International Typeface Corporation

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The International Typeface Corporation (ITC) was a type manufacturer founded in New York in 1970 by Aaron Burns, Herb Lubalin and Edward Rondthaler. The company was one of the world's first type foundries to have no history in the production of metal type. It is now a wholly owned brand or subsidiary of Monotype Imaging.


The company was founded to design, license and market typefaces for filmsetting and computer set types internationally. The company issued both new designs and revivals of older or classic faces, invariably re-cut to be suitable for phototypesetting and later digital use and produced in families of different weights. Although it is claimed that the designers took care to preserve the style and character of the original typefaces, several ITC revivals, such as ITC Bookman and ITC Garamond in particular, have received criticism that the end result was related in name only to the original faces.[citation needed] Among the company's notable type designers was Ed Benguiat the creator of Tiffany and Benguiat fonts.

ITC's revival designs frequently followed a formulary of increased x-height, multiple weights from light to ultra bold, multiple widths and unusual ligature combinations, sometimes with alternate characters such as swashes.[1][2][3][4][5][6]

Critics sometimes[citation needed] complain that, while the dramatically higher x-height increased legibility in smaller point sizes, in normal text sizes the extreme height of the lowercase characters imparted a commercial, subjective voice to texts.

ITC typefaces were widely distributed. Gene Gable commented "You could easily say that ITC designs put a face on the ’70s and ’80s...You couldn’t open a magazine or pass a billboard in the ’70s without seeing [them]."[7]


U&lc magazine[edit]

The company published U&lc (Upper and Lower Case), a typographic magazine dedicated to showcasing their traditional and newer typefaces in particularly creative ways, originally edited and designed by Herb Lubalin until his death in May, 1981. Because of its extraordinary blend of typographic design, illustration and cartoons (sometimes by world-renowned artists and cartoonists such as Lou Myers), verse and prose extolling the virtues of well-designed type, as well as contributions by amateur or semi-professional typographers, the magazine was avidly read by type enthusiasts and sought after by collectors the world over.

A web version of the magazine started in 1998, along with a brand-new sans-serif logo by Mark van Bronkhorst (replacing the famous swash lettered logo by Herb Lubalin). In an editorial, John D. Berry wrote: "There’ll be plenty of overlap between the print magazine and the online magazine, but they won’t be identical: some things are best done with ink on paper, others are best done on screen." Yet the paper edition, which in 1998 had shrunk in format from tabloid pages to 8.5" x 11", did not survive for long. The final printed edition was vol. 26 no. 2, dated fall 1999.[8] The last numbered U&lc issue is 42.1.1, issued in 2010.

A book celebrating U&lc, U&lc: Influencing Design & Typography by John D. Berry (the magazine's final editor) ISBN 0-9724240-9-1, was published by Mark Batty in 2005.

In October 2010 Allan Haley announced on the blog that the complete run of U&lc had been digitized and would be made available, one year's worth per month, via PDF download from that same blog.[9]

As part of redesign in 2012,[10] access to U&lc were moved to blog, and Learn About Fonts & Typography for various U&lc web edition articles.

Acquisitions and mergers[edit]

In 1986 the company was acquired by Esselte Letraset,[11] who had taken over Letraset, originally makers of the first dry transfer lettering, and later to become developers of new typefaces for filmsetting and computer applications. In 2000, Agfa Monotype Corporation announced the acquisition of the capital stock of International Typeface Corporation (ITC) from Esselte. The transaction included ITC’s complete library of over 1600 typefaces, all typeface subscriber and distributor agreements, the Web site, and typographic software. At this point ITC ceased to operate as an independent entity.

In November 2005 Agfa Monotype was incorporated as Monotype Imaging, with a focus on the company's traditional core competencies of typographic design and professional printing. Famous contemporary typographers associated with Monotype include Adrian Frutiger, Hermann Zapf and Matthew Carter.


  • 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.
  1. ^ Shaw, Paul. "Tutorial no. 6—Tight but not touching kerning". Paul Shaw Letter Design. Retrieved 17 October 2020.
  2. ^ "Seventies are hot! Sexy spacing & more typography from an over-the-top decade of brilliance". Typeroom.
  3. ^ Hardwig, Florian (23 October 2019). "Love & Guilt & The Meaning of Life, Etc". Fonts in Use. Retrieved 17 October 2020.
  4. ^ Bomparte, Natacha. "Ed Benguiat: New York Times". History of Graphic Design. NC State University. Retrieved 17 October 2020.
  5. ^ Schwartz, Christian. "Back with a flourish". Eye Magazine. Retrieved 31 March 2018.
  6. ^ "In Memoriam: Ed Benguiat (1927-2020)". Typeroom. Retrieved 17 October 2020.
  7. ^ Gable, Gene (22 August 2007). "Scanning Around With Gene: Part 2 of That '70s Type!". Creative Pro. Retrieved 17 October 2020.
  8. ^ The Last U&lc
  9. ^ U&lc Back Issues to be Made Available
  10. ^ Redesigned Premiers with New Look and Features - New site offers a single source for desktop and Web fonts Archived 2012-10-16 at the Wayback Machine
  11. ^ "Esselte Letraset". The New York Times. 25 June 1986.

External links[edit]