A comparison of some serifs

Serif Comparison (small)

I just spent a few minutes putting together this comparison of the new Arno Pro typeface with a few other serifed typefaces I favor. Click on the image for a larger version; it makes some of the differences a little clearer. I probably should have included Adobe's Garamond Premier Pro too. Palatino is nice too, but I don't really have a proper set.

All of them are at displayed at the 12pt optical size. Arno almost seems like it is perhaps a design somewhere in between Minion and Jenson, at least when considering the serifs and terminals. I am also somewhat surprised by how much more compact Arno appears at the same point size. It is a pre-release version, so it could be that it has not yet received some final tweaking. In any event, it should hopefully be obvious that the first three typefaces are more closely related than Warnock is to any of them, with its very sharp and angular serifs and terminals.

At the moment, I think I am leaning toward Jenson for my dissertation, but I'll probably change my mind several times until I compare a more completed product. I've been thinking a little more about the design of Gentzen lately. I'm going to try to find time to at least do an initial design for the turnstyle and perhaps the universal quantifier this weekend.


  1. oxlahun said,

    April 20, 2007 @ 11:16 pm

    Especially when it’s right next to those others, Jenson seems to have a slight concavity to its stems. That’s very humanist, and along with things like the arm on the ‘e’, it feels just a little bit casual for a dissertation.

    On the other hand, Minion is the typeface in which you most often see the word “Drexel”. Do with that what you will. 🙂

    Maybe it’s the flatter tops to the letters, but your sample of Arno looks a little bit shorter than the others. I’m far too lazy to actually check exact height, though, and I doubt, even if I’m correct, that expanding it would make up the entire width difference even with Minion.

  2. Chris said,

    April 21, 2007 @ 12:29 am

    Interesting, in Arno Pro, the serif on the med-line stem of the E and F seemed exaggerated to me. But that led me to look at Minion again — probably the face with which I’m most familiar — and it seems a little big there too. Never noticed before! Or maybe it’s just my eyes tonight, like when you write down a simple English word you’ve used a thousand times, and suddenly it looks inexplicably foreign.

    By the way, I think all samples should include ‘Yy’ so I can see that beautiful tear-drop descender in Minion. Mmm…

    “I’m going to try to find time to at least do an initial design for the turnstyle and perhaps the universal quantifier this weekend.”

    You sound like DEK himself, who couldn’t continue with TAOCP until he wrote an entire digital typesetting system. That may sound like a compliment, but I’m sure you know that depth-first search is no way to make progress in an infinite graph!

    Typography at Yale is excellent, and I miss it. Even the parking signs use old-style figures. It’s a face I came to call ‘Yale Garamond’ because I couldn’t quite place it among the ones I knew. Turns out that it was designed specifically for Yale. If I were doing it again, it might be nice to typeset a dissertation with it. Reminds me of when I gave a talk at Stevens Tech using a face called Hoboken. Ha!

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