Trajan (typeface)

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Adobe Trajan
Category Serif
Classification Incised
Designer(s) Carol Twombly
Foundry Adobe Type

Trajan is an old style serif typeface designed in 1989 by Carol Twombly for Adobe. The design is based on the letterforms of capitalis monumentalis or Roman square capitals, as used for the inscription at the base of Trajan's Column from which the typeface takes its name. Since the inscription and its writing form manifests in only one case, Trajan is an all-capitals typeface. Instead, small caps are commonly used, and a more complete set of glyphs contained in Trajan Pro (a 2001 update of the original typeface) includes a lower case of small caps.

Although Twombly was the first to do a very literal translation of the Trajan inscription into type, a number of interpretations (with added lowercase alphabets) predate Twombly's, particularly Emil Rudolf Weiss' "Weiss" of 1926, Frederic Goudy's 1930 "Goudy Trajan," while Warren Chappell's "Trajanus" of 1939, while having similar forms for capitals has a markedly medieval lowercase. There are also numerous prominent typefaces that are not revivals, but owe a very clear debt to the Trajan letterforms, most notably Hermann Zapf's 1955 Optima.


Trajan Pro (2001)[edit]

Trajan Pro is an OpenType version of the Type 1 Trajan fonts. Lower case letters are included in the form of small caps. OpenType features include proportional lining figures, small caps. It supports Adobe CE, Adobe Western 2 character sets.[citation needed]


Twombly's cut of Trajan has become very popular, as seen in its nearly constant presence on American movie posters, television shows and book covers. For example, Trajan Bold was used for the poster for Titanic, and in posters and promotional material for Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events. Trajan Pro Bold is used in the titles and captions for The West Wing, for the credits of several films like Interview with the Vampire and Goya's Ghosts, the branding design and merchandise for the band Queen, the covers of many John Grisham paperbacks. The typeface was adopted in 2000 by Canada's second largest political party, the Canadian Alliance and used until the party's dissolution in 2003. Trajan is also used in the logo of the British accoutrement firm Toye, Kenning and Spencer. Since 2010, the font has been used on Coronation Street and has also featured heavily in the TV series Brian Pern.

Trajan is also the official font of The University Of Texas, Columbia University, Rice University, Curry College, University of Bologna, University of the District of Columbia, University of Kansas, the Pennsylvania State University, University of Rhode Island, California State University, Sacramento, University of Utah[1] and the Universiti Teknologi Petronas. The typeface in the logos of Smith College, Lawrence University, Ball State University, the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, the University of Melbourne, the John Paul the Great Catholic University, SUNY Albany, Sigma Alpha Epsilon and the École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne is Trajan.[citation needed]

Trajan was used in the campaign logo for Chris Dodd, a Democratic Senator from Connecticut, during his presidential campaign in 2008 and most recently by former Governor of Minnesota Tim Pawlenty in a 2011 ad "Courage to Stand",[citation needed] advertising his presidential campaign. The font was also used by Mitt Romney, former Governor of Massachusetts in his logo for his presidential exploratory committee for the 2012 American presidential election.


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