Last Updated on June 10, 2022
Dignified, handsome, and a clever choice for most projects, Bodoni is one of the several typefaces that have stood the test of time.
Bodoni the Dazzling
Originally created by Giambattista Bodoni in 1798, this font was highly inspired by John Baskerville. Even though it was created before the 20th century, experts refer to Bodoni as ‘modern’ because they are not updated versions of the Renaissance or Roman styles.
What makes Bodoni a ‘dazzling’ serif is its alternating thick and thin strokes. While very chic and classy, it’s also its downfall as this effect can make it quite difficult to read in smaller sizes. Thus, most typographers recommend using Bodoni mainly for headlines, display, or titles.
One can recognize an earlier version of Bodoni in the lines of Dante’s ‘La Vita Nuova’, published in 1925. Mamma Mia! (2008) film posters make use of the font as well. A variation of it, created by Matthew Carter, is utilized by The Washington Post newspaper in its headlines.
To give your works the right balance when using Bodoni, try pairing it with sans types such as Roboto, Futura, Montserrat, Open Sans, and Poppins. Make sure you’re using the appropriate digital or print version of the font. For something just as tasteful for your ebooks and websites, try Filosofia.
FREE Bodoni Fonts
Bodoni, although elegant and popular, is not without inconsistencies. Designers like Owen Earl, have to re-create this historical bestseller to suit digital needs. The result is the more reliable and regular Bodoni Moda, which can be found as a free serif from Google.
For the Bodoni Family, check out Bitstream’s ATF version consisting of 7 styles. This one is a revival of the familiar font, albeit, like Earl’s work, is better for digital use. For the FREE variant, go to Font Squirrel. As these are still a Bodoni, you’ll find that they look better applied as a display face rather than as text.