The Yale Typeface
Aldus Manutius “Yale” is inspired by the late-fifteenth-century Venetian typeface that first appeared in Pietro Bembo’s De Aetna, published by Aldus Manutius. A pristine copy of this book may be found in the collection of the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library at Yale.

Aldus Manutius was the most prolific and successful publisher of printed books in his day. Consequently, the De Aetna face, which was used in a number of his publications, was widely distributed and admired in Renaissance Europe. Arguably, the De Aetna typeface has had greater influence upon subsequent type design than any other Italian Renaissance typeface.

In 1929, Stanley Morison of the Monotype Corporation in England led a project to revive Aldus’s De Aetna face. The resulting typeface, Bembo, proved to be one of the most widely used and highly regarded book faces of the twentieth century. It continues regularly to appear in Yale publications. Unfortunately, the more recent photocomposition and digital versions of Bembo lack the vigor, weight, and formal integrity of either the De Aetna face or the original Monotype version of Bembo.

Matthew Carter’s “Yale” recovers the strength of the Aldine original, and updates it by sensitively simplifying the basic letterforms and their details. Aspects of the vigor and “color” of the well-known typeface Galliard, an earlier Carter design, are also evident in the new Yale face.

First developed for use in Yale’s current signage initiative, the new typeface has been extended to include bold roman and bold italic fonts suitable for print and Web work. It is available free of charge to Yale departments and programs—for their exclusive use—in both PC and Mac formats. In addition, “Yale” incorporates a number of “automatic” typographic refinements and conveniences that normally require expert intervention.

Using “Yale” for the University’s print and Web publications reflects our long-established commitment to typographic excellence, while serving as a handsome and consistent element of Yale’s contemporary graphic identity.