Fount schemes

Printers and founders talk about the strength of a fount when they want to talk about the quantity of characters (as opposed to the size of a fount in points, which describes how big the characters themselves are):

  • A quarter-strength fount is based on 250 lower-case characters
  • A half-strength fount is based on 500 lower-case characters.
  • A full-strength fount is based on 1,000 lower-case characters.
  • A full-strength small cap fount gives you 130 characters.

In a fount, you’ll have upper- and lower-case characters, figures, punctuation and probably some signs (though those may vary depending on which face you order).

A fount will only contain characters of one weight or style: roman, italic, bold, semi-bold etc are all sold as separate founts.

We can supply founts based on their strength, or we can fill cases supplied by our customers. We use Monotype’s Standardised Fount Scheme (though given how phone numbers have changed, we tend to throw in a few extra figures, especially 7s). For composition size (6pt – 14pt) we won’t normally put lower-case or upper-case diphthongs in, as they’re rarely used and the matrices aren’t always available.

Small cap fount
8A 3B 4C 5D 13E 3F 3G 6G 8I 2J 2K 5L 6M 8N 8O 3P 2Q 7R 8S 10T 4U 2V 3W 2X 3Y 2Z

‘Drop cap’ fount (only available for certain display faces)
3A 2B 3C 3D 3E 2F 2G 2G 3I 2J 2K 2L 2M 3N 2O 2P 2Q 3R 3S 2T 2U 2V 2W 2X 2Y 1Z

Quarter fount:
18a 6b 8c 10d 28e 6f 6g 12h 16i 4j 4k 10l 6m 14n 14o 8p 4q 12r 14s 18t 8u 4v 6w 4x 6y 4z (=250)
10A 4B 6C 6D 16E 4F 4G 8H 10I 4J 4K 6L 6M 10N 10O 4P 4Q 8R 10S 12T 6U 4V 4W 4X 4Y 4Z 4& 4£

Half fount:
36a 10b 16c 20d 58e 12f 10g 24h 36i 4j 6k 20l 14m 32n 32o p12 4q 26r 32s 40t 18u 8v 10w 6x 10y 4z (=500)
16A 6B 8C 10D 26E 6F 6G 12H 16I 4J 4K 10L 8M 14N 14O 6P 4Q 14R 16S 20T 8U 4V 6W 4X 6Y 4Z 6& 8£

Full jobbing fount:
74a 18b 34c 42d 118e 24f 18g 50h 74i 6j 8k 42l 26m 66n 66o 20p 6q 58r 66s 84t 38u 12v 20w 6x 20y 4z (=1,000)
28A 10B 14C 16D 44E 10F 10G 30H 28I 6J 6K 16L 14M 24N 24O 10P 4Q 22R 26S 32T 14U 6V 10W 4X 8Y 4Z

Full body fount:
74a 18b 34c 42d 118e 24f 18g 50h 74i 6j 8k 42l 26m 66n 66o 20p 6q 58r 66s 84t 38u 12v 20w 6x 20y 4z (=1,000)
8A 8B 6C 6D 12E 6F 8G 10H 10I 6J 4K 8L 18M 8N 8O 8P 4Q 8R 12S 12T 6U 4V 8W 4X 6Y 4Z 8& 6£