Twentieth Century (typeface)

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Twentieth Century
Twentieth Century MT.tiff
Category Sans-serif
Classification Geometric
Designer(s) Sol Hess
Foundry Lanston Monotype
Also known as Airport, Century Gothic, Tw Cen (Microsoft Office typeface)

Twentieth Century is a geometric sans-serif foundry typeface designed by Sol Hess for Lanston Monotype as a competitor to the successful Futura typeface, but with a larger x-height and more even stroke width. The Twentieth Century face is distinctive for its single-story lowercase a and g. The font is well known for being used in the video game Sid Meier's Civilization V.

Casting History[edit]

The various weights and widths were cut over a period of ten years:

  • Twentieth Century (1937)
  • Twentieth Century Bold Italic (1937)
  • Twentieth Century Extrabold Italic (1937)
  • Twentieth Century Extrabold Condensed Italic (1938)
  • Twentieth Century Ultrabold (1941)
  • Twentieth Century Ultrabold Condensed (1944)
  • Twentieth Century Medium Condensed Italic (1947)
  • Twentieth Century Ultrabold Italic (1947)[1]

Foundry Type Copies[edit]

The first American knock-off of Futura was Baltimore Type Foundry’s Airport. No information exists on how this was produced, but it resembles Futura so closely, that it is thought to be stereotyped. After Monotype introduced Twentieth Century, Baltotype began selling some weights of this face under the Airport name.[2]

Digital Type Copies[edit]

Century Gothic is a digital typeface designed for Monotype Imaging in 1991 based on Twentieth Century.[3]


  1. ^ McGrew, Mac, American Metal Typefaces of the Twentieth Century, Oak Knoll Books, New Castle Delaware, 1993, ISBN 0-938768-34-4., p. 315.
  2. ^ McGrew, p. 9
  3. ^ Microsoft's description of Century Gothic