The Syntax font
In typography, a font is traditionally defined as a quantity of sorts composing a complete character set of a single size and style of a particular typeface...
families are designed by Hans Eduard Meier. Originally started with sans-serif
In typography, a sans-serif, sans serif or san serif typeface is one that does not have the small projecting features called "serifs" at the end of strokes. The term comes from the French word sans, meaning "without"....
fonts, it was expanded to include serif
In typography, serifs are semi-structural details on the ends of some of the strokes that make up letters and symbols. A typeface with serifs is called a serif typeface . A typeface without serifs is called sans serif or sans-serif, from the French sans, meaning “without”...
is a humanist sans-serif typeface
In typography, a typeface is the artistic representation or interpretation of characters; it is the way the type looks. Each type is designed and there are thousands of different typefaces in existence, with new ones being developed constantly....
designed by the Swiss typeface designer Hans Eduard Meier (born 1922) in 1968, and released in 1969 by the D. Stempel Schriftgießerei (type foundry
A type foundry is a company that designs or distributes typefaces. Originally, type foundries manufactured and sold metal and wood typefaces and matrices for line-casting machines like the Linotype and Monotype machines designed to be printed on letterpress printers...
) of Frankfurt am Main. It is believed to be the final face designed and released by D. Stempel for foundry casting.
The original drawings were done in 1954; first by writing the letters with a brush, then redrawing their essential linear forms, and finally adding balanced amounts of weight to the skeletons to produce optically monoline letterforms. In the period 1968–1972, Meier worked on additional weights and variations to the Syntax typeface. In 1989, the original foundry metal design was digitized by Adobe, which also expanded the family to include bold and ultrabold weights, resulting in a family family of 4 romans and 1 italic (in lightest weight) fonts.
Meier described Syntax as being a sans-serif face modeled on the Renaissance serif typeface, similar to Bembo
Bembo is the name given to a 20th-century revival of an old style serif or humanist typeface cut by Francesco Griffo around 1495.The typeface Bembo seen today is a revival designed under the direction of Stanley Morison for the Monotype Corporation in 1929.It is considered a good choice for...
. The uppercase has a wide proportion, and the terminals not being parallel to the baseline provide a sense of animation. The lowercase a
follow the old style model of having two storeys. The italics are a combination of humanist italic forms, seen in the lowercase italic q
, and realist obliques, seen in the lowercase italic a
, which retains two storeys, unlike in other humanist sans-serif typefaces like FF Scala Sans
FF Scala Sans is a humanist sans-serif typeface designed in by Dutch designer Martin Majoor in 1993 for the Vredenburg Music Center in Utrecht, the Netherlands...
and Gill Sans
Gill Sans is a sans-serif typeface designed by Eric Gill.The original design appeared in 1926 when Douglas Cleverdon opened a bookshop in his home town of Bristol, where Eric Gill painted the fascia over the window in sans-serif capitals that would later be known as Gill Sans...
, where the a
has a single storey italic.
Different brand names and derivate fonts
Bitstream released Syntax under the name Humanist 531
. The family does not include italic font.
released Syntax under the name Saxony
, including italic and medium font.
The Cyrillic version was developed at ParaType
in 1999 by Isay Slutsker and Manvel Shmavonyan.
font family was chosen by Niklaus Wirth
Niklaus Emil Wirth is a Swiss computer scientist, best known for designing several programming languages, including Pascal, and for pioneering several classic topics in software engineering. In 1984 he won the Turing Award for developing a sequence of innovative computer languages.-Biography:Wirth...
for the Oberon operating system
Oberon is an operating system developed in the late 1980s at ETH Zürich using the Oberon programming language. It has an innovative visual text-based user interface for activating commands.- History :...
. During part of the period that Oberon was under development, Meier worked in Wirth's group at ETH
Eth is a letter used in Old English, Icelandic, Faroese , and Elfdalian. It was also used in Scandinavia during the Middle Ages, but was subsequently replaced with dh and later d. The capital eth resembles a D with a line through the vertical stroke...
, developing hand-optimized bitmap versions of the Syntax
fonts (this was in the days prior to font anti-aliasing).
In 1995, Hans Eduard Meier and Linotype began to produce an extensive revision and expansion of the Syntax font family. Based on original font design, the alterations made to accommodate hot metal
In printing and typography, hot metal typesetting refers to 19th-century technologies for typesetting text in letterpress printing. This method injects molten type metal into a mold that has the shape of one or more glyphs...
Phototypesetting was a method of setting type, rendered obsolete with the popularity of the personal computer and desktop publishing software, that uses a photographic process to generate columns of type on a scroll of photographic paper...
machines were discarded. The family was expanded to 6 weights with italics on all weights. All fonts include old style figures and proportional lining figures, while 3 lightest weights also include small caps
In typography, small capitals are uppercase characters set at the same height and weight as surrounding lowercase letters or text figures...
glyphs. Regular and bold weight fonts also include Cyrillic
The Cyrillic script or azbuka is an alphabetic writing system developed in the First Bulgarian Empire during the 10th century AD at the Preslav Literary School...
characters. Letters such as @, C, R, ﬁ, ﬂ, were redesigned.
The font family was released in 2000.
Linotype Syntax Lapidar
It is a variant of Linotype Syntax, but modelled after chiseled letter forms of the ancient Greeks. Linotype Syntax Lapidar is available in two different design forms: Linotype Syntax Lapidar Text and Linotype Syntax Lapidar Display.
Linotype Syntax Lapidar Text supports old style figures, while Linotype Syntax Lapidar Display supports titling capitals. Both families come in 5 weights of roman fonts, covering Basic Latin to ISO Latin-1 character sets, available in TrueType
TrueType is an outline font standard originally developed by Apple Computer in the late 1980s as a competitor to Adobe's Type 1 fonts used in PostScript...
or PostScript Type 1
PostScript fonts are outline font specifications developed by Adobe Systems for professional digital typesetting, which uses PostScript file format to encode font information.-History:...
Linotype Syntax Lapidar Serif
It is a variant of Linotype Syntax containing serifs. Like the sans-serif version, it comes with Text and Display designs with same amount of fonts per family, and covers same character sets. However, Linotype Syntax Lapidar Serif Display does not support titling capitals.
Linotype Syntax Letter
It is a variant of Linotype Syntax modelled after the style of the Roman Rustic capitals. This family come in 6 weights with complementary italic fonts on all weights, covering ISO Adobe 2, Adobe CE, Latin Extended character sets. OpenType
OpenType is a format for scalable computer fonts. It was built on its predecessor TrueType, retaining TrueType's basic structure and adding many intricate data structures for prescribing typographic behavior...
features include old style figures.
Linotype Syntax Serif
It is a variant of Linotype Syntax with serifs. This family come in 6 weights with complementary italic fonts on all weights, covering ISO Adobe 2, Adobe CE, Latin Extended character sets. OpenType features include old style figures, with small caps and proportional lining figures on 3 lightest weights.
It is an Arabic variant designed by Nadine Chahine, based on the original Syntax. Badiya, which means "desert" in Arabic, is a modern and slightly modulated Naskh
Naskh is a specific calligraphic style for writing in the Arabic alphabet, thought to be invented by the Iranian calligrapher Ibn Muqlah Shirazi . The root of this Arabic term means "to copy". It either refers to the fact that it replaced its predecessor, Kufic script, or that this style allows...
. The design has open counters that enable it to be used in quite small sizes, optimized for print in magazines and corporate communication.
2 roman fonts, in regular and bold weights, were produced. It supports ISO Adobe 2, Latin Extended, Arabic, Persian, and Urdu characters, tabular numerals for the supported languages.
Linotype Syntax won TDC² 2000 (Type Directors Club Type Design Competition 2000) award under the Text/display type systems category.
Bitstream Humanist 531 Cyrillic won awards at Kyrillitsa'99 under text category, and "bukva:raz!" type design contests.
Linotype Syntax is used in OÖ Nachrichten, Deccan Herald
The Deccan Herald is a leading English-language daily newspaper distributed in the Indian state of Karnataka. It is published by the Printers Private Limited and has a number of editions in Bangalore, Hubli, Mysore, Mangalore and Gulbarga....
newspapers, Lonely Planet Guidebooks; impuls 2000 magazine.