Bembo was modeled on typefaces cut by Francesco Griffo for Aldus Manutius’ printing of De Aetna in 1495 in Venice, a book by classicist Pietro Bembo about his visit to Mount Etna. Griffo’s design is considered one of the first of the old style typefaces, which include Garamond, that were used as staple text types in Europe for two hundred years.
Stanley Morison supervised the design of Bembo for the Monotype Corporation in 1929. Bembo is a fine text face because of its well-proportioned letterforms, functional serifs, and lack of peculiarities; the italic is modeled on the handwriting of the Renaissance scribe Giovanni Tagliente.
Books and other texts set in Bembo can encompass a large variety of subjects and formats because of its quiet classical beauty and its high readability.