Century Schoolbook alternativesWhy use a children’s font?
The “Scotch Roman” style of text face has been consistently popular since the mid-1800s, and traces its roots to the Edinburgh foundry of William Miller. The original font named Century, designed by Linn Boyd Benton in 1894, was derived from this Scotch model. Since then, the Scotch flavor has lived on in many other faces, some carrying “Century” in their name, others not. (For instance, the Georgia system font is also in the Scotch family.)
I include the Century Schoolbook system font on my list of “generally tolerable” system fonts. But it’s hardly the nicest Century. Rather, it’s a later spinoff created by Morris Fuller Benton (Linn’s son) from research about what children found easy to read—hence the name, which contemplates its intended use. It’s not bad. But its letterforms are rather loose and broad.
The Scotch category is full of better options. A few of my favorites are Miller (named after the Edinburgh foundry), Harriet, and Ingeborg. I’ve also designed my own take on this style called Century Supra, which brings together things I like about a number of Scotch-style faces from the early- to mid-1900s.
by the way
The Computer Modern fonts that are part of TeX are based on Scotch Roman, because it’s also been a popular style for math and scientific typesetting.
Century Schoolbook is used in the PDF opinions of the United States Supreme Court, and countless law-school textbooks as well.