Bank Gothic

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Bank Gothic
Designer(s)Morris Fuller Benton
FoundryAmerican Type Founders
Date created1930–1933[1]
Re-issuing foundriesBitstream, FontHaus, Linotype

Bank Gothic is a rectilinear geometric sans-serif typeface designed by Morris Fuller Benton for American Type Founders and released in 1930.[1] The design has become popular from the late twentieth century to suggest a science-fiction, military, corporate, or sports aesthetic. It is also famously used as the typeface for Columbia Pictures since 1993[2][3][4][5]

Bank Gothic is an exploration of geometric forms, and is contemporary with the rectilinear slab serif typeface City by Georg Trump (Gothic in this context means "sans-serif", at the time a common usage, rather than blackletter).[6] The typeface also bears comparison with late-nineteenth-century engraving faces such as Copperplate Gothic, which were popular for business card and corporate stationery printing. The design was initially issued in small print sizes to allow this use.[2]

Metal type[edit]

The original metal typeface was capitals-only in light, medium and bold in regular and condensed widths, with larger sizes released as Poster Gothic.[1][7][a] According to McGrew, the range of sizes cast allowed smaller sizes to be used as small capitals for larger sizes.[1] It became a standard design, with Monotype, Linotype, Ludlow and Intertype offering versions.[1] When Linotype issued a digitization in the 1980s, small caps were added in the lower-case position, and this has become common in digital releases.[7]


As American Type Founders ceased operations before issuing a digital version, various digitizations have been released by different companies, including Bitstream,[8] ParaType (the Bitstream digitization, adding Cyrillic),[9] and others.[10]

Bank Gothic Pro[edit]

In 2010, FontHaus released an updated revival of the original Bank Gothic complete with a lowercase and small caps and a new suite of punctuation glyphs. The family consists of light, medium, and bold weights in both a regular and a condensed style. The new lowercase characters did not exist with the original release, and were modeled after many similar Morris Fuller Benton designs released by American Type Founders in the 1930s.[11]

DeLuxe Gothic[edit]

In 2003, letterforms artist Michael Doret began work on DeLuxe Gothic—a derivative version of American Type Founder's Bank Gothic. Unlike the 1930s original, Doret's font contains lowercase characters. The DeLuxe Gothic Family was released in OpenType format in 2010 by Alphabet Soup Type Founders with both regular and condensed styles as well as traditional shortcaps. DeLuxe Gothic was the name originally used by the Intertype Corporation for its version of Morris Fuller Benton's Bank Gothic. Prior to its September 8, 2010 release, it was known as Bank Gothic AS.[12]

Morris Sans[edit]

Designed by Dan Reynolds for Linotype, Morris Sans is an extended Bank Gothic family including both lowercase letters and small capitals.[7] The design has three weights in regular and condensed widths, and modern OpenType features.[13][14][7]

Squarish Sans CT[edit]

Squarish Sans is a typeface under development as of September 2014. It was developed specifically to address the need of open-source software having access to this popular design, and is thus under the terms of the Open Font License. It follows DeLuxe Gothic and Morris Sans in containing true lowercase characters, as well as small caps. Squarish Sans offers Greek, Hebrew, and a large number of non-alphabetic (e.g. mathematical) symbols as well.[15]


Elsner+Flake designed two typefaces which are based on the Bank Gothic typeface: Bank Sans EF and Bank Sans Caps EF. Both typefaces had 64 styles (Regular, Semi Condensed, Condensed, Compressed, Light, Regular, Medium, Bold) with italics and support Cyrillic.[16][17]

Matt Desmond designed the Aldrich typeface, influenced from the Bank Gothic typeface.[18]

Banque Gothique was designed by Steve Jackaman and published by Red Rooster Collection. Banque Gothique contains 9 styles and family package options and is based on the earliest ATF/M.F. Benton versions of the Bank Gothic typefaces.[19]

Alex Kaczun designed the Axion RX-14 typeface, inspired from the Bank Gothic typeface.[20]

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ Linotype does not mention a condensed bold in their article on the family's history, but McGrew reports that it was released and shows a copy.

  1. ^ a b c d e McGrew, Mac (1993). American Metal Typefaces of the Twentieth Century (Second, revised ed.). pp. 22–3, 258–259. ISBN 0-938768-34-4.
  2. ^ a b Dave Addey (11 December 2018). "Stephen Coles". Typeset in the Future: Typography and Design in Science Fiction Movies. ABRAMS. pp. 46–51. ISBN 978-1-68335-334-8.
  3. ^ Ziegenhagen, David (2017). "'The future isn't written in stone' (but in Bank Gothic): Genretheoretische Überlegungen zum typografischen Design von Science-Fiction-Filmen". FFK Journal (2): 325–343. doi:10.25969/mediarep/2926.
  4. ^ Reynolds, Dan (10 April 2008). "This Typeface Will Break Your Heart". TypeOff. Retrieved 4 August 2019. Who knows when this first started showing up on film and television? The earliest back I can remember is the poster for the 1997 sci-fi/horror flick Event Horizon
  5. ^ Tselentis, Jason (August 28, 2017). "Typodermic's Raymond Larabie Talks Type, Technology & Science Fiction". How. Archived from the original on August 10, 2018. Retrieved October 29, 2017.
  6. ^ Mosley, James (1999). The Nymph and the Grot: the Revival of the Sanserif Letter. London: Friends of the St Bride Printing Library. ISBN 9780953520107.
  7. ^ a b c d "The Original Squared Sans, Redrawn – Bank Gothic and Morris Sans". Linotype. Retrieved 31 July 2019.
  8. ^ "Bank Gothic Std". MyFonts. Bitstream. Retrieved 31 July 2019.
  9. ^ "Bank Gothic". MyFonts. ParaType. Retrieved 31 July 2019.
  10. ^ Phinney, Thomas (30 July 2019). "Bank Gothic Variable—Design/Production Person Needed". Phinney on Fonts. Retrieved 31 July 2019.
  11. ^ "FontHaus Releases New Bank Gothic Type Family". CreativePro Network. 22 October 2010.
  12. ^ "DeLuxe Gothic". November 12, 2010. Retrieved August 9, 2020.
  13. ^ Reynolds, Dan. "Morris Sans". TypeOff. Retrieved 31 July 2019.
  14. ^ Reynolds, Dan. "Morris Sans". MyFonts. Linotype. Retrieved 31 July 2019.
  15. ^ "Christ Trek Fonts [Tim Larson]". Luc Devroye, School of Computer Science, McGill University, Montreal, Canada. Retrieved 25 May 2021.
  16. ^ "Bank Sans EF". MyFonts. Retrieved 14 May 2020.
  17. ^ "Bank Sans Caps EF". MyFonts. Retrieved 14 May 2020.
  18. ^ "Aldrich - Google Fonts". Retrieved 12 May 2020.
  19. ^ "Fonts> Red Rooster Collection> Banque Gothique".
  20. ^ "Axion RX-14 typeface". MyFonts. Retrieved 23 April 2023.
  • Blackwell, Lewis. 20th Century Type. Yale University Press: 2004. ISBN 0-300-10073-6.
  • Fiedl, Frederich, Nicholas Ott and Bernard Stein. Typography: An Encyclopedic Survey of Type Design and Techniques Through History. Black Dog & Leventhal: 1998. ISBN 1-57912-023-7.
  • Jaspert, W. Pincus, W. Turner Berry and A.F. Johnson. The Encyclopedia of Type Faces. Blandford Press Lts.: 1953, 1983. ISBN 0-7137-1347-X.

External links[edit]