Typeface Index: Solemnis

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Designed by G. G. Lange for Berthold in 1953. It is discussed briefly, and shown, by Alexander Lawson in Anatomy of a Typeface (Boston: David R. Godine, 1990): 43, 45. Lawson's gives few details of Solemnis, but his treatment is useful for placing it in the context of its contemporary Uncials.

This typeface, designed for Didot point system bodies, was cast on American point system bodies for, and imported into the US by, Amsterdam Continental Types, Inc. This leads to certain issues.

(As it happens that Solemnis was the first typeface for which I encountered Didot/American issues, the discussion below is taken from the coverage of these issues in Didot Issues for American Typefounders.)

Solemnis was cut by that foundry for use on Didot point system bodies in 10, 12, 14, 16, 20, 24, 28, 36, 48 and 60 Didot points. When this type was cast for American use and imported via Amsterdam Continental Types, Inc., it was cast on bodies of 10, 12, 14, 18, "24-S", "24-L", 30, 36, 48 and 60 American points. That is, the 16 Didot point size was cast on an 18 American point body. The 20 Didot point size was cast on 24 point American (and called "24-S," I presume for "Small"). The 24 Didot point size was cast on 24 point American (and called "24-L," I presume for "Large"). The 28 Didot point size was cast on 30 point American.

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