Feb. 4th, 2010

mirrorshard: Photo of a small leather-bound notebook, filled with mirror writing (Da Vinci)
I've just got back from the William Morris Gallery in Walthamstow, where I've been doing some light typography research - there's a couple of computer fonts available derived from Morris's Golden Type, and I wanted to compare the one I had to an original edition. So I went to look at a first edition of The Well at the World's End, which is set in Chaucer but was still wonderful, and a collected Keats bound in vellum. Only seven of those were made.

And the curatorial assistant there apologised for the fact that the Kelmscott Chaucer was out on loan. I turned down the offer to look through the Folio Society repro they had on display, because I couldn't justify it with this project, but next time I shall. And when I do get a chance at the real thing...

Anyway, it turns out that Scriptorium's True Golden font isn't a close replica - to be fair, it only claims to be "based on" the original, but with a name like that it's a bit misleading. The weirdest thing is that True Golden has no left double-quotes - it uses identical ones to the right double-quotes.

And looking at the Keats, Morris's double-quotes are perfectly normal. Nice three-lobed diamonds with an elegant curved tail/ascender, about twice the length of the dot, with the only peculiarity being that the left one has the dots centred at x-height and the right has them reaching up to the capitals, so they aren't on a level with each other.

There are a couple of other Golden-derived fonts out there, but I can't afford to go buying them on the offchance, so I've mailed these guys to ask about the reasoning behind it. I mean, it isn't the kind of thing you can do by accident.

Edit: Looking at P22 Morris Golden (since they have a custom-text previewer), they use the same backwards quote marks. Though theirs are nicer, and it'd be a much better font for large sizes. So presumably that was done at some point - I just need to work out when.

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