beauty and rhythm of form
There are many forms of Bodoni to be found, but none quite as beautiful as Bodoni Open.
To my knowledge there are no other versions of Open version other than a few cheapie knock-offs, or Caslon Open which has a totally different feel.
Giovanni Battista Bodoni (1740 - 1813) is often called the "father of modern typefaces" because his original cut of Bodoni heralded in the dawn of the modern movement. Before Bodoni, Roman style font designers were lead by Baskerville, Fournier and Didot, all of which Bodoni greatly admired. But this Italian printer and typographer approached printing as a means to create an artistic expression in addition to written communication.
I often reminded my workshop attendees in Creative Layout Techniques and Typography WOW of Bodoni's own words...
"No other art is more justified than typography in looking ahead to future centuries; for the creations of typography benefit coming generations as much as present ones."
Bodoni became a highly popular type face in the late 1700s for bookmaking. Later, a rapidly expanding newspaper industry would embrace its unique 'color' on the printed page. Today, we see beautifully forged Bodoni adorning everything from corporate annual reports to magazine advertising.
When you use Bodoni Open, use it for its grace. But also use it for its ability to communicate more than words... a feeling of well being and richness. You see here in our header above, I couldn't resist filling those tooled areas with a color blend. This is just one example of the opportunities available with this font.
Bodoni Open is caps and lower case, but for titling use only caps. Allow a little extra spacing, and attempt to mimic the tooled openings with your character spacing. It will look very elegant indeed. This version of bodoni open was forged by Ralph Smith the president and owner of Phil's Fonts for their in-house font collection.
"Bodoni Open has always been a favorite of mine. It's a really beautiful cut, and a unique complement to the more traditional members of the Bodoni family. I wanted expose type aficionados to this design, and help ensure it didn't go the way of so many great typefaces - lost in the pre-digital type graveyard." says Ralph, who continues, "I digitized it in 1994, hand vectoring in Macromedia Fontographer, working over the actual letter forms from a Phototypositor film master. It really is a particularly beautiful face, because of its elegance and distinct personality."
Ralph, started with Phil's in 1978. Phil's Fonts evolved from Phil's Photo, a quality photolettering studio established in 1971. Ralph, an avid photography buff, had no previous professional typography experience, but quickly became immersed in the world of type. Ralph is a hands-on owner, still deeply involved in type creation and assisting fledgling type designers in perfecting their craft.
Ralph is also a member of TypeRight, an organization whose mission is to promote typefaces as creative works and to advocate their legal protection as intellectual property.
So when you come upon a design project, or a client who absolutely has to portray the very best there is, Bodoni Open will send that visual message to all readers who see it.
Bodoni Open is not available free from any web site.
Return to the DT&G Type Department, or back to The Front Page