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GM Calligraphic


Chancery Cursive Italic is the standard hand for modern calligraphers. With its easy flourishes and clear basic letterforms, Chancery is a favorite with everyone, for nearly every purpose. Refined and used in the Renaissance by the Papal Chancery after a Humanist invention by Niccolo Niccoli and revived in this century by Edward Johnston, Alfred Fairbank, and Lloyd Reynolds and others, Italic is easy to write (hyeah) and read. Its simple ductus with repeated related shapes and motions creates a rhythmic pattern that yet does not obscure the words composed of those shapes.

The contemporary shapes of Calligraphic are parabolic and hyperbolic curves and elliptical rounds. Serifing is minimal on stroke-starts but extends generously at the lower ends of vertical strokes; this intimates a cursive, joined writing and contributes to an overall hand-made feel.

This variation of Chancery is an upright style, where the letters aren't obliqued at all; this give the face a more formal feeling than that of most obliqued Italics. Calligraphic can of course be obliqued algorithmically in most applications.

With several fonts of variations, Calligraphic is a complete scriptorium:

  • Text, for straightforward setting
  • Swash Text, with built-in swashes
  • Flourish Text, with mild flourishes on the letters
  • Swash Majuscule, with flourished and alternate capitals
  • Swash minuscule, with wild-jungle-garden flourishes and alternate lowercase
  • and of course fonts for special ligatures, fleurons, and the inevitable Cyrillic Text and Swash!

This family is on hold for some major tweaks -- as you can see, the body is too big for the text font, yet just barely large enough for the great swashes. One possiblity is releasing the basic text design at twice the scale, and the rest of the family (with a coordinating text scale) at the current scale. Talk to: Linotype Library.