n keeping with the uniqueness of Vesalius’ masterpiece and the typeface in which it was first published, Swiss font designer Christian Mengelt developed a new typeface based upon the Basel Antiqua font that was distinctive to the 16th-century printing powerhouse Basel. Basel Antiqua is a modern rendition of that typeface especially prepared for the new translation.

Mengelt was asked early in the course of the project to create a typeface that would be representative of Vesalius’ assiduous production with Basel printing master Johannes Oporinus, but, as an added challenge, which needed to be compatible with new digital technology. Unfortunately, such a complex task seemed likely to take too long to be part of Karger’s Fabrica production.

Therefore, Mengelt, caught by the “Vesalius bug” that has infected the rest of the Fabrica team, redoubled his efforts and surprised the publisher by designing the 21st-century Basel Antiqua in record time, so that it could become the basis for Garrison’s and Hast’s printed translation.

The Basel Antiqua – especially designed for the English version of the Fabrica

Mengelt has since licensed out the typeface to Linotype, a typographic products and services company, for possible use in other future publications.