Greek Font Society
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|GFS Didot Classic
Under the influence of the neoclassical ideals of the late 18th century, the famous French typecutter Firmin Didot in Paris designed a new Greek typeface (1805) which was immediately used in the publishing programme of Adamantios Korai, the prominent intellectual figure of the Greek diaspora and leading scholar of the Greek Enlightenment. The typeface eventually arrived in Greece, with the field press which came with Didot’s grandson Ambroise Firmin Didot, during the Greek Revolution in 1821. Since then the typeface has enjoyed an unrivaled success as the type of choice for almost every kind of publication until the last decades of the 20th century. Didot's original type design, as it is documented in publications during the first decades of the 19th century, was digitized and revived by George D. Matthiopoulos in 2006 for a project of the Department of Literature in the School of Philosophy at the University of Thessaloniki, and is now available for general use.
Download GFSDidotClassic Specimen
In England, during the 1790’s, Cambridge University Press decided to procure a new set of Greek types. The university’s great scholar of Classics, Richard Porson was asked to produce a typeface based on his handsome handwriting and Richard Austin was commissioned to cut the types. The type was completed in 1808, after the untimely death of Porson the previous year. Its success was immediate and since then the classical editions in Great Britain and the U.S.A. use it, almost invariably. In 1913, Monotype released the typeface with some corrections, notably replacing the upright capitals suggested by Porson with inclined ones. In Greece the typeface was used under the name Pelasgika type. GFS Porson is based on the Monotype version, though using upright capitals, as in the original.
Download GFSPorson Specimen
From the middle of the 19th century an italic font with many calligraphic overtones was introduced into Greek printing. Its source is unknown, but it almost certainly was the product of a German or Italian foundry. In the first type specimen printed in Greece by the typecutter K. Miliadis (1850), the font was listed anonymously along others of 11pts and in the Gr. Doumas' undated specimen appeared as «11pt Greek inclined». For most of the second half of the century the type was used extensively as an italic for emphasis in words, sentences or exerpts. In 1889, the folio size Type Specimen of Anestis Konstantinidis' publishing, printing and type founding establishment also included the type as «Greek inclined [9 & 12 pt]».
Download GFSSolomos Specimen
This typeface is a product of Deckersche Schriftgießere typefoundry owned by Rudolf Ludwig Decker (1804-1877) in Berlin, but it was frequently used in Greek editions by both Oxford and Cambridge University Press during the last decades of the 19th century. It was designed and cut before 1864, according to John Bowman, when a set of matrices was bought by OUP, although the type was not cast and used in England until 1882.
Download GFSDecker Specimen
Griechische Antiqua was one of the historical Greek fonts of the lete 19th and early 20th century. It was designed by Μaurice Εduard Pinder, a German erudite artist and a member of the Academy of Science in Berlin. This is the most popular version which has appeared from 1870 to 1940 in the German speaking philological literature and in many classical and byzantine editions by publishers like Teubner (in Leipsig) and Weidmann (in Berlin) such as: Anthology of Byzantine Melos by Wilhelm von Christ and Matthaios Paranikas(Leipsig 1871), Epicurea, by Heinrich Usener (Leipsig 1887), Mitrodorous by Alfred Koerte (Leipsig 1890), Pindar by Otto Schroeder (Leipsig 1908), του Aeschylus by U. von Wilamowitz-Moellendorff (Berlin 1910, 1915), Bachylides by Bruno Snell (Leipsig, 1934), The Vulgata by Alfred Rahlfs (Stuttgard 1935), Suidas Lexicn by Ada Adler (Leipsig 1928-1938) etc. E.J. Kenney lammented the abandoment of the type after the 2nd World War as a great loss for Greek typography ("From Script to Print," Greek Scripts: An illustrated Introduction, Society for the Promotion of Hellenic Studies, 2001, p. 69).We thank Dr. Dimitrios Papanikolaou, a classical philologist, who pointed to us the type and provided us with the necessary material.
GFS Philostratos was digitized by George D. Matthiopoulos and is freely available for use.
Download GFSPhilostratos Specimen
|GFS Goschen Cursive
Georg Joachim Göschen founded in 1782 the publishing house of G.J. Göschensche Verlagsbuchhandlung in Leipsig and was one of the most active publishers of the period in Germany. Göschen was very interested in typography influenced by the fame and quality of the editions of G. Bodoni and F. Didot. In 1797, he collaborated with the leading scholar of the period, Johann Jakob Griesbach, to edit and publish the New Testament in Greek for which he formed a committee of scholars to decide the new Greek type which were eventually cut by Johann Prillwitz. The book appeared in 1803 and the types show many influences from the Greek types of Bodoni. Their characteristic was the neoclassical form of marked contrast between thick and thin strokes, the cursive style and the large size of the font.
Download GFSGoschen Specimen