French-octagon-sm French-octagon-wood

French Octagon

French Octagon slides designed by Evan Stremke.

French Octagon is the kind of wood type you always hope to find. With their brutally simplified take on the mansard-style serif, the designers created something new and wonderful. The uppercase characters still feel forceful and fresh, more than 100 years after they were designed. And when the style of the serifs was carried over to the lowercase characters and punctuation, it yielded truly remarkable results.

French Octagon was first shown by Morgans & Wilcox Manufacturing Co. in their 1884 Condensed Specimen Book of Wood Type.

The font includes two weights: regular and distressed. The regular weight is a clean, precise redraw which captures the contours of the original wood type. The distressed weight is a rendering of the textures of the letterpress proof itself, warts and all.

WTR French Octagon was drawn from 10-line (120 point) wood type. It is a display face, and is best used at larger sizes.

French Octagon

Because wood type was created for headlines, fonts of wood type rarely have extensive character palettes. The characters pictured below are the historically accurate glyphs represented in this font.