The Typehead Chronicles: Caslon
      Of Thomas Christensen, ABCedminded Typesetter  

homeward bound


Adobe Caslon Pro

Adobe Caslon Pro

Identifying Characteristics

  • cropped apex of A
  • high, horizontal crossbar of e
  • C has double serif
  • italic V,W,A may appear to be falling over
  • bowl curve of italic p overlaps stem
  • long serifs on middle arm of E
  • long arm on L
  • bottom arm longer on Z
  • narrow c has low stress
  • large loop on k
  • T has long serifs tapering out from thin arms, lower at center


William Caslon, worked 1720–1766. Based his type on Dutch models.

Since the Caslon Foundary was in business for a long time, there are many Caslon typefaces. But Caslon tout court refers to the faces sometimes known as Caslon Old Style, the subject of the current discussion.

Character and Use

A versatile typeface with a friendly, homey quality. While the individual letterforms are not particularly elegant, the face has altogether a pleasing aspect.

Say What?

"The typographical epitome of the English baroque."

— Robert Bringhurst

"To the question, ‘What is the best type for all purposes which has been designed from the beginning of printing ntil the present day?’ there can be no uncertain answer. The type is that designed and cut by William Caslon. It can be used for years for all purposes without palling on the taste."

— Douglas C. McMurtrie

"I’ll stick with Caslon until I die."

— George Bernard Shaw

"I am not a great enthusiast over Caslon. It is at most a safe type for general use and moderately picturesque."

— Bruce Rogers







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