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2.3 Didone

In this lesson, we’ll cover the third type of serif typeface on our list: Didone. You might find this name to be a bit odd—it’s actually a combination of two other names: Didot and Bodoni, two of the most popular typefaces in this category. Let’s find out more.

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2.3 Didone

Welcome to lesson number four where we'll cover the third type of the serif typeface which is Didone. Now you might find this name to be a bit odd, that's because it's made up of two other names, Didot and Bodoni. These are two of the most famous typefaces of the style. Now, Didone typefaces first appeared in France in the 18th century. The first first typeface of this style was created by Firmin Didot. Apologies if I mispronounced that. Anyway, Monsieur Didot might have created the first Didone type, but it was the Italian Jean-Baptista Badoni who took over and created the defining typefaces for this style. That's why the style is named after Didot and Bodoni. Now, if you remember the previous lesson, where I showed you the Baskerville transitional type, I said that compared to the old style, these new typefaces have a much bigger contrast between thin and thick strokes. Well, Didone typefaces take this contrast to the extremes. That's why they are a lot of times associated with elegance and sophistication. It's probably the reason you can see Didone typefaces on the cover of most fashion magazines or in the logos of luxury brands, for example, Vogue or Dior. As a quick note, Didone typefaces are also called moderns or neoclassicals. Now let's take a look at the main features. The biggest most distinguishable characteristic of the style is the very high stroke contrast. We have very thick strokes and then very thin strokes. This is the best way to recognize a Didone. Another big difference is in the serifs. There's very little to no bracketing for them. So that curve we saw in the older typefaces is gone. Also, the letters have vertical stress. All right, now, let's see some examples. The first one here is Bodoni, we can see the high contrast between strokes, the abrupt serifs. We also have vertical stress. And very common for these typefaces is a bowl shape terminal on some of the letters, we can see it on the R, on the C. That's very very common. Another famous Didone typeface is Didot. Same deal, abrupt, sarifs, very high contrast between strokes. We can see it even more clearly here. We have those ballm terminals and vertical stress. Another one is called Bodoni Poster. This is actually a subset of Bodoni. And this feature is bolder letters, bolder characters. Now moving on to more custom typefaces, we have argo with which is designed by Anthony James. This is definitely a Didone, see the very high contrast between strokes. We have these terminals here in the ball shape. We have vertical stress, and there's very little to no bracketing on the serifs. Definitely a different looking typeface but Didone style nonetheless. Another one is called Narziss. Very interesting. It has the same characteristics as Didone typefaces but with it's own unique style and personality. I really like this one. Then we have one that's called Ambroise. [LAUGH] Apologies for mispronouncing these names. But this one, yeah, again clearly a Didone. See the very high contrast, the terminals, the vertical stress and also the serifs. Very little bracketing there and very thin serifs. We also have some examples on Envato elements. Here's a typeface called Domani. This replicates the Didone style very, very well. And another one is called SF Kingston. A little different, but it uses those characteristics to great effect. I really like this one. All right, and these are Didone typefaces. Now, as we move closer and closer to our own time, we can see how typefaces evolved, right? We went from that very classical style based on Roman Capitals to the more modern edgy typefaces that are Didones. Now, as we get closer to the 19th century, another style has emerged. But this one was created for something completely different. And that style is called Slab, and we'll cover it in the next lesson.

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