From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
This article is about the typeface. For other uses, see Janson (disambiguation).
Not to be confused with Adobe Jenson.
Category Serif
Designer(s) Chauncey H. Griffith
Foundry Linotype
Design based on Nicholas Kis' Roman of 1685

Janson is an old-style serif typeface inspired by a set of Dutch Baroque typefaces.[1] It is an even, regular design, particularly intended for body text.

Janson is based on surviving designs from Leipzig that were named for Anton Janson (1620–1687), a Leipzig-based printer and punch-cutter from the Netherlands who was believed to have created them. Research in the 1970s and early 1980s, however, concluded that the typeface was the work of a Hungarian punch-cutter, Miklós (Nicholas) Tótfalusi Kis (1650–1702). Tótfalusi Kis traveled to Amsterdam in 1680 to serve as an apprentice under Dirk Voskens; he cut several typefaces while working under Voskens, producing a roman-text face about 1685 upon which present-day Janson is based. Tótfalusi Kis also cut Greek and Hebrew typefaces, both for use in printing Polyglot Bibles.

A revival of the face was designed in 1937 by Chauncey H. Griffith of the Mergenthaler Linotype foundry. The revival was taken from the original matrices, held since 1919 by the Stempel Type Foundry, which were Mergenthaler's exclusive agent in Europe.

The most common digital version, Janson Text, comes from a metal version produced by Hermann Zapf in the 1950s at Stempel. This was based on Kis' original matrices.[2] Digitisations are available from Linotype, Adobe, Bitstream (adding Cyrillic glyphs), URW++ (adding an additional light and black weights) and others.

Despite its 17th-century origins, Janson is used in a wide variety of contemporary text applications. As of the magazine's 2011 redesign, Architectural Digest uses Janson for body text in all of its articles.

A separate common revival of the 'Janson' designs is Ehrhardt, created by Monotype in the 1930s.[3] Somewhat more condensed than most Janson revivals, giving it a crisp, vertical appearance, it is a popular book typeface, particularly often used in the UK.[4] Besides a number of revivals specifically of Ehrhardt (described in that article), two more by Linotype and Berthold have been sold under the name of Kis.[5][6]


  1. ^ Middendorp, Jan (2004). Dutch type. Rotterdam: 010 Publishers. p. 25. ISBN 9789064504600. 
  2. ^ Jaspert, Pincus, Berry, and Johnson, p. 122.
  3. ^ "Ehrhardt". MyFonts. Monotype. Retrieved 14 June 2015. 
  4. ^ Butterick, Matthew. "Equity specimen" (PDF). Practical Typography. Retrieved 13 July 2015. 
  5. ^ Luin, Franko. "Kis Classico LT". Linotype. Retrieved 11 September 2015. 
  6. ^ "Berthold Kis". MyFonts. Berthold. Retrieved 11 September 2015. 

External links[edit]