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a type specimen



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><><><><><><><><><> 8 8 8 8 8 text credit: Sagittarius, Archer, the colorful slab serif, Hoefler & Frere-Jones The Precepts of Chiron, Hesiod Archer Typeface Review, David John Earls

}{}{}{ Archer book, roman & italic, 24 & 9 pt

Archer }{}{}{}{ a type specimen

edited & designed by Amelie Au Typography I 2011

}{}{}{ Archer book, 48, 24, and 13 pt


the Archer

}{}{}{ Archer semibold italic, 38 & 44 pt

ARCHER IN THE SKY Archer, better known as Sagittarius in Latin, is a constellation of the zodiac, one containing the galactic center. Commonly represented as a centaur drawing a bow, it lies between Ophiuchus to the west and Capricornus tothe east, with the celestial coordinates of Right Ascension 19h and a Declination of -25ยบ. }{}{}{ (title) Archer semibold italic small caps 24 pt, (body copy) Archer book 16 pt


Aa Aa Aa

abcdefghijklm nopqrstuvwxyz

abcdefghijklm nopqrstuvwxyz

abcdefghijklm nopqrstuvwxyz

}{}{}{ (title) Archer semibold italic small caps pt 24, (letters) light, medium, bold, 96 & 20 pt


Archer: the colorful slab serif Sweet but not saccharine, earnest but not grave, the other known Archer is a popular typeface designed to hit just the right notes of forthrightness, credibility, and charm. Slab serifs have been evolving for two hundred years, yet the category continues to be dominated by two basic styles: Antiques and Geometrics. Antiques arise out of the same nineteenth-century tradition that produced the Modern and Scotch styles: at heart, they’re text faces, and they feature all of the qualities needed to thrive at small sizes. (Antiques customarily have the traditional ‘two-storey’ forms of a and g, and a capital R that ends in

}{}{}{ (title) Archer light 50 & 36 pt, (body copy) Archer book 9 pt

a flourish.) Our Ziggurat typeface is an example of the Antique style in full flower, capturing the best of what the style has to offer: it’s warm, comforting, and persuasive. But this coziness comes at the expense of modernity, and in the wrong context even the best Antique can feel oldfashioned, musty, and irrelevant. The Geometric is a twentieth-century riposte to the Antique. Informed by the same kind of rationalist thinking that inspired the greatsans serifs of the Bauhaus, Geometrics abandon traditional forms in favor of mathematical strategies. A Geometric’s O is circular rather than elliptical, and its forms shed their residual

of those

ame to li

Archer that

half etrum,


st can scale

best contrast of between thicks and thins. Geometrics usually apply this


same rationalism to the woollier parts of the alphabet, replacing the alphabet’s beaks and tails and ball terminals with a program of matching serifs. While these faces can sometimes be bracingly modern, they’re often monotonous, and many Geometrics suffer from an astringent sting that makes them difficult to useand unwelcome to read.

ding t all

In 2001, Hoefler & Frere-Jones, however, brilliantly designed Archer to combine the ordinariness of Antiques with the modern practicality of Geometrics. Taking subtle cues from the world of typewriter


y, Archer

s use out in

}{}{}{ (pull-quote) Archer Light italic 24pt

faces, they managed to make the typeface personable, straightforward, and credible, as well as pretty, hardworking, and frank. They restored the vanished ‘ball terminals’ to the lowercase, and uncharacteristically applied these gestures to the capitals as well, in order to yield a font that’s friendly without being silly, and attractive without being flashy. Numbers come in both lining and old-style figures, for them to be usable in various contexts. Archer’s lining figures have been designed to a proportion that makes them attractive and useful in upper and lowercase setting. Old-style figures, also known as “ranging figures” or “non-lining

figures,” are numbers whose shapes are designed to harmonize with the proportions and rhythm of the lowercase. Both old-style and lining figures are standard in every edition of Archer. Despite being originally comissioned by Martha Stewart Living for their magazine, this beautifully designed typeface is not solely restricted to recipes, charts, and diagrams related to the domestic arts. Its broad usage can be traced to editorials, books, and publications on design, fashion and music. Archer is simple, but at the same time it manages to display a subtle air of elegance. The font shows off great flexibility too, as it can be used in both titles and body copies. The result of Hoefler and FrereJones’s meticulous designing is a typeface that’s well-mannered, easy to work with, and inviting to read. Archer is just the right amount of traditional and modern. {{{}}}

“And mar thin wise “Decide no suit until

concentrating on the lighter half of youeight have heard the spectrum, weights offeringboth a delightful range of contrast, but never speak.” venturing sides heavier than bold.

}{}{}{ (body copy) Archer book 9 pt

d now, pra rk all thes ngs well in e heart. First, whenever you come to your house, offer good sacrifices to the eternal gods.â&#x20AC;?

A chattering crow lives out nine gene

of aged men, but a stag's life is four ti crow's, and a raven's life makes three

old, while the phoenix outlives nine ra

but we, the rich-haired Nymphs, daug

Zeus the aegis-holder, outlive ten pho }{}{}{

kind of approach. But as marvelous as so many o

lab serifs were, sadly they were let down when it ca

or more

usable text weights. Of course, it is A

tood out, with H&FJ concentrating on the lighter h

offering a delightful range of contrast, but ne

venturing heavier than bold. Making a text face dis

nctive with a clear

personality that

ight up to display sizes is a mammoth task at the b

imes, but a slab? Yet here it is; with its judicious sty

brave use of ball terminals, and blend in precise geometry with sexy cursive forms,

nd yet

brought together with the kind of historical and int

igour you fully expect from this particular foundry

ucceeds where others falter. I only hope that in its }{}{}{








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Archer Type Specimen  

student type specimen project; Archer Typeface by Hoefler & Frere Jones

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