Didot Font

Didot Font

The present type specimen gives a detailed sample of the Didot Font Family. This font has a long history and historical weight, as it defined the modern roman style, and became the typeface of France and the national standard for French publications.

Didot Font Family

Didot Font is a classic, elegant, and sophisticated serif font. It works very well for headlines, which is why it is widely used for identifiers. However, some characters present legibility problems due to the excessive contrast between their features, especially in small bodies, since the threadlike lines can disappear depending on the printing conditions, generating confusion between some letters and critical points.

Didot Font was designed by the renowned typographer Firmin Didot in 1783. It stands out for its clear and elegant appearance. By then, it was a new, easy-to-read font, a sturdy Roman with thin serifs and pronounced vertical modulation.

It is unknown if Firmin Didot engraved the first two original sizes of this font, but it is known that it was he who produced the next two smaller sizes of it, and at just 19 years old, he also created the characters in an italic version.

Didot Font Download

Didot Font Glyphs

Part of the success of the new typeface was due to the use of woven paper that John Baskerville had developed and used in England to print his Virgil in 1757. This new type of paper provided superior quality on the printing surface, which conformed to what they needed the characters of Didot Font with their fine lines and serifs.

In the following years, Didot increased the contrast in his font, becoming the only person in the history of typography to engrave a font family in half-point increments. (10 pt, 10.5 pt, 11 pt).

Later, Didot becomes the typeface for France and the national standard for French publications. Although this acceptance was not universal, today many publications follow the Didot model.

Didot Typeface

Likewise, several European foundries of the time bought Didot’s original design or produced variations of it. At that time, the Roman source of Firmin Didot began to be compared with the same one designed by Bodoni. The historical fact is that both had studied the works of Nicolas Johnson, William Caslon, and John Baskerville among other master typographers, and came to similar conclusions.

However, there is no doubt that Didot created the first modern typeface and Bodoni drew on it, among other references, to create his own roman. Placed next to each other, they coincide in size, weight, and line spacing, but it is observed that both fonts differ somewhat: Didot’s typeface suggests greater warmth and elegance while the one created by Bodoni conveys greater robustness and hardness.

In this font, Didot aspires to a perfect design, to an ideal geometry, modifying its letters to a high degree of abstraction. In addition, it accentuates the verticality of the lines and exaggerates the contrast between the features, reducing both fine lines and thanks to its essential thread-like structure. For these reasons, the Didot typeface lends itself to being printed on large clean surfaces that highlight the contrast between black and white, although some characters present legibility problems, especially in small sizes.

The Didot typeface family file zip consists of the following:
Didot Regular, Didot Regular Italic, Didot Medium, Didot Bold, Didot Bold Italic.

About Firmin Didot

Firmin Didot was a renowned French engraver, printer, and typographer, born on April 14, 1964, in Paris. He was a member of the most renowned family of French printers who began working in this trade when his grandfather Francoise Didot formed the Didot foundry in 1713.

Several members of the Didot family worked in Paris as designers, printers, typographers, writers, inventors, publishers, type creators among others. In 1783, the Didot foundry produced the first modern type and used it to print the Gerusalemme Liberata by Torquato Tasso. By 1800 they owned the most important foundry in France.

Firmin Didot reached his peak in the creation of typefaces in 1798 when he engraved a new font that he used for the 1798 edition of the Virgil book. This font makes him a typographical authority in France and as a consequence, Napoleon Bonaparte named him director of the Imperial Foundry, a position he held until his death in 1836.

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