Romantic, dark, moody, and – dare I say – sexy? Daubenton has been at the top of my list for years because not only is it visually striking, it also has such a clear identity. Can’t you just envision this beauty of a typeface, sitting in the dark tower of a castle, face dimly lit by the flames of a dripping taper candle? Perhaps, I’ve watched too much TV.

With its dramatic letterforms, Daubenton is a shoo-in as a display typeface. And you might think it ends there. But for those of you designers out there willing to take a little bit of a risk, Daubenton can be a rewarding body typeface. 

Now, it doesn’t have any of the characteristics I would normally require in a body typeface. Does it have multiple styles? No. How about multiple weights? Nah. Surely, it must have lower-cased letters? Nope. But somehow, it works if you get it just right. Take a look at Nice People’s application of Daubenton in the brand identity design for Anectdote Candles. I mean… it’s just perfection.

This serif is a revival typeface inspired by the engraved letters on the National History Museum in Paris. And while the source material is centuries old, Daubenton feels current and timelessly chic. 

Distributed by Velvetyne Foundry with an Open Font License, Daubenton is an open-source font and is free for personal and commercial use. I’ve scoured through hundreds of free fonts and Daubenton truly stands out, so go and add this to your type collection if you haven’t already!