The Faces of Clarendon, The Typeface

There were a few Clarendons — a thick-faced condensed type with heavy serifs. The original Clarendon is an English slab-serif created in in the 1830s by Robert Besley for Fann and later Thorowgood and Co. type founders. A version was made into a wood typeface and also was reworked in metal by the Monotype Corporation foundry in 1935. Hermann Eidenbenz and Edouard Hoffmann made their own version based on Besley’s original design in 1953. The Craw Clarendon family designed by Freeman Craw was released by American Type Founders in 1955, with light, bold and condensed variants. Fortune or Volta, a very modern version of Clarendon, was designed by Konrad Friedrich Bauer and Walter Baum for the Bauer Type Foundry, in 1955, adding an italic in the medium weight. Aldo Novarese drew the Egizio family, a Clarendon by any other name for the Nebiolo foundry in Turin, Italy in 1958.

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Haas Clarendon was used on U.S. National Park Service signs.

The specimen sheet covers below were designed by the various foundries that had Clarendon on its menu.

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 For more Steven Heller, check out Citizen Designer: Perspectives on Design Responsibility, one of the many Heller titles available at MyDesignShop.com.

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