I'm currently working with a relatively small event run by volunteers and we want to be consistent across our publications. Currently we use Optima for the body text in our publications, but it's recently come to my attention that this is a Mac OS X default font and so my Windows colleagues cannot use it.

As a result, we're interested in buying the font, but I've hit a roadblock: Google doesn't know whether the Mac's 'Optima Regular' is the Roman or Medium variant, or which it's closest to. As such, I turn to you, Stack Exchange: which Optima is the one included in Mac OS X?

Any help appreciated!

  • Hi, and welcome to Stack Exchange :) While we will do our best to help you, it seems to me that your question is a bit of an opinion poll, and as such not exactly fit with our Q&A format. Maybe you could try to rephrase your question to be more in line with out FAQ: graphicdesign.stackexchange.com/faq Anyhow, I hope youll get the help you need! – K.L. Feb 23 '13 at 14:30
  • 1
    I can see how you drew that conclusion, so I've reworded the question to make it clearer. – John Coxon Feb 23 '13 at 14:43

I can tell you that the Optima Regular that came with my Mac is definitely the Roman weight. I'm using OS X 10.8, AKA Mountain Lion. It's possible, but rather unlikely, that older versions of OS X came with a different set of weights.

Some additional background, if you're curious:

Mapping names to weights will vary a bit depending on the history & type designer. But generally speaking, Medium is slightly heavier than Roman (Roman / Regular / Plain being equivalent) and not ideal for small paragraph text. This holds true for Optima.

Knowing that, we can assume that Apple's pre-installed Optima Regular is the Roman/Regular instead of Medium. To confirm this, I compared the Optima Regular on my Mac with the rest of the Optima family using the Typecast service.

You can test fonts not currently on your system using Typecast. Here's an example using Optima. Alternatively, you can test fonts in Photoshop; the Fontshop plugin will let you try fonts that aren't installed on your system.


Optima Regular and Optima Roman are actually synonyms.

Here is the link to MyFonts to show what you see when you click on Optima Regular buying options - a package named "Optima Roman" that contains a single font - Optima (i.e. Regular, which is usually omitted).

I do not know exactly why Linotype and Adobe chose to use both style names simultaneously - which creates a kind of confusion - maybe someone here on GD.SE could know the answer...

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