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Sorry, I'm not a font expert but I saw on Wikipedia a font I'd really like to use. I'm confused because I saw the name ‘humanist’ at the left but I discovered that it's a family; there isn't such font name. Does anyone know how is called the font of the picture?

If it's useful, here is the article from where I found the font. And here is the picture in svg.

enter image description here

enter image description here

I tried automatic search with no useful results. Note the details in the h, m, n and v from which lack all the fonts I found.

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  • Hi. I don't know if that is an actual font. It's quite irregular and might actually be hand drawn. However it's quite similar in style to Cat Humanist Miniscule.
    – Billy Kerr
    Commented Oct 5, 2023 at 9:19
  • I would look at fonts labeled Uncial
    – Rafael
    Commented Oct 25, 2023 at 19:33

3 Answers 3

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The "Humanist" in your attached image was a handwriting style developed in Italy just before Gutenberg's invention of metal type started a revolution. Artisans surely have all their own versions. Humanist should be considered as a handwriting fashion, a letter form feature set which was popular.

The image is well explained in Wikipedia article of the history of alphabet.

Some of handwritten scripts were implemented as metal type due their beauty. Some of them (handwriting style or metal type) have inspired the makers of computer fonts. As you probably have guessed, font names often do not reflect the names of the old styles. In addition the font implementations of old styles are difficult to find because many of them are created by individual enthusiasts. Established font suppliers do not distribute hobby creations.

But Google Fonts gives this hint: Examples of serif Humanist typefaces include Spectral, EB Garamond, and Sorts Mill Goudy; examples of sans serif Humanist typefaces include Merriweather Sans and Cabin. https://fonts.google.com/knowledge/glossary/humanist_old_style

Try them.

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This isn't a list of fonts (although the images may be fonts), it's a set of styles of handwriting popular at different places and times.

"Humanist" handwriting was popular in Italy during the Renaissance and lots of fonts are based on it, and this has carried on into the digital period.

Some of my all-time favorites are Bram de Does's Lexicon and Trinité typefaces which have a lot of major professional users. They're intended to have some irregularity of handwriting but not too much, so they have an organic look when printed. Bembo is also very nice.

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Three weeks after the question and still nothing worth upvoting. Looks like you are not interested in fonts which we today say to have "humanist characteristics" in modern typography terms. The given answers contain several of them.

Another approach

As already said in the answers, the handwriting style line named Humanist in your script development image presents something which was developed in the first half of the 15th century - just before Gutenberg's metal type printing method conquered the book production. I have heard (maybe only a joke) that the mainstream Gothic lettering styles were too difficult to be red in dim indoor light with aged eyes. As a counter-action style "Humanist" was created by some respected handwriters who have just noticed that also they will get old.

See for ex. this:

enter image description here

These, of course, are modern font implementations of medieval letterings, but if they are even half-faithful for old book and official document lettering styles, it's easy to believe that something had gone wrong (btw. the text is unimnium).

I guess it was not at all easy to fix the problem. Substantial amount of talent and practicing is needed to develop a new handwriting style which looks fine, is easier to read and is at least as fast to write as the mainstream ones.

The inventor in addition must have a position where persons like The King and The Pope and their advisors bother to listen. But just that happened in early 1400's Italy (not as a state, but as an area of several strong and fast developing independent cities). There the conditions developed favourably for independent professionals. Suddenly they could start to create things as they wanted - at first for local potentates and soon even for the Roman Church. They earned enough to be able to make also some development research.

I believe the easier to read and simpler to write lettering style was not an exception. Some independent lettering professionals took good letters from obsolete styles, say Carolingian and created their own mixtures. Your line "Humanist" is trying to present just one such mixture which happened to be liked by some mighty enough secular and ecclesiastical potentates. Soon every lettering artisan had to learn it to get well paid jobs.

But notice: your image is a creation of one Wikipedia writer who says "this is my drawing based on several sources". It's well possible that the writer has picked a mixed bag of glyphs from different fonts to make a drawing that he hopes to explain things somehow, but without being a 100% historical fact in every detail. A fact would need images of old well known manuscripts or traceable snippets of approved scientific works.

As said in the answers, lettering style Humanist inspired people who created metal types for printing machines and even today some enthusiasts have developed computer font implementations of old lettering styles. It's difficult to find them. Serching in the web for "humanist font" brings to you something totally different than the line Humanist in your image. You'll get better results by checking old style which contain something of word Carolingian. At least this one has many glyphs which are quite the same as your example:

enter image description here

As you see, it's not 100% the same. I found it by browsing manually medieval fonts in a couple of font download websites (dafont, 1001 fonts). Unfortunately I cannot tell where one can purchase it legally and how it's licensed.

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