Bembo is an old-style serif typeface that goes back to the times of Aldus Manutius. It is one of those classic book types that just need to be present on anyone’s list of interesting fonts.
What does Bembo look like?
This is the Monotype cut, created in 1929 and published by Adobe.
This is what a few of the available styles look like.
What do you use Bembo for?
Bembo is a very legible typeface that is frequently used for books. You can, however, use Bembo for any type of project in which you need a classical yet stylish look. If you are looking for an alternative, try Adobe Garamond or Minion. Bitstream’s Aldine 401 is a Bembo look-alike.
The history of Bembo
The first version of Bembo was cut by Francesco Griffo around 1496 for use by Venetian printer Aldus Manutius. The typeface got its name from being used in a book authored by Cardinal Bembo. It appeared in its full form in a later book called Hypnerotomachia Poliphili, one of the most celebrated book designs of the Renaissance.
The iteration that we currently use was created by Stanley Morison for The Monotype Corporation in 1929. Monotype released a new digital version, called Bembo Book, in 2005.
In 1516 Francesco Griffo was charged with beating his son-in-law to death with an iron bar. He was most likely hanged for this crime.