Poster Details: King Louis XVI & Marie Antoinette

King Louis VI and Marie Antoinette

Eurostile + Didot

[ Eurostile LT Std Medium, Didot Regular, Eurostile LT Std Medium and Condensed ]

Although they would never be mistaken for a “romantic” couple (rumors abounded about Marie’s possible lovers), the deaths of King Louis the 16th and Marie Antoinette make it hard to think of one without the other. A tidal wave of outrage and cry for freedom occurred in France in 1792, leading to their beheading 8 months apart. At about this same time, fellow Frenchman Firmin Didot was participating in a typographic revolution. A contemporary of Giambatista Bodoni, the two were familiar with one another’s work and each created a “Modern” type in the late 1700s that shared the characteristics of hairline, unbracketed serifs, high contrast between thick and thin strokes and a formal, geometric, mathematical preciseness to the letterforms.

Eurostile was designed a couple of centuries later by Italian Aldo Novarese. He and Alessandro Butti had designed a similar typeface named Microgramma in 1952, but only created capital letters. In 1962, he created a lowercase to the typeface, which was named Eurostile. It shares a formal, mathematical structure with Didot. It also feels a little cold and distant, an attitude shared by the King and Queen toward their subjects.

Typefaces similar to Eurostile:

Bank Gothic, Square 721 (also designed by Aldo Novarese), Olney, Gamba.

Typefaces similar to Didot:

Didot (from Hoeffler Frere-Jones), Bauer Bodoni, Filosofia, and Fenice, FF Cellini, Walbaum.


20th Century Type Designers by Sebastian Carter, published by W.W. Norton & Company, 1995.

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