Certainly one of the more renowned font groups, this well established font family group was named for one of the most famous Parisian printing and type foundry families, the Didot family. They ran a series of highly successful print shops and foundries from the mid 1700s for over two hundred years. One of the first fonts to be classified as Didone or modern the font has appeared in everything from a publication of Voltaire to the logo of a highly successful American broadcasting company. There have been several revivals of The Linotype Didot® Font Family, particularly with the development of hot metal type and Linotype’s more recent redesign to adapt the font for digital use.
Linotype Didot History
The Didot Font Family began in Paris when Firmin Didot began work on a collection of related type fonts. At the time the Didot family owned the most influential and successful print shop and font foundry in France. In fact, they were the King’s printers with seven members of the family working in some capacity in the varied branches of the book trade. Firman Didot completed the development and began to cut the letters and cast them between 1784 and 1811. His brother Pierre used the type for his printing business including the now famous edition of Voltaire’s La Henriade which has been long considered his masterpiece. The typeface was known for its increasing stroke contrast and more condensed armature, much like John Baskerville’s fonts of the time.
The font is considered a neoclassical font with a similar style because of its increased stress high contrast typeface to a contemporary family of fonts of the time, by the Italian Giambattista Bodoni, creator of the well-known Bodoni® font family.
In more modern times, in 1966 the Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS) commissioned the Foundry Daylight® version of the font for their iconic “eye” logo. Although not as common a sight today as it was, the logo is still very much a part of the modern media scene.
The development of hot type and then digital type saw changes to the basic font style, due in part to a common problem with not only the Didot font family but also with the Bodoni fonts. The conversion to digital resulted in a problem called “dazzle” where the fine thin lines in the smaller point sizes would disappear. In 1991 Adrian Frutiger was one of the premier designers of the century and was working at Linotype. He was inspired by the study of the early Didot fonts in the Voltaire publication. He came up with a solution for Dazzle by adapting the fonts with the creation of a heavier weighted stroke in the smaller sizes. A similar solution was created by Jonathan Hoefler in his adaptation that he named HTF Didot ’ when he was at H&FJ. The Linotype Didot and HTF Didot are still widely used to this day in many forms of digital printing, particularly in books and magazines where an elegant old-fashion look is desired.
Today’s Linotype Didot has twelve weights that include Old Style Figures, beautifully designed graphic elements and an elegant headline version. Although there have been many reinterpretations of the original font design, the actual Didot font design remains available only in print version.
Linotype Didot Usage
Widely used in the mid and late 1700s for text publication, including the publication of Voltaire’s La Henriade in 1818.
Columbia Broadcasting System commissioned the Foundry Didot® font for the creation of its iconic “CBS Eye” logo for the three letters that stand to the side of the eye logo and had the font redesigned by Freeman (Jerry) Craw for the electronic age as a digital CBS Didot DF’ digital font in TrueType in 2009.
When Harpers Bazaar decided to redesign its look, they told Jonathan Hoefler at H&FJ they wanted a modern font with hairline serifs that would maintain them no matter what size the font was. Hoefler studied several specimens of Didot fonts from 1819 publications and designed one that would work for the digital redesign, named H&FJ Didot’.
Licenses for desktop fonts
A typical desktop font EULA will allow you to install the font on your computer for use with authoring tools including word processors, design tools and other applications that permit font selection. Fonts can also be used for creation of print documents, static images (JPEG, TIFF, PNG) and logos. The cost of a desktop font license is determined by the number of workstations on which the font is to be used.View the desktop EULA for this family
Licenses for Fonts.com Web Fonts subscriptions
The Fonts.com Web Fonts license provides access to a selection of fonts for use on websites for use with CSS@font-face. Font delivery from our global network is available through all subscriptions – even our free plan. Some plans include the option to self-host, access to desktop fonts, and use of our FontExplorer X font manager and Typecast design application. The price of a plan is determined by its pageview allowance and other features included.View the Fonts.com Web Fonts subscription license agreement
Licenses for mobile apps
A mobile app license permits the embedding of the font into the iOS, Android or Windows RT mobile platforms. Licenses are platform-specific meaning a separate license is required for each platform the font is embedded into. Licenses remain valid for the total operating life of the app and a new license is not required to cover free updates to the app.Learn more about licenses for mobile apps
Licenses for electronic publications (eBooks)
An electronic publication license can be used for the embedding of fonts into electronic documents including e-books, e-magazines and e-newspapers. A license covers only a single title but is valid for the full operating life of that title. Every issue of an e-magazine, e-newspaper or other form of e-periodical is considered a separate, new publication. Format variations do not count as separate publications. If a publication is updated and distributed to existing users, a new license is not required. However, updated versions issued to new customers are defined as new publications and require a separate license.Learn more about licenses for eBooks
Server licenses authorize the installation of a font on a server that is accessed by remote users or website visitors. These licenses are commonly used by Web-based businesses providing goods that are personalized by its users such as business cards, images with captions and personalized merchandise. Users are not allowed to download the font file and the font may not be used outside the server environment. The font may not be employed for a software as a service (SaaS) application in which the service is the actual product and not the means of providing the product. Server licenses cover a set number of CPU cores on production servers (development servers are not counted) on which the font is installed. The license is valid for 1 year.Learn more about server licenses