Century Expanded or Century Schoolbook


Is there an easy way to distinguish between Century Expanded and Century Schoolbook faces? I’m learning, but these two look very much alike to me.The only thing I can come up with is that Schoolbook looks marginally heavier/darker…


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The older of the two faces is Century Expanded, first issued in 1900. It is basically a redesigned Century Roman, slightly extended to meet the Typographical Union standards of that time.

Century Schoolbook was designed 1917-1919 by ATF. Ginn & Company, publishers of schoolbooks, charged ATF to develop a typeface for maximum legibility. Century Schoolbook is the result and is a tweeking of Century Expanded. Schoolbook is slightly heavier than Expanded. There are subtle differences in some characters. Schoolbook was first cut in 1923.

An easy way to differentiate between the two look-alikes is the lowercase “g” and “r.”

I see the difference in the “g”, now that you point it out, but I’m still having a tough time with the “r.” Maybe its the specimen book I’m using… Tell me what I should be looking for…

Sorry about that. The difference in the “r” is subtle (look hard at the ear) and may not show up well in smaller sizes. The “g” is still the easiest indicator. Try comparing the “j” as well. The bottom of the descender in Expanded goes much farther to the left than in Schoolbook, which is tucked-in fairly tightly by the main stroke.

I was having this same problem last week!

Look at the 2s.