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Designed by Matthew Carter in 1995
Matthew Carter has been refining his design for Alisal for so long, he says, that when he was asked to complete the design for the Monotype Library, it was almost as if he were doing a historical revival of his own typeface. The illusion even extended to changes in his work process: although he now does all his preliminary and final drawing on screen, the first trial renderings of Alisal were done as pencil renderings.

Alisal is best classified as an Italian old style design. Originally created between the late 15th and mid-16th centuries in northern Italy, the true Italian old styles were some of the first roman types. They tend to be the most calligraphic of serifed faces, with the axis of their curved strokes inclined to the left, as if drawn with a flat-tipped pen or brush. These designs offer sturdy, free-flowing and heavily bracketed serifs, short descenders, and a modest contrast in stroke weight.

Alisal has nearly all the classic Italian old style character traits, plus a few quirks of its own. It is calligraphic in nature, with more of a pen-drawn quality than faces like Palatino or Goudy Old Style. It is more rough-hewn than either Goudy's Kennerley or Benton's Cloister, and is generally heavier in weight than most of the other Italian old style designs. One place where Alisal makes a clean break with traditional old style designs is in the serifs. While sturdy and clearly reflecting pen-drawn strokes, Alisal's serifs have no bracketing and appear to be straight strokes crossing the main vertical.

Like Caslon or Trajanus, Alisal is a handsome design when viewed as a block of copy. Ascenders are tall and elegant, and serve as a counterpoint to the robust strength of the rest of the design. Alisal is available as a small family of roman and bold with a complementary italic for the basic roman weight, providing all that is needed for the majority of text typography.

Alisal is not as well-known as some of Carter's other typefaces, but this lovely and long-incubated design was certainly worth the wait.

Alisal Italic

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US$ 54
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Catalog number: 16780235

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.

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).

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.

These fonts support the Basic Latin character set. Each font is Unicode™ encoded, and available in d

Tag: Basic Latin

Function: These fonts support the Basic Latin character set. Each font is Unicode™ encoded, and available in different formats. Please review the product information for each font to ensure it will meet your requirements.

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