Often there are many book formats that have a need to be reproduced in Latex, either to learn from or to design the next classic. In this view consider the first few pages of an older book title page from John Mycall, 1778 page 1 from John Mycall, 1778 page 2 from John Mycall, 1778

The questions here are:

  1. What are some of the best, simple ways to set up the book format with the title page, first page and paragraph structure as presented ?
  2. What is an efficient process to reproduce old fonts, as presented, that can be used by a simple package use ?
  3. Can spacings for both the layout dimensions and fonts and paragraphs than can be easily changed ? As an example say the book width is 6" wide and 8" tall with the font and paragraph spaces set accordingly.
  • 2
    The site really works best when we have one question per, well... per question, really. It works even better if the question includes some code showing what you've tried and asking for help to overcome a specific problem. This is especially true given that there are similar questions on the site already. What are you trying to do which is not addressed by those?
    – cfr
    Commented Jul 11, 2015 at 20:21
  • 1
    Moreover, (2) is unclear. You might be asking a number of things: (a) are there packages for old-style fonts? (b) given an arbitrary font, how can it be used? (c) how could a font be produced based on sample text such as this? You seem to be asking (c) but, if so, that is off-topic here. There are plenty of questions addressing (b) and the LaTeX font catalogue is your friend if you are asking (a).
    – cfr
    Commented Jul 11, 2015 at 20:22
  • 1
    I'd put this in the "learn" category, I guess, but certainly not in the "next classic" category (neither in choice of title nor in design).
    – jon
    Commented Jul 12, 2015 at 1:45

1 Answer 1


You can obtain something that looks more or less like the image, if you use a font, among other things, that has historical ligatures. Here is a attempt, using the (commercial) font SabonNext LT Pro, fontspec and XeLaTeX:


\defaultfontfeatures{Numbers = {OldStyle,Proportional},Ligatures = Rare, Style = Historic, StylisticSet={1,5},WordSpace = 1.2}%
\setmainfont{Sabon Next LT Pro}
\usepackage{fourier-orns, multido}
\usepackage[textwidth=110mm, textheight=180mm, marginratio={4:6,5:7},nofoot, nomarginpar]{geometry}
\usepackage{tabularx, booktabs}
\renewpagestyle{plain} {%

\setlength\droptitle {-30mm}
\textsc{of the}\\%
{\LARGE OF}\\[1.5ex]%
{\setstretch{1}\LARGE \addfontfeature{LetterSpace=2.0} Holden at {\addfontfeature{LetterSpace=20.0}IPSWICH} in the\\
County of Essex, who were\\
Deputed to take into\\
{\huge\itshape CONSTITUTION}\\
\textsc{and form of}\\[1.5ex]
{\huge GOVERNMENT}\\
\textsc{proposed by the}\\[1.5ex]
\textit{\LARGE CONVENTION} \\[1ex]
\textsc{of the STATE of}\\

\textsc{Printed and Sold by John Mycall, 1778}




\newgeometry{textwidth=89mm, textheight =158mm, marginratio={4:6,5:7},nofoot}

\noindent\begin{tabularx}{\linewidth}{@{} >{\centering\LARGE\addfontfeature{LetterSpace=15.0} \arraybackslash}X@{}}
\textsc{r e s u l t} \\
\textsc{\normalsize of the} \\
\itshape CONVENTION, \&c. \\

  In Convention of Delegates from the several towns of Lynn, Salem, Danvers, Wenham, Manchester, Glou\-cester, Ipswich, Newbury-Port, Salisbury, Methuen, Boxford \& Topfields, holden by adjourment at Ipswich, on the twenty-ninth day of April, one thousand seven hundred \& seventy eight.}

  \large Peter Coffin Esq ; in the Chair.

\hskip-2em HE Constitution and form of Government framed by the Convention of this State, was read paragraph by paragraph, and after debate, the following passed

\begin{enumerate}[label = \arabic*., wide, labelsep=1.em

  \item That the present situation of this State renders it best, that the framing of a Constitution therefor, should be posponed ’till the public affairs are in a more peaceable and settled condition.

  \item That a bill of rights, clearly ascertaining and defining the rights of conscience, and that security of person and property, which every member in the State hath a right to expect from the supreme power thereof, ought to be settled and established, previous to the ratification of any constitution for the State.

  \item That the executive power in any State, ought not to have any share or voice in the legislative power in framing the laws, and therefore, that the second article of the Constitution is liable to exception.

  \item That any man who is chosen Governor, ought to be properly qualified in point of property—that the qualification therefor, mentioned in the third article of the Constitution, is not sufficient—nor is the same qualification directed to be ascertained on fixed principles, as it ought to be, on account of the fluctuation of the nominal value of money, and of property.

  \item That in every free Republican Government, where the legislative power is rested in an house or houses of representatives, all the members of the State ought to be equally represented.



enter image description here enter image description here enter image description here

  • 1
    Nice work! Although today's fonts can't match the originals, none of the Caslon fonts I've tried could replicate the historical S correctly.
    – user9424
    Commented Jul 12, 2015 at 18:47
  • @Bernard Thanks for the example to learn from. Although matching fonts is often hard to do, something close is far better than nothing.
    – Leucippus
    Commented Jul 13, 2015 at 17:06

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