Arbor, a Fresh Interpretation of Caslon Italian

Posted inPaul Shaw
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Chester has released Arbor, a fresh interpretation of Caslon Italian, one of the most bizarre slab serif types of the 19th century. The design, originally created for the The New York Times Magazine, dispenses with the irrational logic of its ancestor, concentrating instead on making a consistent and aesthetically pleasing reverse-weight Egyptian.

Although its basic premise is similar to that of Trilby, Arbor is wide and has the familiar strong stroke contrast. The font’s lively personality is conveyed through gently curved “fills” for the crotches of the angled characters A, M, N, V, W; cute ball terminals on K, Q, R, f; the oversize dots on i and j; and the curled tail of the Q. While Trilby’s horizontal strokes suggest railroad tracks, the heavier ones of Arbor more closely resemble convicts’ stripes. This is a display face with a wink.

Read Paul Shaw’s review of Trilby in the October issue of Print.