News Gothic

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News Gothic
NGsp4.svg
CategorySans-serif
ClassificationGrotesque sans-serif
Designer(s)Morris Fuller Benton
FoundryAmerican Type Founders

News Gothic is a realist sans-serif typeface dated to 1908 designed by Morris Fuller Benton, and released by his employer American Type Founders (ATF).[1] News Gothic is similar in proportion and structure to Franklin Gothic, also designed by Benton, but lighter.

News Gothic, like other Benton sans serif typefaces, follows the grotesque model, resembling serif text faces of the period, with a double-storey lower-case a and g. Also distinctive are the blunt terminus at the apex of the lowercase t, and the location of the tail of the uppercase Q completely outside the bowl. The letter forms are compact, and descenders are shallow. The typeface differs from other realist sans-serifs in its rather light weight and open letterforms, contributing to a less severe, humanist tone of voice.

For much of the twentieth century News Gothic was used in newspaper and magazine publishing with copies available on Monotype and Intertype machines for hot metal typesetting. Both companies added additional weights to the family.[2] For use in headlines, it was designed with condensed and extra-condensed styles.

'Gothic' was an early twentieth century term for sans-serifs, found mostly in the United States and Canada. It was also used in the UK, along with 'grotesque'. In Germany the term 'Grotesk' was used.

Metal type release[edit]

A post-war guide (presumably c. 1958) explaining the names used by ATF for their many somewhat related 'gothic' types and highlighting their then-new News Gothic Bold.[3]

Benton's autobiographical notes list the following designs as his contributions to the family:[4]

  • News Gothic
  • News Gothic Condensed
  • News Gothic Extra Condensed

ATF's 1923 specimen book also shows:[5]

  • News Gothic Extra Condensed Title (a headline face)

As with Franklin Gothic, the foundry expanded the line sometime later, adding two more variants:

  • News Gothic Bold (1958) designed by John L. “Bud” Renshaw; Intertype had already released a bold News Gothic in a hot metal typesetting version, however, as later did Monotype.[6]
  • News Gothic Condensed Bold (1965) designed by Frank Bartuska; versions also by Monotype and Intertype

Both Monotype and Intertype released oblique versions; McGrew reports that while ATF's archives contained 1912 production drawings for an oblique "we have no record of its production".[2]

Cold type copies[edit]

Virtually all producers of cold type offered their own versions of News Gothic under different names:[7]

Digital releases[edit]

Several common News Gothic digitisations.

Because there is no active descendant of the American Type Founders Corporation making digital typefaces, News Gothic has been revived in digital form in many different versions from different sources.

Benton Sans is a greatly expanded font family based on News Gothic by Font Bureau, adding additional features such as wide styles and extra-bold weights. At 80 styles, it is one of the most comprehensive digital renditions of the News Gothic style.[8] Its users include Newsweek, Fortune magazine, the Boston Globe and Sotheby's.[9]

Digital releases actually named News Gothic have a variety of features, often adding in weights not present in the original design or removing some less popular ones. For example, Bitstream's release is rare in including the extra-condensed styles.[10] URW++'s (also sold by Fontsite) is only sold in one width but in a wide range of weights and with italics for every weight, while Linotype's lacks a light weight or any condensed styles.[11][12] Monotype's revival, a subset of which is included with many Microsoft products, features the condensed style but not extra-condensed, and has wider spacing than several others. Adobe, Monotype, Linotype and Bitstream have their own versions. The Bitstream version of News Gothic was extended with Cyrillic glyphs in 2005 and Greek glyphs in 2009 by Dmitry Kirsanov for ParaType, and is sold by them separately.[13]

Hamburg Serial[14] is a lesser-known version of News Gothic by SoftMaker, with italics that have a one-story 'a' and 'g'.

News Gothic No. 2 is an enhanced version of News Gothic produced by the D. Stempel AG type foundry in 1984. It adds more weights to the News Gothic family than were available in other versions.[15]

Adobe Source Sans Pro is a single-width design based on News Gothic, but differs in having true italics and a larger x-height for use with onscreen display. It was released in 2012 as Adobe's first open-source family under the SIL Open Font License; Adobe's training material highlights it as having a more consistent colour on the page than the rather condensed News Gothic.[16][17]

News Cycle is an open-source variant by Nathan Willis based on 1908 specimens of News Gothic typeface from ATF extended with full Latin, Greek, and Cyrillic glyphs. It is an open source typeface licensed under the SIL Open Font License.[18][19]

Similar designs[edit]

Linotype called their similar design Trade Gothic while the Ludlow version was known as Record Gothic. Intertype copied the face under the same name and added a variant, News Gothic Bold (1955).[2] Baltimore Type’s copy was called Balto Gothic, while their copy of Inland Type Foundry’s Inland Gothic No. 6 was perversely sold under the name News Gothic.

In 1916, Sol Hess made alternate rounded characters for News Gothic Extra Condensed and the resulting face was sold by Lanston Monotype as Jefferson Gothic, which was also sold by Baltimore Type as Tourist Extra Condensed In 1935, M.F. Benton did much the same thing for A.T.F. and the face was called Phenix.

Ludlow’s Record Gothic began as a mere knock-off but, between 1956 and 1961, their in-house designer, R. Hunter Middleton made many original additions to the family including:[20]

  • Record Gothic Condensed Italic
  • Record Gothic Extended + Italic
  • Record Gothic Bold + Italic
  • Record Gothic Bold Condensed
  • Record Gothic Bold Extended + Italic
  • Record Gothic Bold Extended Reverse
  • Record Gothic Thinline condensed
  • Record Gothic Heavy Condensed
  • Record Gothic Light Medium-Extended
  • Record Gothic Medium-Extended + Italic
  • Record Gothic Bold Medium-Extended
  • Record Gothic Heavy Medium-Extended

Record Gothic is, again, a very inconsistent family, and has never been fully digitised.[21]

Usages[edit]

A sample image for News Gothic Condensed, made by ATF in 1912. The design is a letterhead for an electrical equipment company, showing News Gothic's clean, modern image.
The well-known logo of ABBA using bold variant of this font
  • The identity for the Brooklyn Academy of Music, designed by Michael Bierut, heavily uses News Gothic.
  • The font on black Otis elevator pushbuttons (manufactured from the 1920s through the 1960s), the rounded Otis Lexan touch-sensitive buttons (manufactured from the 1960s through the 1980s) and floor indicators (1920s through the 1970s) primarily uses News Gothic, while the font on the squared Otis Lexan touch-sensitive buttons (manufactured from the 1960s through the 1980s) uses News Gothic Demi Bold.
  • The text in figures of the scientific general Nature Magazine is set in News Gothic.
  • The bold variant of News Gothic is used in the logo for the Swedish pop group ABBA, a logo conceived in 1976 by Rune Söderqvist. It should also be noted that the scanning used for the logo comes from Adobe, not Monotype.[22] The font is/was also used in promotional materials for the group, as well as CD and DVD liner notes.
  • News Gothic Bold is also used in the artwork for The Fame Monster by Lady Gaga, possibly in a deliberate stylistic homage to ABBA.
  • The numbers on split-flap displays on most 1970s Bob Stewart Productions game shows were News Gothic Bold.
  • News Gothic Bold was used in Saul Bass' opening title sequence for Alfred Hitchcock's 1960 thriller, Psycho.
  • News Gothic Bold was used in the Star Wars opening crawl for the main body of the text, as well as for the closing credits of each of the films in that series.
  • The version of News Gothic that was on IBM typesetters was used widely by Fluxus artists such as George Maciunas (in his Fluxpublications) and George Brecht (in his event scores).[23][24]
  • The logo adopted by Polaroid Corporation in the late 1950s, designed by Paul Giambarba, is set in News Gothic, as was much of the type on the company's packaging and documentation up until the 1980s.
  • General Electric used a variant of the News Gothic typeface in transition from 2003 until they debuted the GE Inspira typeface in July of 2004.
  • The Style Network uses the News Gothic typeface in its on-air identity along with a bold weight of the Didot typeface.

Heidelberg Gothic, a variant of News Gothic, is the house font of the Heidelberg Gruppe.[25]

JCP News Gothic commissioned by JC Penney consists of two new weights coordinated with Monotype News Gothic, and is designed for use in advertising campaigns.[26]

Bibliography[edit]

  • Baines, Phil, Hastam, Andrew. Type and Typography. Watson-Guptill Publications: 2005. ISBN 0-8230-5528-0.
  • 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 Encyclopædia of Type Faces, Blandford Press Lts.: 1953, 1983. ISBN 0-7137-1347-X.
  • Macmillan, Neil. An A–Z of Type Designers. Yale University Press: 2006. ISBN 0-300-11151-7.
  • Meggs, Phillip B. Revival of the Fittest, RC Publications, Inc: 2002. ISBN 1-883915-08-2.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Rollins, Carl Purington (1947). American Type Designers and their Work. p. 7. Retrieved 9 July 2017.
  2. ^ a b c McGrew, Mac (1993). American Metal Typefaces of the Twentieth Century (Seconde édition révisée. ed.). New Castle: Oak Knoll Press. pp. 230–1. ISBN 0-938768-39-5.
  3. ^ MacMillan, David. "Unidentified ATF Catalog (Fragments)". Circuitous Root. Retrieved 9 July 2017.
  4. ^ Cost, Patricia. "A Reply to Rick von Holdt". Morris Benton website. Retrieved 2 January 2017.
  5. ^ Specimen Book & Catalogue. American Type Founders. 1923. pp. 472–7. Retrieved 30 August 2015.
  6. ^ Devroye, Luc. "News Gothic". Type Design Information. Retrieved 9 July 2017.
  7. ^ Lawson, Provan, and Romano, "Primer Metal Typeface Identification," pp. 34 - 35.
  8. ^ "Benton Sans". Font Bureau. Retrieved 29 August 2015.
  9. ^ "Benton Gothic". Fonts in Use. Retrieved 29 August 2015.
  10. ^ "News Gothic BT". MyFonts. Bitstream. Retrieved 28 July 2018.
  11. ^ "URW++ News Gothic". MyFonts. URW++. Retrieved 29 August 2015.
  12. ^ "Linotype News Gothic". MyFonts. Linotype. Retrieved 29 August 2015.
  13. ^ "News Gothic Font". Paratype. Retrieved 30 September 2014.
  14. ^ "Hamburg Serial™ - Webfont & Desktop font « MyFonts". www.myfonts.com. Retrieved 2018-10-13.
  15. ^ "News Gothic No. 2". MyFonts. Linotype. Retrieved 28 July 2018.
  16. ^ "Source Sans Pro: Adobe's first open source type family". TypeKit. Retrieved 30 September 2014.
  17. ^ Brown, Tim. "Selecting Typefaces for Body Text". Typekit Practice. Adobe Systems. Retrieved 28 July 2018. Source Sans has an obviousness and toughness similar to News Gothic, but with a much more even color. Its letterforms are wider and more widely spaced, more modest than monumental, which makes sense in a body text setting....News Gothic is not a good choice of body text typeface. Certain letter combinations are very dense, and the overall color is not even.
  18. ^ Willis, Nathan. "News Cycle font family". Launchpad. Retrieved 30 September 2014.
  19. ^ "News Cycle". Open Font Library. Retrieved 9 December 2014.
  20. ^ MacGrew, "American Metal Typefaces of the Twentieth Century," pp. 264 - 267.
  21. ^ Coles, Stephen. "Record Gothic: fictional samples". Fonts in Use. Retrieved 29 August 2015.
  22. ^ hem.bredband.net/b138451/logo/
  23. ^ www.amazon-noir.com/BOOKS/6_%20The_Fluxus_Reader_Ken_Friedman.pdf
  24. ^ ubu.clc.wvu.edu/historical/gb/index.html
  25. ^ Devroye, Luc. "Heidelberg Gothic and Antiqua". Luc Devroye. Retrieved 30 September 2014.
  26. ^ "JCP News Gothic". Terminal Design. Retrieved 30 September 2014.

External links[edit]