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Stag type specimen


Posted on April 18, 2009

If at the end of our current decade slab serifs are the new black, then Christian Schwartz may be the new Maggie Prescott.

In 2005, Schwartz and Barnes’ Guardian included a masterful retelling of what an Egyptian could do in print with its wedge-shaped serifs, subtle weight contrast and proportions diverging from traditional, Figgins-esque slabs. With Stag, Schwartz takes that talent for new Antique forms even further. Commissioned for Esquire (and later expanded for Las Vegas Weekly), Stag conjures up an amalgamation of influences — the marked modulation of thicks and thins in George Trump’s Schadow or Robert Besley’s Clarendon; the interesting counterforms of Heinrich Jost’s bold faces for Beton; the rhythmic italic of Caslon’s two-line antique from the early 19th century, and this face Schwartz found in a Deberny & Peignot specimen from around 1835 — rolling them together into his own chunky recipe.

But Stag is no mere revival, it employs curious details, like the bracketing only on the outside of the serifs, with a giant x-height to create an completely new texture. This face sings like the fat lady in the heavy weights.

Christian Palino is a designer and educator living in San Francisco. He is currently a Product Design Manager at Facebook and teaches Interaction Design at CCA. He previously worked at OpenTable, IDEO and Adaptive Path.


  1. Sye says:

    I love Stag. It’s actually almost become my default, although it’s taken me a while to get use to it.

  2. samah says:

    I love how it evolves.
    So full of life.

  3. This is one KICKASS font!

  4. lolo says:

    I like this font – light.

  5. falguni shah says:

    Love the range of weights and style. A must have!

  6. […] A number of slab serif typefaces have arrived on the scene in recent years including Soho, Stag, Neutraface Slab, Girard Slab, and Sentinel. Sheplers Western Store sign Sheplers type […]

  7. Ben says:

    A great face.

  8. SPRIOR says:

    Amazing font! Slabs are ace!

  9. pucdesign says:

    absolutely great

  10. Tuf Pak says:

    Surprisingly, even the boldest renditions are very light and lively… Fun!

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Typographica is a review of typefaces and type books, with occasional commentary on fonts and typographic design. Edited by Stephen Coles with Caren Litherland and designed by Chris Hamamoto. Founded in 2002 by Joshua Lurie-Terrell. Relaunched in 2009 by Coles and Hamamoto.

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