Catull, just f*ing Google it

Let’s learn about another typeface you probably see everyday 🙂 Catull!! Whaaat, you don’t know what I’m talking about… well, get ready to win a trivia night. Catull is the typeface used by Google for their logotype.  It’s really easy to pass by, take for granted, and avoid examining, however, I’m going to do that right here.


Catull is a rather different serif. First of all, many serifs are based on careful calligraphy.  With time and development and changes in taste, serifs took on more humanist characteristics, and then type designers moved toward more geometric elements and drew inspiration from Roman engravings, creating slab serifs. Catull was designed in the 1980s, and by that time designer Gustav Jaeger had quite a history of type to examine.  So it’s interesting that he went back to the origins of type and looked at calligraphy. However, unlike many of his predecessors, he did not look at English, Italian, and French calligraphy, but instead seems to have drawn on Irish scripts.


Reproduction of an Irish illuminated manuscript.

Catull is just whimsical enough. It’s not over-done, silly, or difficult to read. It catches the eye and is interesting enough on its own.


Gustav also designed Becket, which is similarly calligraphic but is a bit more embellished than Catull.


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