Apparently Peter Saville preferred Baskerville’s ‘g’ over Bembo’s. Ligatures were fine for ‘ff’, but not for ‘fi’? And what happened to the ‘p’ on line 2?
“Saville set the entire cover with a repurposed Bembo specimen from a Berthold type catalog.”—codex99.com
That could explain the weird details.
This also isn’t the regular Bembo – much too slender (something something phototype master ink gain?) and all the 't’s are wrong – the top is too low. Monotype had some lovely large size versions of Bembo in metal that they’ve never digitised (I found a photo and added it to the Wikipedia article), but the ones I’ve seen pictures of don’t have this 't’ either.
Other trivia point I found as part of rewriting the Wikipedia article – Manutius’s printing contains what seem to be some experimental letters, and they include a lower-case 'p’ that was a scaled down version of an upper-case 'P’. Top all flat and a slender serif poking out on the left (with a serif on the bottom, though). Monotype decided better left unrevived.
(Expansion of previous comment)
I believe that the source website may be mistaken. Designed by Peter Saville only says based on the Berthold catalogue and adds a photograph, which doesn’t seem to have these weird details. (This book may have more info but Google Books preview won’t let me see it.) The 'h’ isn’t any normal version of Bembo either.
This Bembo is the version shown in Phil’s Homage to the Alphabet (1980). It has all the unusual traits and details (save the Baskerville ‘g’). The direct comparison below shows a detail of the Saville cover, a resetting with Phil’s Bembo, and the clearly different Bembo by Berthold Fototypes.
The sources of the fonts shown in Phil’s catalog are not credited. I don’t know who created this film version, but my guess is Photoscript Ltd. from London — a one-word sample in their specimen has this ‘e’ without the “nose”, too.
The cover doesn’t use Berthold fonts, but it emulates Berthold’s specimen typography, complete with unhyphenated linebreaks and the character scale at the bottom. Here’s an example for Berthold’s Bembo.
Thanks for this research! I hadn’t realised how many phototype versions of Bembo there were. A type specimen of Monotype’s Bembo phototype versions is available (page 59) and it doesn’t show these features, for comparison.
(Your image didn’t come through. I have added it here.)
Good sleuthing, Per! Yes, that looks indeed a lot like the mash-up version of “Phil’s Bembo” with the Baskerville ‘g’ as seen in Peter Saville’s use. The codes (TB-51, TB-52) match the numbering as used by VGC. Their Photo Typositor Typeface Directory from 1972 has a Bembo with Bembo Italic under these numbers. This catalog doesn’t show a full character set, only the typeface name. As it features the “noseless” ‘e’, too, I think it is safe to say that the specimen in Allan Haley’s book is VGC’s Bembo.
Contributed by Letters from Sweden
Contributed by Tânia Raposo