I didn’t realize there was a typeface called Fontana; I just thought it was a paperback imprint of Collins’.

However here it is, and HarperCollins historical website celebrating their 200th anniversary tells us about it in these terms :

“In 1936, Collins became the first major publishing house to create its own font. The publisher hired printer and typographer Dr. Hans Mardersteig to prepare a report on the business in which he included suggestions on design. As a result, Collins had him design a typeface that would create a unique visual identity for the company.

Building on the classic fonts of eighteenth-century Glasgow publishers Robert and Andrew Foulis, Mardersteig developed Collins’s iconic typeface: Fontana. It was used by Collins for three decades before the company released rights to the font.

After Collins developed the Fontana font, more company-specific fonts followed, including Lexicon, Fedra, Nexus (designed by Martin Majoor), Fresco, and Sansa (designed by Fred Smeijers).”

It’s hard to disagree with the sentiments expressed in their type sample. If only all designers would attend to ease of reading. It reminds me a bit of Century Schoolbook, a no-nonsense communicator. I’m not sure just how available Fontana is today: according to Creative Pro, Monotype never digitized it.

So there you are. As the punch line of an old joke told by our crusty Latin master had it “Ye ken noo”.