[XeTeX] wrong font match and missing characters

Ralf Stubner ralf.stubner at physik.uni-erlangen.de
Sat Jun 10 13:52:19 CEST 2006

public at heslin.eclipse.co.uk writes:

> Will Robertson <wspr81 at gmail.com> writes:
>> My question is a little unrelated. This font doesn't look much like a
>> Didot -- do you know why it uses that name? For example, see the
>> Didot below in contrast which is distributed with Mac OS X:

I didn't get this message, but I think I can solve that puzzle by citing
Robert Bringhurst, The Elements of Typographic Style (section Greeks,
p. 259 in version 2.5):

| More than one typographer has wondered why Didot Greeks look so little
| like Didot romans. The reason is that they were cut in different eras
| by father and son, and they embody the two punchcutters' different
| relationships to two distinct typographic traditions. The original
| Didot Greeks are the work of Ambroise Firmin-Didot, whose father,
| Firmin Didot, cut the best known Didot romans and italics. The romans,
| cut in the thick of the French Revolution, have a strictly rationalist
| structure. They have left every vestige of Baroque variety behind. The
| Greeks have a lefthandedness learned from the Mannerist and Baroque
| Greeks of Granjon, Jannon, Kis, Caslon and Fleischman. The capitals
| are openly schizophrenic, with adnate, Neoclassical serifs on the thin
| strokes and abrupt, Romantic serifs on the thick ones. The digital
| version shown here was made for the Greek Font Society, Athens, by
| Takis Katsoulides on 1993.

The Latin part of the GFS Didot one can get now is actually based on
Palatino. One can see this quite well in the itlaic cuts. The roman cuts
quite differnt from Palatino, though. Overall, the latin part does not
do justice to the really nice Greek part. 

> Didot indicates a broad general style of Greek typeface, rather than a
> particular face.  Both the GFS font and the example of Greek you posted
> are in this general style (so too is the standard Greek font for TeX,
> originally devised by Levi, though it's a much more high-contrast
> version and so looks even more different).

This high contrast in the Levi fonts is understandable, since they were
designed to match CM.


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