Crabath

Intended especially for book typesetting, the Crabath Collection is a loose interpretation of roman and italic designs from Krabat’s specimen book. The proportions and construction are based on the Garmond Antiqua and Garmond Cursiv samples (figs. 35 and 37). Garmond here denotes a type size of 10 points. The details of the design, the contrast and overall character of the typeface draw on the stylistic traits of several characters of the Missal Antiqua courent sample (fig. 10), with Missal equaling a size of 44 points.


Crabath Web About 4
A fragment of a typeface sample in Missal Antiqua size from Krabat's specimen.


Crabath sensitively reproduces the variation in letterform design for individual sizes with a collection of five optical sizes ranging from Display to Text to Caption. Its distinctive decoration, typical for late Baroque typefaces, is deliberately muted here, so that its overall appearance suits the eye of the contemporary reader. At the same time, the stems of the italics are trimmed more evenly without losing the functional characteristics.


Crabath Web About 1
The original of Krabat's specimen from 1761 is deposited in the National Library of the Czech Republic in Prague, in the Department of Old Prints (Catalogue number 000013713). The second enlarged edition of 1789 is in the collections of the library of The Museum of Decorative Arts in Prague (Sign. D2612). Interestingly, this copy is bound here together with the specimen book of Johann Trattner of Vienna from 1760, which was the inspiration for Krabat's own survey of typefaces.


The sets are extensive enough in all weights to meet the needs of everyday digital typesetting. Each set includes small capitals, basic and decorative ligatures, and several figure variations. A pleasant x-height, adequate contrast, and sufficiently pronounced accents for all European languages means that this typeface is especially well-suited for long, complex and difficult-to-set texts, both in printed output and on screen. The delicate nature of the headline styles will likely awaken a desire for typographic compositions on book and magazine covers or on posters.


Crabath Web About 3
The entire digitized version of Krabat's 1761 specimen is also available via Google Books database.


Václav Jan Krabat (1719—1805) was a privileged burgher of the city of Prague. From 1751, he worked in the Old Town as a type founder. Together with the journeyman Ondřej Zaška of Klatovy and two apprentices, Josef Graf and František Haring, Krabat ran his workshop for more than 50 years in the university building on Celetná Street No. 560, and supplied a number of local printing houses with type. In 1761, he published the very first specimen book of type cast in the Czech lands under the Latin title “Specimen characterum latinorum existentium in Pragensi typorum fusura apud Wenceslaum Joannem Crabat mense Martii Anno 1761”. This volume is made up of four parts. Krabat presents 41 “Latin” typefaces in roman and italic styles on 19 sheets, and another 33 “German” typefaces in fraktur and schwabacher styles on 17 sheets. Six sheets are devoted to 21 Greek and Hebrew typefaces. On the last eight pages he shows ornaments, headers, border elements, and decorative lines. It’s unlikely that the punches for these typefaces were cut in Krabat’s workshop. Apparently he ordered the matrices to be produced according to his needs at the time, as was common, probably from Nuremberg or Vienna.


Crabath 1440x1024 2
The complete Crabath collection and subfamilies also include, while stocks last, an eighty-page specimen book published in very limited numbers. See more.


Design: Tomáš Brousil
Number of fonts in a family: 72 (Crabath Display Extralight, Crabath Display Extralight Italic, Crabath Display Light, Crabath Display Light Italic, Crabath Display Book, Crabath Display Book Italic, Crabath Display Regular, Crabath Display Italic, Crabath Display Medium, Crabath Display Medium Italic, Crabath Display Semibold, Crabath Display Semibold Italic, Crabath Display Bold, Crabath Display Bold Italic, Crabath Display Extrabold, Crabath Display Extrabold Italic, Crabath Subhead Light, Crabath Subhead Light Italic, Crabath Subhead Book, Crabath Subhead Book Italic, Crabath Subhead Regular, Crabath Subhead Italic, Crabath Subhead Medium, Crabath Subhead Medium Italic, Crabath Subhead Semibold, Crabath Subhead Semibold Italic, Crabath Subhead Bold, Crabath Subhead Bold Italic, Crabath Text Light, Crabath Text Light Italic, Crabath Text Book, Crabath Text Book Italic, Crabath Text Regular, Crabath Text Italic, Crabath Text Medium, Crabath Text Medium Italic, Crabath Text Semibold, Crabath Text Semibold Italic, Crabath Text Bold, Crabath Text Bold Italic, Crabath Small Light, Crabath Small Light Italic, Crabath Small Book, Crabath Small Book Italic, Crabath Small Regular, Crabath Small Italic, Crabath Small Medium, Crabath Small Medium Italic, Crabath Small Semibold, Crabath Small Semibold Italic, Crabath Small Bold, Crabath Small Bold Italic, Crabath Caption Light, Crabath Caption Light Italic, Crabath Caption Book, Crabath Caption Book Italic, Crabath Caption Regular, Crabath Caption Italic, Crabath Caption Medium, Crabath Caption Medium Italic, Crabath Caption Semibold, Crabath Caption Semibold Italic, Crabath Caption Bold, Crabath Caption Bold Italic, Crabath Initial A, Crabath Initial B, Crabath Initial C, Crabath Initial D, Crabath Initial E, Crabath Initial F, Crabath Initial G, Crabath Initial H)
Number of glyphs per font: 904 (Roman), 1176 (Italic), 383 (Initial)
Release date: 2021


OpenType Features:
Standard Ligatures (liga)
Discretionary Ligatures (dlig)
Old Style Numerals (onum)
Lining Figures (lnum)
Proportional Figures (pnum)
Tabular Figures (tnum)
Superscript (sups)
Scientific Inferiors (sinf)
Numerators (numr)
Denominators (dnom)
Fractions (frac)
Localized Forms (locl)
Standard Ligatures (liga)
Case Sensitive Forms (case)
Small Caps (smcp)
Swashes (swsh)
Slashed Zero (zero)
Stylistic Sets (salt ss01 – ss09)