Designed by Will Carter and David Kindersley, 1961


Octavian was the joint project of two of the mid-to-late 20th century’s most noted names in fine inscriptional letter carving. Additionally, one of them, Will Carter, was one of the finest letterpress printers and typographers of his generation. The expertise of both men involved made for a truly gorgeous calligraphic inscriptional face. It is quite unusual insofar as it is rather chunky compared to other types of an inscriptional style. But this is where I feel a lot of its character comes from; making for a warm, ‘friendly’ design, as opposed to the cold austerity of some inscriptional faces. I find pages set in Octavian most inviting and a pleasure on the eye.

The specimen to the right is Monotype’s digital version.


A couple of fine examples from the shelves:


John Carey


Rampant Lions Press, 1989

Designed and printed by Sebastian Carter in an edition of 500 copies.

This is quite my favourite book printed in this beautiful typeface.


Stanley Morison


Rampant Lions Press, 1962

Designed and printed by Will Carter in an edition of 600 copies, plus 100 advance copies (in a slightly different form) for a meeting of the Double Crown Club.

This was printed as a showcase for Octavian, and it is a little gem of a booklet.



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