Centaur (typeface)

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Category Serif
Classification Humanist
Designer(s) Bruce Rogers
Frederic Warde
Foundry Monotype Corporation
Date created 1914
Date released 1929
Also known as Metropolitan

Centaur is a humanist type family originally drawn as titling capitals by Bruce Rogers in 1914 for the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The matrices were cut by Robert Wiebking and the type was privately cast by the American Type Foundry. The typeface is based upon several Renaissance models. Rogers' primary influence for the Roman was Nicholas Jenson's 1469 Eusebius, considered the model for the modern Roman alphabet.

Centaur also shows the influence of types cut by Francesco Griffo in 1495 for a small book titled De Aetna written by Pietro Bembo. The 1929 typeface Bembo is based primarily upon that specimen. Rogers later added the Roman lowercase, and the italic, based upon Ludovico Arrighi’s 1520 chancery face. The italic was drawn by Frederic Warde. The completed typeface was released for general use in 1929 by the Monotype Corporation Ltd. Quite slender, one of its most notable uses has been in the designs of Penguin Books, who have regularly used it for titling and headings.


  • Blackwell, Lewis. 20th Century Type. Yale University Press: 2004. ISBN 0-300-10073-6.
  • Fiedl, 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 Rob Carter. Typographic Specimens: The Great Typefaces. Wiley: 1993. ISBN 0-471-28429-7.
  • Meggs, Philip B. and McKelvey, Roy. Revival of the Fittest: Digital Versions of Classic Typefaces. RC Publications: 2000. ISBN 1-883915-08-2.
  • Updike, Daniel Berkeley. Printing Types Their History, Forms and Use. Dover Publications, Inc: 1937, 1980. ISBN 0-486-23929-2.

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