URW Firmin Didot font family

Designed by URW Studio in 1995

Sarahs favorite fonts – Sarah’s favorite fonts

The favorite fonts of the typographer and designer of Rameau, Sarah Lazarevic

The celebrated French graphic designer and typographer Sarah Lazarevic describes exclusively for Linotype.com the fonts for which she has a particular affection.
Sarah currently lives and works in France. Among her clientèle are major organizations, such as La Poste, the town of Millau and the Organisation internationale de la Francophonie. She also teaches graphic art and typography at the École Professionnelle Supérieure d’Arts Graphiques et d’Architecture in Paris. One of Sarah’s most popular creations is the font Rameau, a classical Antiqua typeface, which is based on the forms of a hand-engraved musical score of the 18th century. It is perhaps no surprise that Sarah was so impressed by this score: in her free time, she herself indulges in copperplate engraving.

Sarah Lazarevic: “These are my favorite fonts …”

“It’s not an easy question to answer: which are your favorite fonts? There are those we admire for the quality of their design, those we like because they have a natural or calligraphic touch, the historical typefaces, which form part of our heritage, and the typefaces which enable us to reminisce …
Here is a selection of some of the typefaces which appeal to me for these different reasons …”


The Syntax is a typeface which I used a great deal when I was a student and for me its appeal lies in its legibility and its elegance. It draws inspiration from humanistic forms‚ which gives it greater flexibility than the ‘classic’ linear responses‚ particularly those designed in the same period.
(In the case of his sans serif font Syntax published in 1968, Hans Eduard Meier drew on the forms of a Renaissance Antiqua to give the typeface a dynamic and very genial feel. A radically reworked and extended version of Syntax − Linotype Syntax − was produced by Linotype working in collaboration with Meier and was published in 2000.)


Roman scripts particularly appeal to me‚ as do the typefaces designed from these ancient written forms. The first typefaces I’ve designed takes inspiration from the Roman cursive script engraved on pottery. The design of Virgile is reminiscent of the historical forms of Rustica writing. It demonstrates very subtle and highly rhythmical calligraphic accents.
(Virgile was created by Franck Jalleau on the basis of historical prototypes and published in 1995.)

URW Firmin Didot

The URW Firmin Didot is a digital version that is very similar to the original. Personally‚ I find that the Didot is the finest typeface in the world! (I don’t say that because I’m French …) This typeface epitomizes fine living. I’ve always liked the design of the number 2‚ which is extremely sophisticated.
The classical Antiqua Didot was originally designed by the French printing and publishing family Didot in 1800 for use in their own printing shops. Its style is similar to that of Bodoni, created in Italy in the same era.)

Medici Script

Another typeface inspired by a script‚ the Renaissance in this case. To practice calligraphy is essential for me if one is to understand the essence of the design of the letter. This Chancelière (Cancellaresca) script is understated and elegant. The small break in the downstrokes marks the form given by the nib stroke.
(Hermann Zapf’s Medici Script is named for the prominent Renaissance Florentine family and was published in 1974. Medici Script is seen as a precursor of ITC Zapf Chancery.)

All the fonts by Roger Excoffon

This is an opportunity to pay homage to this very great designer‚ who made a great impact during his era and in our daily lives. The Antique Olive for its fabulous and disturbing capital O … The Banco and the Choc …
(Roger Excoffon (1910–1983) was an eminent French graphic designer and typographer. He published a wealth of typefaces, including Banco (1951), a typical 1950s advertising font, the exuberant brush script Choc (1954), and the Grotesque Antique Olive, which Excoffon designed for Air France in the 1960s while working as art director for the airline.)


I used this typeface several years ago for an identity. I find it very powerful‚ which perhaps stems from the fact that Koch engraved the letters in metal to create the forms. It is in the tradition of characters engraved on wood in that it is very black and very dense. The black/white ratio in the grey of the text is both strong and very subtle.
(Rudolf Koch created Neuland 1923 by hand-carving the characters directly from metal. Its unusual, somewhat primitive appearance means that the font is still used today in contexts that require its direct but exotic effect. It is used, for example, in the logo of the tobacco brand American Spirit and has appeared in the Jurassic Park films – here in an inline variant.)

URW Firmin Didot

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URW Firmin Didot

2 Typefaces

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Std / OT CFF

supports at least

21 languages.

URW Firmin Didot Roman -  1 variant
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URW Firmin Didot Bold -  1 variant
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