TYPE DESIGN INFORMATION PAGE last updated on Fri Dec 14 20:51:39 EST 2018






Berkeley Oldstyle versus FB Californian versus LTC Californian

The experts at Typophile compare (ITC) Berkeley Oldstyle and FB Californian in a battle of Venetian typefaces.

  • Gerald Giampa: "The source for our "California Oldstyle is lead patterns made by Goudy at his studio. They are the only known Goudy patterns to survive. Goudy's other patterns were lost in his fire at Deepdene."
  • William Berkson: "Berkeley Old Style is soother and less mannered than Goudy's original and the Font Bureau version, which is closer to the original. (Bringhurst compares the two in his 'Elements'). I think Berkeley Old Style is very well done, and in being less mannered may be of wider usability than the original."
  • Jim Rimmer: "Goudy's "Typologia" is a master work worth reading. It was written by him as a kind of magnum opus on his method of cutting type, and at the same time concerned with how he went about designing the typeface for the University. Goudy went through a lot of discussion with the institution, wherein he wished to name the type simply "University Oldstyle". The director of the Press thought the name to be too generic, so they settled on "University of California Oldstyle. It was a bit of a mouthful, but the school wanted to have their name on it. Lanston Monotype did the production work on the type, making matrices for the use of the University. Some years later the type was licensed to Lanston, and they sold it under the name "Californian". The patterns that Gerald Giampa has in his possession are of the lead "boilerplate" type, devised by Goudy, and were made by Goudy himself at Deepdene. These are the only full suite of patterns to survive the fire at Deepdene, simply because they were in use by Lanston at the time of the fire. The book is well worth having for more than one good reason. It shows Goudy's approach to a design, his method of rendering the design in metal, and his philosophy of type and design."
Apparently, the University of California's current digital version is drawn by Richard Beatty who has interpreted several other Goudy typefaces, and is supposed to be really really close to the original. In 2006, the Lanston/P22 version, LTC Californian (OpenType), digitized by Paul Hunt, was discussed here. The LTC version seems to be closest to the original.

The factual history: In 1938, Goudy designed California Oldstyle, his most distinguished type, for University of California Press. In 1958, Lanston issued it as Californian. Carol Twombly digitized the roman 30 years later for California; David Berlow revised it for Font Bureau with italic and small caps; Jane Patterson designed the bold. In 1999, assisted by Richard Lipton&Jill Pichotta, Berlow designed the black and the text and display series.

Berkeley Oldstyle versus FB Californian versus LTC Californian
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Choice of fonts ⦿ Venetian or antiqua typefaces ⦿ Frederic William Goudy ⦿

Luc Devroye ⦿ School of Computer Science ⦿ McGill University Montreal, Canada H3A 2K6 ⦿ lucdevroye@gmail.com ⦿ http://luc.devroye.org ⦿ http://luc.devroye.org/fonts.html