Goudy Old Style

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Goudy Old Style
Category Serif
Classification Old Style
Designer(s) Frederic W. Goudy
Foundry American Type Founders
Date released 1915
Re-issuing foundries Lanston Monotype

Goudy Old Style (also known as just Goudy) is a classic old-style serif typeface originally created by Frederic W. Goudy for American Type Founders (ATF) in 1915.

Suitable for both text and display applications, Goudy Old Style is a graceful, balanced design with a few eccentricities, including the upward-curved ear on the g and the diamond shape of the dots of the i, j, and the points found in the period, colon and exclamation point, and the sharply canted hyphen. The uppercase italic Q has a strong calligraphic quality. Generally classified as a Garalde (sometimes called Aldine) face, certain of its attributes—most notably the gently curved, rounded serifs of certain glyphs—suggest a Venetian influence.

Goudy Old Style is considered to be among the most legible and readable serif typefaces for use in print (offline) applications.[1]

Distinctive Visual Identifiable Characteristics[edit]

Characteristics of this typeface are:

lower case: lozenge shape dot over the letter i. double storey a.

upper case: the capital Q's tail is centered under the figure, the uppercase J has a slight hook, and there are two versions of uppercase R, one with a straight tail and one with a curved tail.



Several variants, designed by several designers, were released in the ensuing years (all faces ATF unless otherwise specified):[2]

The face was an instant best seller, prompting ATF to issue a special 124-page specimen book of the series in 1927. Goudy had sold the design to ATF for fifteen-hundred dollars and received no royalty on the type, causing his relationship with the foundry to deteriorate. Over time, because graphic designers came to see the face as more suitable for display, the bold became the most enduringly popular of the family.[3]

Hot Metal Copies[edit]

The face was immediately licensed to Lanston Monotype and some of the weights were issued by Intertype as well. Ludlow called its 1924 knock-off the Number Eleven series.[4]

Cold Type Copies[edit]

As the face was a "classic" almost from the day of its issue, producers of cold type offered their own versions of Goudy Old Style under the following names:[5]

Digital Copies[edit]

Digital copies have been made by Monotype Imaging, DTP Types, The League of Moveable Type, Electric Typographer, Lanston Type, Bitstream, URW++, Adobe, and Linotype. Goudy Catalog has been copied by Scangraphic, Bitstream, URW++, and Elsner+Flake. A version called Goudy Schoolbook also exists, with single-story versions of the letters a and g, but it is not for sale to the general public.


Goudy Old Style is the text typeface used in Harper's Magazine. It is the official typeface of Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia, Lewis & Clark College in Portland, Oregon, Moravian College in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, and Clemson University in Clemson, South Carolina. It is also used by the National University of Colombia.[6] It is also the standard body text font for Key Club publications.

Other Goudy Typefaces[edit]

Frederic Goudy's name is associated with many other typefaces designed by Goudy, but not related to Goudy Oldstyle, including:[7]


  • Friedl, Frederich, Nicholas Ott and Bernard Stein. Typography: An Encyclopedic Survey of Type Design and Techniques Through History. Black Dog & Leventhal: 1998. ISBN 1-57912-023-7.
  • Lawson, Alexander S., Anatomy of a Typeface. Godine: 1990. ISBN 978-0-87923-333-4.
  • Meggs, Philip B. and McKelvey, Roy.Revival of the Fittest: Digital Versions of Classic Typefaces. RC Publications: 2000. ISBN 1-883915-08-2.
  1. ^ About.com review of Classic Serif Typefaces
  2. ^ MacGrew, Mac, "American Metal Typefaces of the Twentieth Century," Oak Knoll Books, New Castle Delaware, 1993, pp. 160-161, ISBN 0-938768-34-4.
  3. ^ Lawson, Alexander, Anatomy of a Typeface,David R. Godine, Publisher, Boston, 1990, ISBN 0-87923-332-X, pp. 110-119.
  4. ^ MacGrew, "American Metal Typefaces of the Twentieth Century," pp. 160-161.
  5. ^ Lawson, Alexander, Archie Provan, and Frank Romano, "Primer Metal Typeface Identification," National Composition Association, Arlington, Virginia, 1976, pp. 34 - 35.
  6. ^ Resolución No. 001008, Agosto 14 de 2003, Universidad Nacional de Colombia, 14 August 2003
  7. ^ MacGrew, "American Metal Typefaces of the Twentieth Century," pp. 160-169.

External links[edit]