Same Type, Different Foundry

Subtle nuances between the same typeface from different foundries can make all the difference.

A type foundry is a company that designs or distributes typefaces. Before digital typography, type foundries manufactured and sold metal and wood typefaces for hand typesetting, and matrices for line-casting machines like the Linotype and Monotype, for letterpress printers. Today’s digital type foundries accumulate and distribute typefaces (typically as digitized fonts) created by type designers, who may either be freelancers operating their own independent foundry, or employed by a foundry. Type foundries may also provide custom type design services. Wikipedia

The term foundry comes from the French Fonderie, which has fondre as its root. Fondre means to melt in French.

Foundries also commission new versions of existing typefaces. See the example of Futura by both ParaType and by Adobe Systems. The first thing is that PT is set much larger and slightly heavier. I had to reduce from 64 points to 60 points for their sizes to (almost) match! Otherwise, the descenders on PT are shorter. The spine of the s are bent sharper on PT than Adobe’s. There are other very subtle differences.

Same Type Different Family

You can see some of the quite drastic and some subtle differences in the individual glyphs from different foundries.