Adobe Caslon™ font family


Designed by William Caslon in 1725
Carol Twombly in 1990
The Englishman William Caslon punchcut many roman, italic, and non-Latin typefaces from 1720 until his death in 1766. At that time most types were being imported to England from Dutch sources, so Caslon was influenced by the characteristics of Dutch types. He did, however, achieve a level of craft that enabled his recognition as the first great English punchcutter. Caslon's roman became so popular that it was known as the script of kings, although on the other side of the political spectrum (and the ocean), the Americans used it for their Declaration of Independence in 1776. The original Caslon specimen sheets and punches have long provided a fertile source for the range of types bearing his name. Identifying characteristics of most Caslons include a cap A with a scooped-out apex; a cap C with two full serifs; and in the italic, a swashed lowercase v and w. Caslon's types have achieved legendary status among printers and typographers, and are considered safe, solid, and dependable.

Carol Twombly designed this Caslon revival for Adobe in 1990, after studying Caslon's own specimen sheets from the mid-eighteenth century. This elegant version is quite true to the source, and has been optimized for the demands of digital design and printing. Adobe Caslon™ makes an excellent text font and includes just about everything needed by the discriminating typographer: small caps, Old style Figures, swash letters, alternates, ligatures, expert characters, central European characters, and a plethora of period ornaments.

Adobe Caslon™

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692 characters

Features:

Catalog number: 16780054

Case-Sensitive Forms

Tag: case

Function: Shifts various punctuation marks up to a position that works better with all-capital sequences or sets of lining figures; also changes oldstyle figures to lining figures. By default, glyphs in a text face are designed to work with lowercase characters. Some characters should be shifted vertically to fit the higher visual center of all-capital or lining text. Also, lining figures are the same height (or close to it) as capitals, and fit much better with all-capital text. The user selects a block of text and applies this feature. The dashes, bracketing characters, guillemet quotes and the like shift up to match the capitals, and oldstyle figures change to lining figures.

Denominators

Tag: dnom

Function: Replaces selected figures which follow a slash with denominator figures. In the string 11/17 selected by the user, the application turns the 17 into denominators when the user applies the fraction feature.

Fractions

Tag: frac

Function: Replaces figures separated by a slash with 'common' (diagonal) fractions. The user enters 3/4 in a recipe and gets the threequarters fraction.

Standard Ligatures

Tag: liga

Function: Replaces a sequence of glyphs with a single glyph which is preferred for typographic purposes. This feature covers the ligatures which the designer/manufacturer judges should be used in normal conditions. The glyph for ffl replaces the sequence of glyphs f f l.

Lining Figures

Tag: lnum

Function: This feature changes selected figures from oldstyle to the default lining form. The user invokes this feature in order to get lining figures, which fit better with all-capital text. Various characters designed to be used with figures may also be covered by this feature. In cases where lining figures are the default form, this feature would undo previous substitutions.

Localized Forms

Tag: locl

Function: Many scripts used to write multiple languages over wide geographical areas have developed localized variant forms of specific letters, which are used by individual literary communities. For example, a number of letters in the Bulgarian and Serbian alphabets have forms distinct from their Russian counterparts and from each other. In some cases the localized form differs only subtly from the script 'norm', in others the forms are radically distinct. This feature enables localized forms of glyphs to be substituted for default forms. The user applies this feature to text to enable localized Bulgarian forms of Cyrillic letters; alternatively, the feature might enable localized Russian forms in a Bulgarian manufactured font in which the Bulgarian forms are the default characters.

Numerators

Tag: numr

Function: Replaces selected figures which precede a slash with numerator figures, and replaces the typographic slash with the fraction slash. In the string 11/17 selected by the user, the application turns the 11 into numerators, and the slash into a fraction slash when the user applies the fraction feature.

Old Style Figures

Tag: onum

Function: This feature changes selected figures from the default lining style to oldstyle form. The user invokes this feature to get oldstyle figures, which fit better into the flow of normal upper- and lowercase text. Various characters designed to be used with figures may also have oldstyle versions.

Ordinals

Tag: ordn

Function: Replaces default alphabetic glyphs with the corresponding ordinal forms for use after figures. One exception to the follows-a-figure rule is the numero character (U+2116), which is actually a ligature substitution, but is best accessed through this feature. The user applies this feature to turn 2.o into 2.o (abbreviation for secundo).

Proportional Figures

Tag: pnum

Function: Replaces figure glyphs set on uniform (tabular) widths with corresponding glyphs set on glyph-specific (proportional) widths. Tabular widths will generally be the default, but this cannot be safely assumed. Of course this feature would not be present in monospaced designs. The user may apply this feature to get even spacing for lining figures used as dates in an all-cap headline.

Scientific Inferiors

Tag: sinf

Function: Replaces lining or oldstyle figures with inferior figures (smaller glyphs which sit lower than the standard baseline, primarily for chemical or mathematical notation). May also replace lowercase characters with alphabetic inferiors. The application can use this feature to automatically access the inferior figures (more legible than scaled figures).

Superscript

Tag: sups

Function: Replaces lining or oldstyle figures with superior figures (primarily for footnote indication), and replaces lowercase letters with superior letters (primarily for abbreviated French titles). The application can use this feature to automatically access the superior figures (more legible than scaled figures) for footnotes, or the user can apply it to Mssr to get the classic form.

Tabular Figures

Tag: tnum

Function: Replaces figure glyphs set on proportional widths with corresponding glyphs set on uniform (tabular) widths. Tabular widths will generally be the default, but this cannot be safely assumed. Of course this feature would not be present in monospaced designs. The user may apply this feature to get oldstyle figures to align vertically in a column.

Swash

Tag: swsh

Function: This feature replaces default character glyphs with corresponding swash glyphs. Note that there may be more than one swash alternate for a given character. The user inputs the ampersand character when setting text with Poetica with this feature active, and is presented with a choice of the 63 ampersand forms in that face.

Stylistic Alternates

Tag: salt

Function: Many fonts contain alternate glyph designs for a purely esthetic effect; these don't always fit into a clear category like swash or historical. As in the case of swash glyphs, there may be more than one alternate form. This feature replaces the default forms with the stylistic alternates. The user applies this feature to Industria to get the alternate form of g.

Historical Forms

Tag: hist

Function: Some letterforms were in common use in the past, but appear anachronistic today. The best-known example is the long form of s; others would include the old Fraktur k. Some fonts include the historical forms as alternates, so they can be used for a 'period' effect. This feature replaces the default (current) forms with the historical alternates. While some ligatures are also used for historical effect, this feature deals only with single characters. The user applies this feature in Adobe Jenson to get the archaic forms of M, Q and Z.

Subscript

Tag: subs

Function: The "subs" feature may replace a default glyph with a subscript glyph, or it may combine a glyph substitution with positioning adjustments for proper placement. Recommended implementation: First, a single or contextual substitution lookup implements the subscript glyph (GSUB lookup type 1). Then, if the glyph needs repositioning, an application may apply a single adjustment, pair adjustment, or contextual adjustment positioning lookup to modify its position.

Ornaments

Tag: ornm

Function: This is a dual-function feature, which uses two input methods to give the user access to ornament glyphs (e.g. fleurons, dingbats and border elements) in the font. One method replaces the bullet character with a selection from the full set of available ornaments; the other replaces specific "lower ASCII" characters with ornaments assigned to them. The first approach supports the general or browsing user; the second supports the power user. The user inputs qwwwwwwwwwe to form the top of a flourished box in Adobe Caslon, or inputs the bullet character, then chooses the thistle dingbat.

Discretionary Ligatures

Tag: dlig

Function: Replaces a sequence of glyphs with a single glyph which is preferred for typographic purposes. This feature covers those ligatures which may be used for special effect, at the user's preference. The glyph for ct replaces the sequence of glyphs c t, or U+322E (Kanji ligature for "Friday") replaces the sequence U+91D1 U+66DC U+65E5.

Slashed Zero

Tag: zero

Function: Some fonts contain both a default form of zero, and an alternative form which uses a diagonal slash through the counter. Especially in condensed designs, it can be difficult to distinguish between 0 and O (zero and capital O) in any situation where capitals and lining figures may be arbitrarily mixed. This feature allows the user to change from the default 0 to a slashed form. When setting labels, the user applies this feature to get the slashed 0.

Contextual Swash

Tag: cswh

Function: This feature replaces default character glyphs with corresponding swash glyphs in a specified context. Note that there may be more than one swash alternate for a given character. Example: The user sets the word HOLIDAY in Poetica with this feature active, and is presented with a choice of three alternate forms appropriate for an initial H and one alternate appropriate for a medial L.

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