Dover Text in short

Dover Text is the natural companion to Dover Display: where Display is best used big, Dover Text shines at sizes down to 8 points, or 12 pixels. The six styles work together in ways that William Caslon could never have imagined in the 18th century.

People commonly label families consisting of paired sans and serif styles as ‘superfamilies’, and Dover Text is the smallest possible example of a superfamily. The ‘super’ in this family comes from the complete pairing of the serif and sans designs. The sans can be used as an emphasis style for the serif, for example, and all the functionality of the fonts is identical. Small caps, tabular numbers and language support are matched completely.

Behind the design

Dover Serif Text: rhythmic, calculated, simple.
An italic with a strong slant provides a lively texture to the page.
The bold weight is unmistakeable and provides a clear layer of distinction.

Dover Serif Text

Dover Serif Text is based off of Haas Caslon, a German interpretation of Caslon’s smaller types. But where the reference material is a bit stuffy, Dover cleans up. Historic reference is indispensable for understanding some of the stranger decisions from the past, and with a thousand glyphs per font, it helps that Caslon goes far, far back. As it is, the many Caslon interpretations that exist may stand on a few centuries of history, but there is no need for a new version to look old.

Dover Sans Text: geometric, modern, made for small sizes.
Geometric fonts don’t need to be stiff – this italic flows.
Unlike its spiritual forebear, the Bold is even and monolinear.

Dover Sans Text

Dover Sans Text is sansified Caslon, using the same the design principles for the proportions, letter skeletons and continuing the functionality of Dover Serif Text. Certain details from Edward Johnston’s Underground type design and Eric Gill’s eponymous Gill Sans shine through, but Dover Sans Text references more of their sketches and lettering than any final fonts. Notable examples of design updates to these sans serifs are shapes like the lowercase a tail, which is much more in line with the overal alphabet, and the flowier italic, best exemplified by the e.

Two other meaningful differences are the increased x-height of the fonts, matching the bookishness of the serif, and the low contrast of the bold weight. Together, these three styles do what most book typefaces need.

Technical summary

Designer
Robin Mientjes
Published
2017, 2020
Language support
Over 200 languages (Read more →)

In short

Dover Text is primarily designed for long runs of text (6pt–16pt in print, 12px–20px on screen), and above these sizes some modest amounts of negative tracking are recommended. The serif and sans are matched across styles: x-heights, capital proportions, but also OpenType features such as small caps and different styles of numbers are present in every style and weight.

It has a selection of useful dingbats and symbols, and very wide language support. Even more unexpected diacritic combinations can be made with the OpenType Mark Positioning feature, available in modern software.

OpenType features

  • Standard ligatures
    liga
    Affine fjord Affine fjord
  • Small capitals
    smcp
    Capital Letters Capital Letters
  • All small caps
    c2sc
    Number 25! Number 25!
  • Contextual alternates
    calt
    Logjams Logjams
  • Tabular numbers
    tnum
    Over 12,500 Over 12,500
  • Old-style numbers
    onum
    In the year 1988, … In the year 1988, …
  • Capital-aligned alternates
    case
    ¿QUE? [THINK-TANK] ¿QUE? [THINK-TANK]
  • Automatic fractions
    frac
    2 1/3 cups 2 1/3 cups

Specimen PDF

License Dover Text

Choosing the right license for you. The Tiny Type Co. license is simple to read and covers almost all use cases for almost all users – but please read it to make sure. If you have any questions or requests, get in touch.

Trial fonts. If you want to test the fonts, there are trials available.

Custom. Get in touch for customisations, corporate licenses and more.

  • Choose your styles