Essays 1743

My other fonts

This is Essays 1743, a font by John Stracke, based on the typeface used in a 1743 English translation of Montaigne's Essays. The font is dual-licensed, under the terms of either the SIL Open Font License or the GNU LGPL. For the purposes of the OFL, the Reserved Font Names are "Essays 1743" and "Essays1743". At present (version 2.100-1), it contains normal, bold,, italic and bold italic versions of characters: all of ASCII, Latin-1, and Latin Extended A; some of Latin Extended B (basically, the ones that are more or less based on Roman letters); and a variety of other characters, such as oddball punctuation, numerals, etc. Essays1743 now contains characters to support 138 languages.

Update, 24 Sep 2017: released 2.100, which mostly just adds kerning for the / character. (Why? Well, for odd reasons, I was using it in a context where I was seeing URLs...and http://www looks very bad when there's no kerning for /.)

Update, 2 November 2013: released 2.001, which adds a few hyphenoid characters, U+2010 through U+2014. So that's hyphen, non-breaking hyphen, figure dash (a hyphen the width of a digit), en dash, and em dash.

Update, 8 December 2011: released 2.000, which fixes a long-standing problem: the doubled-up accents of languages like Vietnamese were making some characters very tall, which caused most OSes/applications to give the font a whole lot of space between lines—basically, it looked like it was always double-spaced. This was not how the original Montaigne looked. The fix was to make all accents smaller. Thanks go to Marshall McDaniel for pointing out the problem. (This version also adds WOFF support, for more efficient use in Web pages, and, I think, improves hinting.)

Update, 8 October 2011: released 1.300, which adds OpenType support, with ligatures, fractions, and proportional numbers. If your browser supports it, you can see the results. If not, here's an image to see what it looks like in browsers that do support it.

Update, 10 August 2011: released version 1.204, which adds the SIL license. (It's actually applied retroactively, but 1.204 is the version where it shows up in the metadata in the font.)

Update, 20 Mar 2010: released version 1.203, which adds the rest of Unicode's 112 arrows.

Update, 17 Mar 2010: released version 1.202, which adds a few arrows, for use in Mark Pilgrim's Dive Into HTML5. (He uses Essays1743 for some marginal notes, along with arrows pointing at the text he's illustrating. Before, he was using Essays1743 text with Arial Unicode arrows. The contrast was inelegant, and I offered to help. Next I'm probably going to add more arrows, just because.)

Update, 4 Mar 2010: released version 1.100, which fixes some technical problems detected by fontforge. If the capital O previously looked like a solid circle on your Mac, this should fix it. Then, 7 Mar 2010: released version 1.2, which adds some characters suggested by fc-query, to round out some scripts.

(Side note: I recently found that Project Gutenberg has the texts of the translation in question; you can search for "Montaigne". However, note that the texts they have are apparently a different version: still the same translation, but edited and republished in 1877. Aside from that, if you really feel like it, you can download the books from Gutenberg, print them out with this font, and get an approximation of how the real thing looks. ;-)

Only a TrueType form is available at this time. If you really need a PostScript version, let me know, and I'll see. I don't know how it'd turn out, though; I've had trouble with it in the past. (Admittedly, that was over 5 years ago.)

Here's a quick sample of what the normal version of the font looks like:

You can also see all the characters if you want. It's PDF, 5 pages, 370K (as of version 1.1). Note that it hasn't yet been updated with the new characters added in 1.2.


TarballZip file Other
TrueType essays1743-2.100-1-ttf.tar.gz TTC (a collection of the regular, bold, italic, and bold italic fonts in one file)
OpenType1 essays1743-2.100-1-otf.tar.gz
WOFF (Web fonts) essays1743-2.100-1-woff.tar.gz
Source only
(Source is also in the other
tarballs and zipfiles above.)

1 I'm not sure what the advantages of OpenType format are. I used to think they were good for Web fonts, but TrueType works, too; and these OpenType fonts are much bigger, and both are bigger than WOFF. OpenType defines some advanced typographic features, but those same features seem to work in TrueType and WOFF format files, too.

Other fonts

You may also be interested in my other fonts.