Caledonia (typeface)

Category Serif
Classification Transitional serif
Designer(s) William Addison Dwiggins
Foundry Mergenthaler Linotype Company
Date released 1938
Design based on Scotch Roman + Bulmer
Also known as Cornelia

Caledonia is a serif typeface designed by William Addison Dwiggins in 1938 for the Mergenthaler Linotype Company and commonly used in book design. As a transitional serif design, one inspired by the Scotch Roman typefaces of the early nineteenth century, Caledonia has a contrasting design of alternating thick and thin strokes, a design that stresses the vertical axis and sharp, regular serifs on ascenders and descenders.

Dwiggins chose the name Caledonia, the Roman name for Scotland, to express the face's basis on Scotch Roman typefaces. However, though Dwiggins began with the thought of copying the classical Scotch Romans, eventually he drew more inspiration from the Bulmer design of William Martin.[1] The G is open and the R has a curved tail. the t is unbracketed. Italic characters p and q have no foot serif. The character set, as drawn by Dwiggins was wide, including ranging (old style) figures, lining figures, and small capitals in the text and bold weights. A Greek version of the face is available.

Hot Metal Type

Machine Composition

Caledonia made initially for machine composition with foundry type only made later, and then only in Germany. The following variants were designed by Dwiggins and released by Linotype:

Linotype also made 36 point matrices for Caledonia Bold Condensed, but it is doubtful that Dwiggins had anything to do with their design. The face was sold by Linotype in England under the same name, and in Germany as Cornelia.[2]

Foundry Type

Cornelia, as it was called there, proved so popular in Germany, that the Stempel Foundry cast it as foundry type.[3]

Cold Type Copies

Caledonia’s popularity as a text face continued right through the cold type era, and it was sold then under the following names:[4]

Digital Copies

A digital version, called New Caledonia, available in four weights: text, semibold, bold, and black, each with small capitals, was released in 1982. Digital copies are made by Adobe and Linotype.


  1. Hlasta, Stanley C., Printing Types & How to Use Them, Carnegie Press, Pittsburgh, PA, 1950, pp. 111-114.
  2. MacGrew, Mac, American Metal Typefaces of the Twentieth Century, Oak Knoll Books, New Castle Delaware, 1993, ISBN 0-938768-34-4, pp. 56 + 57.
  3. Jaspert, W. Pincus, W. Turner Berry and A.F. Johnson, The Encyclopedia of Type Faces, Blandford Press Lts., 1983, ISBN 0-7137-1347-X, p. 34.
  4. Wheatley, W.F., Typeface Analogue, National Composition Association, Arlington, Virginia, 1988, p. 7 + Lawson, Alexander, Archie Provan, and Frank Romano, Primer of Typeface Identification, National Composition Association, Arlington, Virginia, 1976, pp. 34 - 35.
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Caledonia (typeface).
This article is issued from Wikipedia - version of the 6/7/2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.