Californian FB is a stylish yet readable text typeface. It has serifs and letterforms that hark back to the typefaces of the Renaissance, although it was designed in the 20th century. Californian has a tight fit between letters, and a woven-looking texture when set in paragraphs. Its italic letters are noticeably narrower than its upright letters, which is both traditional and a help in distinguishing words or phrases set in italic in the midst of a paragraph of upright regular text. The italic can also work well in a headline or a subhead.

Frederic Goudy, the most prolific American type designer, designed Calilfornian Oldstyle in 1938 as a metal typeface for the University of California Press. It was turned into a computer typeface 30 years later by Carol Twombly, then expanded for the Font Bureau by David Berlow, Jane Patterson, Richard Lipton, and Jill Pichotta.

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