I was reading some books published by the Cambridge University Press which I noticed used a typeface which I found quite handsome. I did some sleuthing, and found that this face was Monotype Series 178 “Barbou,” (view a specimen in grayscale or black and white) which was issued privately for Cambridge’s use, but otherwise was not made available; instead, Series 185, “Fournier,” was made available. (Both designs are based on the work of Pierre-Simon Fournier. Barbou was named after Joseph Barbou, who printed many of his works.) Monotype later digitized Fournier, but I am not particularly enamored with the results. (There are a number of other designs based on Fournier’s work out there, but none of them have the same warm feel as Series 178 “Barbou.”)
Being dissatisfied with the options out there, I decided to design my own typeface, mimicking the feel of Barbou; I would like the finished version to be suitable principally for print. (I am not committed to 100% faithfulness to the original design, but I would like to keep it very close.) I have dubbed my design “Regis,” which you may have noticed is a callout to Romain du roi, in reference to the style which inspired Pierre-Simon Fournier’s work.
On another note, as an avid user of open-source software, it is my inclination to prefer free and open-source fonts. Accordingly, I decided that I would release my work under a permissive BSD-style license (compatible with the OFL, GPL, LPPL and all your other favorite licenses). In line with the open-source ideal, Regis is being designed in FontForge.
Currently, a quite tentative version of the lowercase alphabet is mostly finished. At present, my focus is on giving the lowercase letters some uniformity. If you have any feedback, please leave a comment on the TypeDrawers topic, or email me.
The typeface is currently in the very early stages of design, and as such, it is not really useful for anything yet. Nevertheless, you may view the source of the font (in FontForge format) on my GitHub (note that this will inevitably lag behind my latest work). OpenType downloads will eventually be made available when the design is more or less complete.