Phinney Jenson

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What is the Phinney Jenson font?

Phinney Jenson ML is a font with deep historical roots firmly planted in the fertile soil of the Italian Renaissance. Twenty years after Lorenzo Ghiberti finished his famous East Doors, the Gates of Paradise, of Santa Maria del Fiore in Florence and about fifteen years before Sandro Botticelli painted his “Birth of Venus,” a French printer by the name of Nicolas Jenson set up a small print shop in the powerful city-state of Venice. The fifteenth century marked the end of the plague and the rise of Venetian power, as the merchants of Venice controlled the lucrative trade of the eastern Mediterranean and sent their ships as far as London and even the Baltic. In 1470, Jenson introduced his Roman type with the printing of De Praeparatio Evangelica by Eusebuis. He continued to use his type for over 150 editions until he died in 1480. More…
In 1890 a leader of the Arts & Crafts movement in England named William Morris founded Kelmscott Press. He was an admirer of Jenson’s Roman and drew his own somewhat darker version called GOLDEN, which he used for the hand-printing of limited editions on homemade paper, initiating the revival of fine printing in England.
Morris’ efforts came to the attention of Joseph Warren Phinney, manager of the Dickinson Type Foundry of Boston. Phinney requested permission to issue a commercial version, but Morris was philosophically opposed and flatly refused. So Phinney designed a commercial variation of Golden type and released it in 1893 as Jenson Oldstyle. Phinney Jenson is our version of Phinney’s version of Morris’ version of Nicolas Jenson’s Roman.
We selected a view of the Piazza San Marco in Venice for our gallery illustration of Phinney Jenson ML because most of the principal buildings on the Piazza were already standing when Jenson arrived in Vienna in 1470. The original Campanile was completed in 1173 (the 1912 replacement is partially visible on the left). The Basilica di San Marco was substantially complete by 1300. The Doge’s Palace (not in the photo, but next to the Basilica) was substantially complete by 1450. Even the Torre dell’Orologio (Clock Tower) may have been completed by 1470—certainly by 1500.
Phinney Jenson ML has a “rough-and-ready” strength, suitable for headlines and short blocks of text. We have sought to preserve some of the crudeness of the nineteenth-century original. For comparison, see the more refined Centaur, Bruce Rogers’s interpretation of Jenson Roman. Phinney Jenson ML has a strong presence that will help your documents stand out from the Times New Roman blizzard that threatens to cover us all.
Phinney Jenson ML Features:
1. Glyphs for the 1252 Western Europe, 1250 Central Europe, the 1252 Turkish and the 1257 Baltic Code Pages. Accented glyphs for Cornish and Old Gaelic. Total of 393 glyphs. 400 kerning pairs.
2. OpenType GSUB layout features: onum, pnum, salt, liga, dlig, hisy and ornm.
3. Tabular (std), proportional (opt) & old-style numbers (opt).
5. CcNnOoSsZz-kreska available (salt).

Phinney Jenson Font families

The Phinney Jenson includes the following font families:

  • Phinney Jenson
  • Phinney Jenson Bold

Phinney Jenson Preview

Here is a preview of how Phinney Jenson will look. For more previews using your own text as an example, click here.


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It is always best to pay for a premium font rather than trying to find an illegal download. The benefits of paying for Phinney Jenson are that you get the license, and if you're caught using it illegally there could be some potential legal implications with the publisher of this particular typeface.

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If you really want Phinney Jenson and you want to truly own it the legal and safe way, then click here to visit the download and purchase page on MyFonts.com. Here you will be able to obtain the proper license. The designer and publisher deserves to be paid for their work, as they have put in the hours and the creativity to produce such an amazing font. Good luck with your purchase and future use of this font. :)