If Bembo looks familiar, it’s because so many books have been set in it, especially in its original hot-metal version. Although its roots are 500 years old, it looks fresh and contemporary, not archaic; elegant and refined, not fussy.

Bembo Regular works very well as a text typeface, although its lightness means that it works best at larger text sizes, not tiny ones. It can have a stately feel when set in all capitals, as long as those capitals are spaced out a little. Since the capital letters are designed to fit closely with lowercase letters in sentences, they need a bit of extra space between letters when they’re set as caps-only.

The typeface that Bembo is based on was cut in metal by Francesco Griffo for the Renaissance publisher Aldus Manutius at the very end of the 15th century. It was revived in 1929 by the Monotype Corporation as part of Stanley Morison’s program of typeface revivals. Its italic is based on the italic cut by Giovantonio Tagliente in 1524.

Only Bembo Regular and Bold Italic are included in the Office Cloud Fonts; there is no Italic or Bold.

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