Identifying a Font

“The alphabet is only part of a typeface that contains lots of different characters such as numbers, punctuation, mathematical and monetary symbols and ligatures…Explore you computer keyboard to find some of the other characters.”  Here’s a lovely example of ligatures. Its Acta Poster. No, I don’t own this font…Yet! acta poster On looking through my own serif fonts, I found that some have quite a large range of special characters. The full range accessible on a keyboard are listed on this useful website. I haven’t typed out the whole set here, but this gives a good indication of which fonts support special characters. As you can see AR Decode doesn’t have a lot of ligatures, but does sport a good range of special characters. ar decode special characters-01   Bickham Script has it all! You can see the letterforms joining beautifully.   bickham script two special characters-01   BV Rondes seems a bit of a clunky font to me…But it has ligatures and some support for special characters. Though you can see, it had indigestion over some of them. Others it simply left a blank space.   bv rondes special characters-01   I love Foglihten No7! You can see the “h” and “t” link up, but otherwise the letters mostly remain seperate.   foglihten special characters-01   And lastly the gorgeous Scriptina Pro! Apparently it supports Cornish, Filipino (Tagalog), Guarani, Luxembourgian, Malagasy, Romanian, Ulithian and Welsh…And more…Though you can see its defaulted away from Scriptina for some missing characters.   scriptina pro special characters-01 “Choose a magazine, for example the Big Issue or Heat, and look at the main typefaces they use for the body text and headlines. Go to and use the programme to identify the fonts.” Luckily I had an old copy of Heat magazine hanging around the house (the dog must have bought it) Ahem. The actual “Heat” title looked familiar, and is a form of Clarenden. I have Clarenden on my computer, but maybe not the exact match… imageclarenden Heat title font-01 These are Clarenden Regular, Bold, ClarendenTLig Regular, Clarenden Condensed Bold, Clarenden Heavy, and Clarenden Black. So the Heat title its perhaps closest to Clarenden Heavy…It seems to me the serifs on the bottom of the “H” have bit more space between them on the actual magazine cover, which is what makes me think its close, but not perfect! As for this sans-serif font used in Heat magazine, I headed to, as suggested. image   Identifont came up with Expressway as the most likely match… expressway However the uppercase “B” is different from heat magazine… I think it could be Interstate. imageimage Here’s Interstate Black. Interstate Black   And Interstate Regular interstate Looking at other fonts around me, I certainly notice ones I like. Not that I can identify them all. Unlike Erik Spiekermann, who can identify thousands on sight apparently!!! Anyway. Didot is a gorgeous Modern Serif Typeface, famous for the title of Vogue magazine. The nearest cousin I have installed, is a version of Bodoni. Let’s see what it looks like!


And for comparison…

vogueMag The shape of the “g” is closer if I use Pistilli Roman Pistilli Roman-01 Hmmm. This subject is vast. One website I quite liked is Its an archive of yes, fonts in use, in magazines, billboards, websites etc. Obviously its a snap shot, rather than a comprehensive archive, because the world is a big place! But you can browse various fonts in commercial use, and see how some of them re-occur. fonts in use Well worth a look!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s