TYPE DESIGN INFORMATION PAGE last updated on Sat Jan 20 22:47:56 EST 2018

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Panose [Benjamin Bauermeister]

Panose is a ten-digit number where each digit is hexadecimal (between 0 and 15) that attempts to classify a font. If applicable and computed, it may be inserted into the OS/2 Table of the Rich Font Description (RFD) incorporated into each True Type font. It was invented to speed up printers by minimizing the number of fonts required in the printer memory. For eample, Times New Roman is 2263545234, but Wingdings is 5000000000. Panose numbers are useful for detecting similar styles of fonts in collections. There is software (like High Logic's Main type that permits one to view fonts in collections by Panose number. The digits take care of these properties: (1) kind (2) class (3) weight (4) aspect (5) contrast (6) serif variant (7) treatment (8) lining (9) topology (10) range of characters.

Panose was developed by Benjamin Bauermeister (b. 1960, St. Louis, MO). In 1990 he cofounded ElseWare with Clyde McQueen in Seattle, where he first revealed his PANOSE1 Typeface Matching System which began as a 7 digit number. Each succeeding digit breaks the font collection down into ever smaller groups. Hewlett-Packard Co. purchased Elseware Co. and expanded PANOSE to ten digits. HP created a PANOSE engine that compressed font information into 2kb packets and incorporated the Panose numbers into their Agfa Monotype typefaces to identify which packet should be used with which font. Then they designed their printers so that instead of using an entire font, they just sent the number. The printer memory did the math and reproduced a simulation of the font. In other words, the PANOSE numbers told the printers how to draw the typeface. Some improvements were made and Panose1 became Panose2. Bauermeister wrote A Manual of Comparative Typography: The Panose System (Paperback) (1987, Van Nostrand Reinhold).

Other links on Panose: Bauermeister, Panose 1, Panose 2, Panose 3, Panose 4, Panose 5, Panose 6, W3C, More W3C, Microsoft Panose page, W3C page.

The details of the digits:

Family
Serif Style
  • Any (0)
  • No Fit (1)
  • Cove (2)
  • Obtuse Cove (3)
  • Square Cove (4)
  • Obtuse Square Cove (5)
  • Square (6)
  • Thin (7)
  • Bone (8)
  • Exagerated (9)
  • Triangle (10)
  • Normal Sans (11)
  • Obtuse Sans (12)
  • Perp Sans (13)
  • Flared (14)
  • Rounded (15)
Weight
  • Any (0)
  • No Fit (1)
  • Very Light (2)[100]
  • Light (3) [200]
  • Thin (4) [300]
  • Book (5) [400] same as CSS1 'normal'
  • Medium (6) [500]
  • Demi (7) [600]
  • Bold (8) [700] same as CSS1 'bold'
  • Heavy (9) [800]
  • Black (10) [900]
  • Extra Black / Nord (11) [900] force mapping to CSS1 100-900 scale
Proportion
  • Any (0)
  • No Fit (1)
  • Old Style (2)
  • Modern (3)
  • Even Width (4)
  • Expanded (5)
  • Condensed (6)
  • Very Expanded (7)
  • Very Condensed (8)
  • Monospaced (9)
Contrast
  • Any (0)
  • No Fit (1)
  • None (2)
  • Very Low (3)
  • Low (4)
  • Medium Low (5)
  • Medium (6)
  • Medium High (7)
  • High (8)
  • Very High (9)
Stroke Variation
  • Any (0)
  • No Fit (1)
  • No Variation (2)
  • Gradual/Diagonal (3)
  • Gradual/Transitional (4)
  • Gradual/Vertical (5)
  • Gradual/Horizontal (6)
  • Rapid/Vertical (7)
  • Rapid/Horizontal (8)
  • Instant/Horizontal (9)
  • Instant/Vertical (10)
Arm Style
  • Any (0)
  • No Fit (1)
  • Straight Arms/Horizontal (2)
  • Straight Arms/Wedge (3)
  • Straight Arms/Vertical (4)
  • Straight Arms/Single Serif (5)
  • Straight Arms/Double Serif (6)
  • Non-Straight Arms/Horizontal (7)
  • Non-Straight Arms/Wedge (8)
  • Non-Straight Arms/Vertical 90)
  • Non-Straight Arms/Single Serif (10)
  • Non-Straight Arms/Double Serif (11)
Letterform
  • Any (0)
  • No Fit (1)
  • Normal/Contact (2)
  • Normal/Weighted (3)
  • Normal/Boxed (4)
  • Normal/Flattened (5)
  • Normal/Rounded (6)
  • Normal/Off Center (7)
  • Normal/Square (8)
  • Oblique/Contact (9)
  • Oblique/Weighted (10)
  • Oblique/Boxed (11)
  • Oblique/Flattened (12)
  • Oblique/Rounded (13)
  • Oblique/Off Center (14)
  • Oblique/Square (15)
Midline
  • Any (0)
  • No Fit (1)
  • Standard/Trimmed (2)
  • Standard/Pointed (3)
  • Standard/Serifed (4)
  • High/Trimmed (5)
  • High/Pointed (6)
  • High/Serifed (7)
  • Constant/Trimmed (8)
  • Constant/Pointed (9)
  • Constant/Serifed (10)
  • Low/Trimmed (11)
  • Low/Pointed (12)
  • Low/Serifed (13)
XHeight
  • Any (0)
  • No Fit (1)
  • Constant/Small (2)
  • Constant/Standard (3)
  • Constant/Large (4)
  • Ducking/Small (5)
  • Ducking/Standard (6)
  • Ducking/Large (7)

EXTERNAL LINKS
Panose
 [Designer info]
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Monotype search
Fontspring search
Google search

INTERNAL LINKS
Typeface Classification ⦿ Font managers ⦿ Triangulated typefaces ⦿













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