Georgia

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Condensed Light

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Condensed Light Italic

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Light Italic

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Condensed Regular

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Condensed Italic

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Condensed Semi Bold

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Condensed Semi Bold Italic

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Semi Bold

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Semi Bold Italic

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Condensed Bold

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Condensed Bold Italic

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Condensed Black

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Condensed Black Italic

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Black Italic

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Credits

Designer(s)
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Foundry(ies)
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Release Year
1996
Country of Origin
United States
Classification
Serif, Old Style
Original Format
Digital
Distributor(s)
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Tags
low resolution, screen, system, text, web

Background

Although inspired by the need for—and providing—clarity at low resolutions on the screen, Georgia is a typeface resonant with typographic personality. Even at small sizes the face exudes a sense of friendliness; a feeling of intimacy many would argue has been eroded from Times New Roman through overuse. This is as much testament to the skill of the typeface’s designer, Matthew Carter, as it is to any intrinsic quality of the face’s design, since the small pixel spaces of the screen can be a harrowing canvas for any type designer. In Georgia, Carter has successfully managed to create a typeface family which combines high legibility with character and charm.

At high resolutions and larger sizes on screen, it’s evident that Georgia’s ancestory is essentially that of Didot and—most noticeably—of Scotch Roman. Carter acknowledges the influence of Richard Austin’s early nineteenth-century cut of Scotch Roman on the design of his letterforms. At the time he started Georgia he had been working on a new retail family called Miller, which is a version of Scotch Roman. Carter admits that he had always admired Scotch, particularly in its early forms as cut by Richard Austin for Bell and Miller. The influence of the Scotch model on Georgia is most clearly seen in the horizontal top serifs of the lowercase b, d, h, k and l, and by the flat top of the lowercase t, a typographic allusion to the typeface’s roots in Didot.

To create a font tailored for on-screen display, Carter had to make several departures from the Scotch mold. In Georgia, the uppercase characters are lightened, the x-height is increased, the ascenders rise above the cap height, and the numerals, often cut with a high degree of stress, have been evened out and made slightly non-aligning – a characteristic that imparts a flavor of individuality to any page set in Georgia.

Georgia’s accompanying italic is a graceful, flowing font, the design of which entirely masks the difficulty of creating an italic for the screen. Unlike many contemporary fonts, it is a true italic, containing such characters as the single-storeyed lowercase a and g. The bold weight of the typeface has been similarly carefully designed, to ensure that it is always heavier than the regular weight; an important consideration at small sizes on the screen, where it is often necessary to distinguish between the two.

Originally made available in September 1996, the Georgia typeface family was released in an extended version in October 1997. The newer releases contain all the characters necessary to typeset Eastern European languages, in addition to the Greek and Cyrillic scripts.

Listing Info

andrewwhited’s avatar

Last edited by andrewwhited on March 21, 2013, 12:51am EST

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