Dante was first created as font of metal type in the mid-1950s. Unlike later typesetting technologies, metal type made an actual impression into the paper during printing. In other words, Dante was originally a typeface that was intended to be impressed into paper – not onto it.
The first Dante fonts were the result of a collaboration between two exceptional men. One was Giovanni Mardersteig, a printer, book designer and typeface artist of remarkable skill and taste who was renowned for the work he produced at Officina Bodoni and Stamperia Valdònega, his two printing offices in Italy. The other was Charles Malin, one of the great punch-cutters of the twentieth century.
As a young man at the turn of the last century, Mardersteig developed a keen interest in the typefaces and printing of Giambattista Bodoni. He was fortunate enough to obtain permission to use Bodoni’s original types, for which punches and matrices were still preserved. Charles Malin cut replacements for some of these original punches, and later cut punches for nearly all the new typefaces Mardersteig created.
Dante was Mardersteig’s last and most successful design. By then he had gained a deep knowledge of what makes a typeface lively, legible, and handsome. Working closely with Malin had also taught him the nuances of letterform construction. For Dante, the two worked closely to develop a design that was easy to read. For example, special care was taken with the design of the serifs and top curves of the lowercase to create a subtle horizontal stress, which helps the eye move smoothly across the page. After six years of work, the fonts were first used in 1955 to publish Boccaccio’s Trattatello in Laude di Dante – hence the typeface name.
At about the same time, Monotype persuaded Mardersteig to allow the company to develop machine-set versions of Dante. Using the original punches of the hand-set type as a model, Monotype’s design office was able to produce an exceptionally accurate interpretation of the typeface. This is all the more remarkable when you consider that the original was created without any of the character width and spacing restrictions imposed by machine-set technology.
Monotype also wanted to enlarge the family from just the roman and italic of the original. This proved to be a difficult sell. Mardersteig had no use for the additional weights at his press and, more to the point, had little interest in drawing the additional weights Monotype wanted. Mardersteig was not easily swayed, but the gentle persistence of Monotype (and the help of then twenty-year old Matthew Carter) eventually changed his mind.
Dante met with immediate success, and when Monotype began making phototypesetting equipment the family was quickly released for these machines. Since then, digital fonts have freed type design from virtually all of the restrictions imposed by hot metal and phototype technologies. In the early 1990s, Monotype’s creative staff took the opportunity to rework their Dante designs to more closely represent Mardersteig’s originals.
Mardersteig designed his typefaces for letterpress printing. The ultimate triumph of Dante is that it now serves the needs of digital typography with poise and elegance: proof, once again, that when type is designed with a deep understanding of what it takes to make a typeface distinctive, legible, and attractive, the result is likely to serve a much wider range of applications than those for which it was first intended.
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