Excelsior (typeface)

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Excelsior typeface sample.png
Category Serif
Classification Transitional, slab-serif
Designer(s) Chauncey H. Griffith
Foundry Mergenthaler Linotype Company
Date released 1931
Design based on Ionic No. 5

Excelsior is a slab serif typeface designed by Chauncey H. Griffith and presented by Mergenthaler Linotype in 1931. It is one of five typefaces in Griffith's 'Legibility Group' which contains typefaces especially suited to newsprint.

Before designing this font, Griffith consulted the results of a survey of optometrists regarding optimal legibility.

The design has similarities to Clarendon and Ionic slab-serif designs of the 19th century, most visibly in its regular weight. In its bold weight, where the serifs are less emphatic relative to the width of the strokes, it somewhat resembles a bold weight of Times New Roman. Not particularly condensed, unlike many other newspaper typefaces, Linotype has described its usage as most common "in Europe, where newspaper columns are wide."[1]

Related typefaces Opticon and Paragon were released in 1935 as slightly heavier and slightly lighter versions of Excelsior designed for newspapers that deliberately underink to favor halftones, or overink to favor text and headlines.

The News 702 typeface by BitStream is almost identical to Excelsior.


  1. ^ Linotype. "Excelsior". MyFonts. Retrieved 23 May 2015. 

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