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French Grotesque font

Jonathan Paterson
"Grotesque" is one of the most misused words in typography. In this case, it has its normal, non-typographic meaning, as French Grotesque is roughly based on a series described simply as "lettres grotesques" (grotesque letters) shown in a specimen sheet issued by the Deberny foundry in Paris in 1910. Deberny produced the series as outline and fill fonts for two-colour printing in 18 pt., 24 pt. and 36 pt. sizes. A hollow version, similar to the outline but with no fill, was available in 10, 12, 18, 24 and 36 points.

The specimen sheet shows only a few words in each size. In most cases I have followed the design of the letters shown, and I have added missing letters and a full Adobe Standard character set. Two pairs of ornaments shown in the specimen sheet are in the [ ] and { } positions.

French Grotesque was drawn in Fontographer 3.5 on a Windows computer, and FontLab 2.5 was used extensively in correcting and refining the font. The Macintosh versions were generated with Fontographer 4.0.4.
French Grotesque Normal
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