Font Forlag

FONT is an independent, Norwegian publishing house, established in 2005. FONT is primarily devoted to publishing foreign fiction in translation and Norwegian non-fiction. FONT is owned and run by Halfdan W. Freihow and Knut Ola Ulvestad, who both have extensive and varied careers in the Norwegian book industry. Co-owners in FONT are Bent Stiansen, Hans Olav Thyvold and Morten Mark Nielsen.

Members of the board are Freihow, Ulvestad and Bent Stiansen (chairman).

Font has five full-time employees: Freihow and Ulvestad, as well as Sales and Marketing Director Lene Løver and Publicity Director Silje K. Iversen Hammersland.


The word FONT comes from the Latin fons, which means source or fountain. Today the word is mostly used in the sense of typeface, the typographical appearance of a set of letters or symbols. As early as in ancient Egypt there existed two typefaces (hieratic and demotic ). These were hieroglyphs that were either etched in stone or written on papyrus.

When Johann Gutenberg invented the European art of book-printing in the 1430s, it was necessary to standardize the written symbols. The writing style of that time, Gothic , was extremely complex and ornate, and in due course simplified versions emerged. Around 1890 the Gothic style of writing disappeared from daily use, and Antiqua became the dominant group of typefaces. Antiqua is based on the Roman monumental writing style; each letter consists of a basic line, a hairline and small enhancements called serifs. The other main group of typefaces today is called Grotesque. This was first used in 1916 by the English printer William Caslon III, and is characterized by the letters having equally thick lines and lacking serifs. Most typefaces in general use belong either to the Antiqua group or to the Grotesque group. These two groups can be further divided into sub-groups according to how much space each letter takes up regardless of appearance (for example an M and an I), or to whether the space needed by the individual letter is related to its appearance. The latter style, called proportional fonts, was developed by the American newspaper industry to save printer’s ink and paper, which explains the name of one of the most used typefaces in this category, Times. Today proportional fonts dominate production of newspapers, magazines and books.

FONT FORLAG uses the Trajan Antiqua typeface in its logo. This was developed by the American Carol Twombly in 1989, and was stylistically inspired by the 40-metre high Trajan Column, which was erected in Rome between 106 and 113 AD to commemorate the Emperor Trajan’s military conquests. Ascending this column, which has a diameter of almost four metres, runs a 200-metre long spiral band of magnificent reliefs. The base of the column is decorated with the finest examples of Roman script and sculpture. These inscriptions are regarded by many as the most important inspiration for the various Antiqua scripts.