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by P. Damian Cugley

This is an implementation of the Malvern typeface family by P. Damian Cugley of Oxford for TrueType and PostScript Type 1. Malvern was originally designed 1991 to 1994 for TeX. This implementation allows to use the fonts outside TeX.

This second release (of 13 May 2000) has redesigned accented characters and a smaller space character.

Malvern sources and documentation for TeX can be downloaded here.

I was in a moral dilemma here - some would say that it is morally wrong to use TeX fonts without using TeX; they would argue that only TeX users should use their specific fonts, so that just by looking at a text it should be possible to determine what it was created with. However while TeX is an excellent tool for scientific typesetting, especially anything containing math formulas, there are some purposes for which it is not that ideally suited, and I thought that Malvern deserves to be used more widely. So I asked for Damian's permission (and he gave me that permission).

Excerpt from The abridged Malvern handbook by pdc

Malvern is a sanserif typeface family: a collection of typefaces that have been designed together and are intended to coordinate with each other. ("Sanserif" comes from the French sans sérif and means that the arms and stems of letters do not have the small finishing strokes called serifs.)

The name 'Malvern' is spelled as a proper noun (no fancy typography is necessary). In English it is pronounced with the accent on the first syllable, with the a pronounced as in either pal or pall. In other languages it may as well be pronounced and declined according to the orthography of the language.

The style

Malvern is a sanserif typeface with rounded stroke ends which combines geometric shapes (such as a perfectly circular O) with the open letterforms normally found in more organic typefaces (such as the C, which is not a section of a circle).

The angle of the italic version is only 7°, but most lowercase letters have been redesigned towards the more handwritten shapes of classic italic typefaces. So Malvern Italic is also narrower than the upright variant.

The bold and bold italic versions are not extremely heavy - at low resolution on screen, you might hardly notice a difference, but the "text colour" is significantly darker in print.

Encoding and character sets

For the TrueType implementation of Malvern, it was necessary to convert the original proprietary encodings to a widely supported standard. I decided to use the Windows 3.1 encoding, which is a superset of ISO 8859-1. Other than in TeX, which uses a base letter and an accent to form an accented letter, all accented characters had to be assembled into separate glyphs for this character set. (I used the "medium-height capitals" for this, as it is done in TeX as well.) Some characters included in the Malvern encodings for TeX have not been included in this implementation (such as east European characters, ligatures, Greek and the rudimentary Cyrillic alphabet).

In order to access the two different sets of numerals and the small caps included in the original Malvern fonts, three versions were implemented, each in four styles (regular, italic, bold, bold italic):

After installing all 12 fonts included in the Malvern package distributed here, you will find these names in the menus of your programs; select one of them and set it bold and/or italic to access all styles.

The picture shows the differences between LF, OSF and SC.

Oldstyle figures are intended for use inside text, they blend more harmoniously with the words. The oldstyle numerals are proportional.

Lining figures are intended for formulas and tables, they are all the same width (and in Malvern, relatively condensed).

Small caps (where the lowercase letters are replaced by a smaller version of the capitals) are a way of emphasizing personal names in technical text and are a good choice if you don't want abbreviations and other strings of caps to appear too important. The small caps fonts have oldstyle figures.


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