Parkinson Electra


Jim Parkinson
Release Year
Country of Origin
Original Format
electra, italics, serif


Although Dwiggins used fonts such as Bodoni and Baskerville as his patterns, Electra is significantly more dynamic than its forebears. Dwiggins was able to combine the historical essence with the spirit of the 1920s and 1930s, making Electra into a serif font with a unique character.
And more than 75 years later, while Parkinson utilised original drafts and early Electra sample fonts for his modification, his objective was not to create a simple clone of the typeface. Particularly helpful was the insight he had gained during the early 1990s, when he remodelled Electra for use by a newspaper, the San Francisco Chronicle.
Of the features he has retained, that which is most reminiscent of a newspaper font is the markedly reduced set width of Parkinson Electra® when compared with that of the original Electra. Parkinson Electra is also very slightly more robust than its precursor while its curves have been somewhat softened. This has resulted in a reduced contrast stroke width which, together with the faint hint of a groove in the remodelled serifs, further offsets the rigour of the classic Antiqua form and enhances the dynamic character of the new font. But Parkinson has only occasionally modified the actual forms of the letters, being very restrained when doing so. For example, the drop of the “a” and the “c” is plainly rounder, while the arch of lowercase “f” is slightly shorter.

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Dave Dawson’s avatar

Last edited by Dave Dawson on September 15, 2011, 11:30pm EST

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