Souvenir (typeface)

Souvenir is a serif typeface designed in 1914 by Morris Fuller Benton for American Type Founders. It was loosely based on Schelter-Antiqua and Schelter-Kursiv, a 1905 Art Nouveau type issued by the J.G. Schelter & Giesecke foundry in Leipzig.[1] It has a much softer look than other old style faces, with a generally light look, rounded serifs, and very little contrast between thick and thin strokes.[2] Like Cheltenham, it shows the influence of the Arts and Crafts Movement without belonging to a specific historical style. A 1970s redesign by Ed Benguiat, adding extra styles and an italic, became far more popular than the initial release, and is the source of most versions sold today.

Designer(s)Morris Fuller Benton
FoundryAmerican Type Founders
Date releasedSeptember 1914

At the time of its issue it achieved only a moderate popularity but was known as "the printer's friend" because of its forgiving qualities on press. In the 1970s, because of its friendly, curving structure, it became very popular in uses such as in body text of educational material and for headings in book printing. Historians have described it as 'laid-back', 'the friendliest of Benton's designs' and as 'like Times Roman dipped in chocolate'.[3][4][5]