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Sample of Quattrocentro font, from Google Fonts I'm a fan of Impallari Type's Quattrocentro. It has a certain classic elegance that I like, and it is very readable on screens. Unfortunately it lacks italic variants, making it difficult to use in many places. What free fonts might capture what I like about Quattrocento, but offer me proper italics in addition to a bold?

The use case is for the web site for a small event I help host. Any expenses are entirely out of my pocket, so I'd prefer free, but I could probably justify a modest one-time price.

These are the elements of Quattrocento I've failed to find a reasonable match for:

  • Relatively high x-height.
  • Relatively wide characters
  • Relatively light weight.
  • Modest differences in stroke width. ("Old-style" serif, perhaps?)
  • A certain "swooshiness" that evokes calligraphy for me. The tail on the "y" really captures this for me.
  • There’s one in my mind that’s a really good fit, I think, but I simply cannot recall its name now. It has the rather unusual trait that the uppercase letters in the italics are not italic, only the lowercase letters—sounds odd, but it actually works quite well with that font. – Janus Bahs Jacquet Jan 8 '18 at 23:28
  • Perhaps you're thinking of Joanna, which has a very nearly upright italic and a mechanical, constructed feel. – Copilot Jan 18 '18 at 22:31
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I believe I came across Quattrocento while looking for the font used in mid-to-late-1980:s "Byte" magazine. I later learned (via fontsinuse.com) that the actual font used was ITC Novarese, which has the interesting property of the italics that Janus Bahs Jacquet mentions in a comment, and seems to fulfill all of your criteria. Not free, though.

  • Yes! Thank you. Novarese, that’s the one I was thinking of! – Janus Bahs Jacquet Jan 18 '18 at 23:02
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'Inscriptional' or 'lapidary' is how I'd describe it. Its characters are wide, it's designed to look good on a heading not for extended text. It feels constructed–for instance the 'b' and 'd' and 'p' and 'q' are mirror images. I don't have a great recommendation that's free, I'm afraid, but Tex Gyre Pagella (a Palatino clone) has the proportions. If you can afford to buy English Engravers Roman is a pro font with the italic you want, or Orpheus.

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