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Bembino

Poster announcing Bembino Version 1.6 (January 2019)Welcome to Bembino

A high-quality, FREE, multi-lingual digital font

[Originally published on our first website on 16 May 2012, with updates there and here]

We issue the newest version of our digital font Bembino.  Now it appears in Version 1.6 (January 2019), available freely for download and use.  The Research Group on Manuscript Evidence holds the copyright (as a generous donation!), and you have the ability to use it freely.  How cool is that?  #loveit.

Download Bembino and its Companion Booklet Here

Version 1.6 (January 2019)

You can access our multi-lingual digital Font and its explanatory Booklet here.  Remember, it is FREE.

Responding to requests, this Version  of the Font includes

  • special characters for Old Russian, including accents as required
  • and more Chinese, including Bopomofo (in 37 symbols for the Mandarin Phonetic Syllabary) and many more Kanji characters, now totalling some 700, among them many characters for combined Chinese–Japanese–Korean, as well as some for Simplified Chinese only.

(Older Versions of Bembino and their components are described and available below.)

Updated for this Version, the accompanying Booklet describes the font, its aims, and its abilities. It also provides sample texts and font tables for all of Version 1.6.

As customary (since Version 1.4), we offer the Bembino Booklet in 2 forms, both yielding letter-size pages (8 1/2 inches × 11 inches).  One form offers the booklet as a series of individual, consecutive pages.  The other offers a foldable form, to be printed out double-sided on 11″×17″ paper, all ready for folding into a nested booklet of 8 1/2″ × 11″ consecutive pages.

Download the Font and Its Booklet

  • Bembino Version 1.6 Booklet Front CoverDownload Bembino 1.6 with a set of 16 fonts ready to INSTALL
  • Download Bembino 1.6 Booklet in foldable form for printing double-sided on 28 sheets of 11″×17″ paper to fold in half vertically into a nested booklet of 56 consecutive letter-size pages

Instructions for Installing the Font

For example, Installation with Windows 7 progresses this way:

  • Unzip the font file into any folder on disk.
  • Select the .oft file (or files).
  • Right-Click with mouse.
  • Select “Install”.
  • Confirm Admin privileges if required.
  • Select this font, its styles, and weights as you wish in preparing your own text files in your preferred word- or text-processing program.

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The Font and its Versions

Years in the making, through consultation with scholars, students, and readers in a wide range of fields, Bembino is designed to allow multiple languages to live in harmony on the same page.  #excellent.

Both the font and the companion Booklet, which describes the aims and illustrates the approach of the font, belong among our Publications. Evolving hand-in-hand with the development of the font, the principles and practices for layout design are demonstrated in our updated Style Manifesto.  #beautiful.

I.  Newest Version (downloadable above)

Bembino Version 1.6 (2019) adds requested characters for Old Russian and many more elements of Chinese.  It also updates the accompanying Booklet.

All Told (So Far)

So far, in addition to the International Phonetic Alphabet and a wide range of diacritics (accents), the languages supported by the font are:

  • most Western languages using the Latin alphabet
    (old languages included, such as Old English, Old Irish, etc.)
  • Greek (both modern and polytonic)
  • the Russian subset of the Cyrillic languages
  • Hebrew (including the Masoretic markings)
  • Egyptian Arabic
  • Armenian (upright and italic)
  • Runes (upright only)
  • Thai (upright and italic)
  • some glyphs for Japanese Hiragana and Katakana symbols, and
  • a set of Chinese/Japanese Kanji glyphs (in the Minchō style), covering at least the first-grade reading level.

The Japanese characters are only available so far in the “Regular, Roman” font in a single weight.  There are now a total of 289 Kanji characters (Chinese and Japanese combined).   These glyphs are sufficient to set simple examples of Japanese sentences.  Further Kanji glyphs will be added as time (and demand) allows.

II.  Previous Versions (downloadable below)

Version 1.5 (2018) provided requested updates (mainly centering upon characters for Ethiopic) and an updated version of the accompanying Booklet.  The additions for Ethiopic extended the range of the font beyond the diacritics for transcribed Ethiopic Ge’ez script so as to encompass the characters for that script, used for most languages of Ethiopia, such as Amharic.

Version 1.4 (2017) not only provided requested updates, as had previous versions, but also, for the first time since Version 1.0, supplied an updated version of the accompanying Booklet.  From this Version onward, every updated Version of the Booklet (1.4, 1.5, and 1.6) appears in 2 formats.  We offer those choices to suit your printing preferences.

Version 1.3 (2015)

Version 1.2 (2014)

Starting with this Version, Bembino and its booklet could be downloaded from our updated and redesigned WordPress website (You Are Here).  Moreover, as part of the redesign, the website employs Bembino as its font (As You See).

Version 1.o (2011) and 1.1 (2012)

Responding to requests, this font had appeared already in Versions 1.0 (2011) and 1.1 (2012).  From May 2011, Version 1.0 was circulated on CD or via email attachment.

From 16 May 2012, in Version 1.1, Bembino, its booklet, and installation instructions became available for download through our first Drupal website, formerly “http://manuscriptevidence.org/data/” (2007–2014), specifically on our “Bembino” page:   “http://manuscriptevidence.org/data/node/54“.  Now retired, that website is archived in some snapshots on the Internet Archive / Wayback Machine, under that site’s record for manuscriptevidence.org.   Its earliest snapshot with Bembino:  https://web.archive.org/web/20131027220516/http://manuscriptevidence.org:80/data/node/54 .

Back to Now.

Here & Now

Booklet Page 1 of the 'Interview with our Font & Layout Designer' (2015-16)Now Bembino is supplied through the new, WordPress, version of our website (You Are Here).  The states, as issued through this website, extend onward from Bembino Version 1.2 (2014–2015), followed by Version 1.3 (May 2015),  Version 1.4 (April 2017), Version 1.5 (April 2018), and now Version 1.6 (January 2019).  #YouAreHere.

Our current website shows the font in use.

  • Our downloadable Style Manifesto displays its features, in keeping with our principles for layout and design.

Multi-Lingual Bembino

Issued in preparation for Version 1.5, another Booklet illustrates the font in action in multiple languages:  Multi-Lingual Bembino.  It, too, is available freely for download (see below).

Version 1.5 (April 2018)

Poster Announcing Bembino Version 1.5 (April 2018) with border for Web displayAs part of the preparations for Bembino Version 1.r, the accompanying Booklet was updated with new Font Tables and examples.  The booklet is available in two formats:

  • Book1.5.pdf is suitable for printing on letter-sized paper
  • Booklet1.5.pdf is suitable for printing double-sided on 11 x 17 paper and folding into a booklet.

We offer two “flavors” for the Booklet, depending upon your printing preferences.  This practice began with the report on some New Testament Leaves in Old Armenian (October 2015), issued in a booklet which employed, and previewed, the Armenian designed especially for the purpose, appearing in Version 1.4 of Bembino.  We have found that both “flavors” are chosen frequently for your downloads of that “Armenian” Booklet, and also for various other Booklets.

This time, the second flavor of the new Bembino Booklet allows for a compact, small-format version.

Version 1.4 (April 2017)

Version 1.4 provided these requested updates, as it

  • Added Armenian (upright and italic)
  • Added Thai (upright and italic)
  • Added Runes (upright only, with a sample here, as previewed in July 2015)
  • Added more Chinese/Japanese Kanji (upright only)
  • Corrected one upright Greek glyph (a missing iota subscript)

For the first time since Version 1.0, Version 1.4 also supplied an updated version of the accompanying Booklet, with new Font Tables and examples.

In keeping with developments for our Publications in Booklet format accompanying the work toward Version 1.4 (Armenian included), we issued the Version 1.4 Booklet in 2 formats:

  • Book1.4.pdf is suitable for printing on letter-sized paper
  • Booklet1.4.pdf is suitable for printing double-sided on 11 x 17 paper and folding into a booklet.

In an advance from the earlier Versions, we offer 2 “flavors” for the Booklet, depending upon your printing preferences.  This practice began with the report on some New Testament Leaves in Old Armenian (October 2015), issued in a booklet which employed, and previewed, the Armenian designed especially for the purpose, awaiting inclusion in Bembino Version 1.4.  Already we have found that both “flavors” are chosen frequently for your downloads of that “Armenian” Booklet.  This time, the second flavor of the new Bembino Booklet allows for a compact, small-format version.

Version 1.3 (June 2013)

All Told (So Far) for that Version

So far, in addition to the International Phonetic Alphabet and a wide range of diacritics (accents), the languages supported by the font are:

  • most Western languages using the Latin alphabet
    (old languages included, such as Old English, Old Irish, etc.)
  • Greek (both modern and polytonic)
  • the Russian subset of the Cyrillic languages
  • Hebrew (including the Masoretic markings)
  • Egyptian Arabic
  • Armenian (upright and italic)
  • Runes (upright only)
  • Thai (upright and italic)
  • some glyphs for Japanese Hiragana and Katakana symbols, and
  • a set of Chinese/Japanese Kanji glyphs (in the Minchō style), covering at least the first-grade reading level.

Astrological and Astronomical Symbols in Bembino 1.3The Japanese characters are only available so far in the “Regular, Roman” font in a single weight.  There are now a total of 289 Kanji characters (Chinese and Japanese combined).   These glyphs are sufficient to set simple examples of Japanese sentences.  Further Kanji glyphs will be added as time (and demand) allows.

Other symbols are also included in the font by request:

  • the astrological and astronomical symbols required for casting horoscopes and other celestial diagrams (shown at the right)

Examples of these symbols in use for a set of Zodiac greeting cards and birthday cards are shown here; they are available to order here, with profits donated to the Research Group on Manuscript Evidence.

We welcome suggestions, feedback, and requests.

Increments

Bembino Version 1.4 contains the following additions to Version 1.3

  • Added Armenian (upright and italic)
  • Added Thai (upright and italic)
  • Added Runes (upright only, with a sample here, as previewed in July 2015)
  • Added more Chinese/Japanese Kanji (upright only)
  • Corrected one upright Greek glyph (a missing iota subscript)

The accompanying Booklet was also updated with new Font Tables and examples.  The booklet is available in two formats:

  • Book1.4.pdf is suitable for printing on letter-sized paper
  • Booklet1.4.pdf is suitable for printing double-sided on 11 x 17 paper and folding into a booklet.

In an advance from the earlier Versions, we offer two “flavors” for the Booklet, depending upon your printing preferences.  This practice began with the report on some New Testament Leaves in Old Armenian (October 2015), issued in a booklet which employed, and previewed, the Armenian designed especially for the purpose, awaiting inclusion in this new Version of Bembino (Version 1.4).  Already we have found that both “flavors” are chosen frequently for your downloads of that “Armenian” Booklet.  This time, the second flavor of the new Bembino Booklet allows for a compact, small-format version.

Bonus Booklet

A new Booklet (March 2018) exhibits specimens of a wide range of languages typeset in Bembino.

Cover page for 'Multi-Lingual Bembino' demonstrating specimens from a wide range of languages typeset in Bembino

Employing a single selected text, the examples belong to 59 languages arranged alphabetically by their English names, from Afrikaans to Yoruba.

You may find the Booklet here: Multi-Lingual Bembino.

What’s Next:  Prospects for the Next Version

Cover for the Report on 'Two Detached Manuscript Leaves containing New Testament Texts in Old Armenian' by Leslie J. French for the Research Group on Manuscript Evidence, with a detail of Leaf I verso, column a lines 10-12, with the opening of Acts 23:12We invite suggestions and requests.  Please let us know if there are specific alphabets or other symbols that would suit your requirements.

Requests have lead at various stages to the inclusion in Bembino of the Ethiopic diacritics, runes, elements of Armenian, the astrological and astronomical symbols, glyphs for Thai and the remedy for the Greek iota subscript.  Sometimes, our Publications incorporate the new designs already before the next Version of the font is ready to launch.  Such was the case, for example, with the report on some New Testament Leaves in Old Armenian (October 2015), which reported some new finds, transcribed its texts, and showcased the new additions to Bembino.

What’s Next?  Let us know!  Watch this space!

Download Older Versions Here

Poster for "Medieval Writing Media" Congress Session (13 May 2011)Poster 1 for "Identity & Authenticity" Symposium (22-23 March 2013)You can access the font, the explanatory Booklet with sample texts and tables for Version 1.2, and installation instructions here:

  • Download Bembino 1.4 (with NEWER booklet, available both in letter-size and in foldable small-format form)
  • Download Bembino 1.2 (with Installer and Booklet describing the font, its aims, and its abilities)

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"Bembino" Booklet CoverRemember, Bembino is FREE.  Our booklet describes why.  The font has been generously donated to the Research Group on Manuscript Evidence, which holds the copyright, to prevent any one else from attempting to make money from it.

Please Contact Us if you find glitches with installing or using the font.

Please let us know also if you wish to suggest additions to, or corrections for, the font and to receive updates for it as they emerge.

We always enjoy receiving notices of where the font appears in your compositions and publications. We hope that you enjoy it.

Contributions Welcome

We appreciate acknowledgements and we welcome donations.  Contributions in many ways help to support our nonprofit mission and activities.

Anyone might help, and in many ways.  We survive, and thrive, through volunteer contributions as well as funds.  (All of our Officers and other contributors are volunteers, and we welcome newcomers.)

Aid in funds and in kind — materials, time, expertise, and so on — would enable us to continue our services and activities.

Please join our Contributions & Donations.  We welcome your help.

You might subscribe to our RGME-newsletter ShelfMarks and notices of our events here.  Please join the discussions on our Facebook Page.

Enjoy Bembino!

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