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Category Sans-serif
Classification Incised, Display
Designer(s) Carol Twombly
Foundry Adobe Type
Date released 1989

Lithos is a glyphic sans-serif typeface designed by Carol Twombly in 1989 for Adobe Systems. Lithos is inspired by the unadorned, geometric letterforms of the engravings found on Ancient Greek public buildings. The typeface consists of only capital letters, and comes in five weights, with no italics.[citation needed]

According to Twombly, Lithos only used Greek inscriptions as inspiration, making Lithos more of a modern reinterpretation than a faithful reproduction.[citation needed] Twombly also designed Trajan and Charlemagne based respectively on ancient Roman and Byzantine inscriptions.[citation needed] Those typefaces, unlike Lithos, were modeled more directly upon their historical counterparts. One example of Lithos' departure from historical accuracy is the inclusion of bold weights, which never existed in historical Greek inscriptions.[citation needed]

Lithos Pro[edit]

In 2000, Adobe released the OpenType version called Lithos Pro, which included Adobe CE, Adobe Western 2, Greek character sets support, and small caps in the lowercase positions. OpenType features include alternates, case forms, proportional lining figures, small caps.

Lithos in popular culture[edit]

Lithos was the resident typeface of MTV during the late 1980s and early 1990s.[1][2]

Lithos is also used in the title typeface of the Very Short Introductions published by Oxford University Press.

Lithos is used in the California State Parks logo.[3]


  1. ^ Philip B. Meggs; Alston W. Purvis (14 April 2016). Meggs' History of Graphic Design. John Wiley & Sons. pp. 583–. ISBN 978-1-119-13620-0.
  2. ^ Erik Spiekermann; E. M. Ginger (1993). Stop Stealing Sheep & Find Out how Type Works. Adobe Press. ISBN 978-0-672-48543-5.
  3. ^ "Where will the hundreds of California State Parks take you today? TM Discover the many states of California. TM California State Parks Brand Standards Handbook" (PDF). State of California. Retrieved 14 December 2016.