Baskerville ???

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Woody44
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Joined: Wed May 22, 2019 11:56 pm

Baskerville ???

Post by Woody44 »

The Megafont NOW collection includes several different versions of Baskerville. And that has created a problem for me.

Last year I self-published a book through Amazon KDP. The typeface I used for the body was some version of Baskerville. Through a major mental malfunction on my part, I somehow managed to delete from my computer ALL the files for this book. I was able to download the Kindle file from Amazon and the .EPUB file from Barnes and Noble Press, and I found an on-line utility that did a credible job converting the .EPUB file back into Word format. However, it didn't preserve the page (trim) size or the margins. It was also formatted in Georgia as the typeface.

I am now attempting to recreate an exact copy of the print layout for the book in Word. I know the page size. I think I have guessed fairly accurately regarding the margins. The major issue is that, for some reason, I have THREE different versions of Baskerville installed on this computer: Baskerville Old Face, Baskerville Pro, and Baskerville Nova Pro. They are all Baskerville -- but the font metrics are very different.

Why is that? Why should the same text have to be set 1/2 to one full point larger in one version than in another to get the same character height? I can understand that the character spacing and even the default line spacing might be different from one version to another, but shouldn't text that's set in 12-point BE 12 points in height when I check it with a standard, transparent type rule?
Jossi
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Re: Baskerville ???

Post by Jossi »

The fact that two fonts are both named „Baskerville“ doesn't guarantee that they are more or less the same. The three "Baskervilles" you mentioned are three different fonts. They are all inspired by and in some degree similar to the original metal typeface designed by John Baskerville in the 18th century, but there it ends. It's the same with other classic typefaces which have been recreated many times, first in metal and then digitally. For example, you will find dozens of "Garamond" fonts out there which can be quite different. Only if you use exact the same font with the same word processor you can be sure that the page will look the same. In your case the only way to recreate your layout will be trial and error, i. e. set a few pages in each of the fonts and see which one gives the best results.
Woody44
Posts: 546
Joined: Wed May 22, 2019 11:56 pm

Re: Baskerville ???

Post by Woody44 »

I understand that. But I don't understand why the Megafonts NOW collection includes seven (7) different Baskerville font sets.

More importantly, why are the font metrics so wildly divergent? I can understand some minor variations in the way tails and serifs are rendered, for example, but if something is set in a nominal 12-point font, then the tall letters should all print to 12 points in height when printed. They don't.

I just set up a page with a 3-line Lorem Ipsum passage. I set it at 14 points, because if I went any larger the line spacing would have been off all my scales. I set one in Baskerville Old face, one in Baskerville Pro, and one in Baskerville Nova Pro.

Disregarding horizontal character width and spacing, both of which would be subject to the design variations you mentioned, I measured the printed upper case character height, and the line spacing. I have three different typesetting rulers, and I checked the samples with all three. For the Baskerville Old Face, the character height measured 13 points on all three scales. The line spacing scale on two of the rulers stops at 15 points, and it was greater than that. The third ruler said it's 16 points. When I enlarged the type to 24 points, the three scales measured it as 20+, 22, and 22-.

For Baskerville Pro, the uppercase character height measured 12 points on all three scales. The line spacing was greater than 15 points on two, and measured exactly 17 points on the third. When I enlarged the type to 24 points, the three scales measured it as 20+, 22, and 22-.

For Baskerville Nova Pro, the uppercase character height measured 13 points on two of the scales, and 12 points on the third. The line spacing was greater than 15 points on two, and measured exactly 17 points on the third. When I enlarged the type to 24 points, the three scales measured it as 20+, 24-, and 22.

It's especially disappointing when fonts that are named "Pro" (which we can assume is intended to imply "Professional") aren't what they are supposed to be. These were all on the same page, set up in Word 2019, so the difference in metrics can't be explained by variations in the word processing software or the printer.

Edit to add: Looking at all the Baskerville fonts in the Megafonts NOW collection, if I want to standardize (which I do) I am considering deleting all three that I now have installed and installing either Baskerville Serial or Baskerville Sys, in order to have access to the special effects offered in those fonts. Is there anything that should point me toward one rather than the other?
martin-k
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Re: Baskerville ???

Post by martin-k »

Every designer that reinvents Baskerville (and there have been many) decides on his or her own what kind of spacing, what kind of x height and what completeness of character set he or she wants. This has nothing to do with SoftMaker specfically but is the same for any foundry that offers more than one Baskerville.

Look here to see how many different Baskervilles are out there, all with different design metrics:

https://www.myfonts.com/search?product_ ... askerville

Back to your original problem: Find out the exact font name in your EPUB. If it is just "Baskerville" without additions, then it is the Baskerville that comes installed with Windows or Microsoft Office (can't remember which provides it), and is not related to SoftMaker fonts.
Martin Kotulla
SoftMaker Software GmbH
millebornes
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Joined: Tue Sep 05, 2023 9:07 pm

Re: Baskerville ???

Post by millebornes »

I don't know why a person would buy a Softmaker font collection and then complain that you received too many Baskerville versions. If you went to Monotype to buy this font set it would cost you more than the entire MEGAFONT collection. There are numerous versions of Baskerville that have been created since 1988-1992 by a lot of designers. It is a classic font.
millebornes
Posts: 3
Joined: Tue Sep 05, 2023 9:07 pm

Re: Baskerville ???

Post by millebornes »

I am just trying to explain why there are so many versions of Baskerville out there. This typeface was designed before computer fonts existed. Many font designers from various foundries have recreated this typeface in modern font form. They are all slightly different.
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