parma, 1740-1813) was named King of Printers thanks to the exquisite quality of his prints. The precursors of a similar style were the typefaces of Pierre Simon Fournier and Didot.


Here there is extreme contrast between the thick and the fine features: the finials of the lower case letters are horizontal and often unfertilized, the emphasis, or axis inclination of the letters, is totally vertical. These characteristics were illustrated in the work of Giambattista Bodoni, who took the French types of Fournier and Didot and refined them to give them the characteristics that have been explained above.

Firmin Didot had produced the first Didone Ide type, there the name of the group in the 1780s, with very fine finishes and hard ones with characters between thick and fine features that took advantage of the best operations in the quality of the paper and the Print.

Turino is a revival of the early 20th century produced by the Nebiolo foundry with its gargantuan finials and other terminal flourishes, while the Didi ITC is an exaggerated form of Didone that was created in 1970 by Bonder and Carnase for use in routines.

Walbaum, a wider and more rounded Didone, is based on the designs of the German printmaker Justus Erich Walbaum that follows the Didot line more than the Bodoni.

The Font Clasification

The Bodoni Font is classified among the so-called neoclassical, modern roman, or Didone. It is characterized by extreme contrast between the thick lines and some of the characters and by a strong vertical modulation, which makes it necessary to use them with a wide line spacing.

The Bodoni typeface took full advantage of this design approach, with generous use of white space that made it stand out magnificently. The shining and contrasting qualities of the guy. During the 20th century, numerous updates of this type have been made, with the intention of preserving these qualities and making them more efficient in terms of their demand for space.

Modern types are imposing too large bodies, but they show a certain lack of legibility when breaking the eyes of the character, optically or truly, when composing small bodies and in blocks of running text. Notable examples could be Firmin Didot, Bodoni, Fenice.

The Creator of the Bodoni Style

Giambattista Bodoni (Saluzzo, Italy, 1740 – Parma, 1813) was an Italian painter and typographer, author of several famous typefaces that are still used today. He became a Royal Typographer.

His father taught him his printing skills when he was very young. When he reached his majority, Bodoni began to work as a printer in the printing house of the Congregation for the Defense of the Faith, which was in Rome; the director of said Congregation committed suicide in 1766, after which Bodoni decided to abandon it. Sometime later, Duke Fernando de Parma appointed him director of the Royal Printing Office for the supervision of printing and production of elegant editions. Bodoni demonstrated his talent, as he was an innovative typographer; in his works, the care of its forms and supports is appreciated as well as the expressive harmony.

Around the year 1770, Bodoni created a type foundry, in which he edited his first typographic work, Fregie Majuscole (1782), and two decades later he created his own printing press. The editions of it were very successful for their high quality and the elegance in the use of illustrations.

In 1788 the first volume of his Typographical Manual was published, the most important treatise on the typography of the time. This manual contains 600 plates, 100 Roman alphabets, 50 Italics, and 28 Greek; moreover, it contains the first modern types: refined and rigorous.

Bodoni included in the manual four principles that constitute the beauty of a typeface: uniformity or regularity of designs, elegance and sharpness, good taste, and finally, charm, that is, printing must be done with patience and care, like an act of love.

Bodoni died in Parma in the year 1813; several years later his widow Margheritav published the volumes of the Typographic Manual unfinished at her death.

Bodoni Font


Bodoni created the font to dazzle the eyes. Few would deny that the Bodoni Font is beautiful, but unfortunately, few would argue that it is not easy to read too. By today’s standards, his designs are actually the antithesis of what should be easily readable, yet his goal was not to create a typeface that people would appreciate. His books and other exercises in print were grand royal endeavors that were meant to be viewed and appreciated as works of art, rather than simple pieces of communication.


Although the Bodoni youth was impressed, he was not revolutionary. As a young man, John Baskerville’s business was perfect for him, when Bodoni opened the Duke of Parma’s first printing office, he did so with the Fournier Company and the French publisher. In later years, the work of his great competitor from Paris, Francois Didot, influenced him dramatically.

While there are clear similarities in the designers’ work, a close examination reveals that weight transitions in Bodoni Font are more gradual and that the ends still maintain a slight degree of arches. There’s even a glimpse of the ancient features in Bodoni fonts. Nevertheless, Didot’s designs are perfect neoclassical fonts with geometrically precise hairline finials and ruled vertical stroke stress.

Definitive Features

When used with care, the Bodoni Font can create beautiful and even elegant typography, but it is not particularly easy to read. Defining characteristics of Bodoni font that make such an elegant typeface are the great contrast between the thick and thin, the serif, and the barely bracketed vertical tension on the rounded strokes. Another feature that gives the Bodoni its gorgeous appearance is its best cup-shaped finials, ball-shaped terminals, and thin, ovular counters.

The capital letter U is a perfect example to demonstrate Bodoni’s gradual transition from thick to thin. Subtle brackets, connect the thin rounded finials to the top of any of the strokes. These letters are also representations of one of Bodoni Font’s characteristics, the ovular counter.

Some of where the Bodoni was Used

Previous publications used by Bodoni were by Dante La Vita Noouva in 1925. A good example of design ability is Poster Bodoni by Chauncey H. GriffinTM Used in neon signs and is most recognizable in the movie and game poster Mama Mia! as well as the poster for the movie Black Dahlia. The 1950 Museum of Modern Art publication. What is Modern Design? It was designed by the world leader in modern design Jack Dunbar and counts Bodoni as its title source.

In advertising, Bodoni Font has been used in many logos, due to its classic style, including Guerlan, Elizabeth Arlen, Giorgio Armani, and the classic “CK” for Calvin Klein. Iconic magazine publications such as Harper’s Bazaar and the classic architecture magazine Metropolis both use Bodoni Font as their basic text typeface. In addition, Elle magazine used it for the logo and titles.

Bodoni Font

Bodoni Font Glossary

  • Capital height is the height of the box letters Basically upper case.
  • Height X: height of lower case letters, lowercase letters, excluding ascending and descending letters.
  • Ring: it is the closed curved shaft made up of the letters b, p, and o.
  • Ascending: ascending that contains the low box letter and that protrudes above the height x, such as the letters b, d, and k.
  • Flagpole: the main feature of the letter that defines it as its fora or most essential part.
  • Uprights: they are the main or oblique antlers of a letter, such as in L, B, V, or A.
  • Wavy horn or thorn: it is the main feature of the uppercase S or lowercase s.
  • Transverse pole: horizontal feature of the letters A, H, f, and t.
Bodoni Font

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