Twentieth Century (typeface)

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Twentieth Century
Twentieth Century a.png
Category Sans-serif
Classification Geometric
Designer(s) Sol Hess
Foundry Lanston Monotype
Also known as Airport, Tw Cen MT, Century Gothic (derivative)

Twentieth Century is a sans-serif foundry typeface designed by Sol Hess for Lanston Monotype in 1937. Of the geometric genre, it was created as a competitor to the successful Futura typeface, but with a larger x-height (taller lower-case letters) and more even stroke width. The font is well known for being used in the video game Sid Meier's Civilization V.

Casting History[edit]

The various weights and widths were cut over a period of ten years:

  • Twentieth Century (1937)
  • Twentieth Century Bold Italic (1937)
  • Twentieth Century Extrabold Italic (1937)
  • Twentieth Century Extrabold Condensed Italic (1938)
  • Twentieth Century Ultrabold (1941)
  • Twentieth Century Ultrabold Condensed (1944)
  • Twentieth Century Medium Condensed Italic (1947)
  • Twentieth Century Ultrabold Italic (1947)[1]

Foundry Type Copies[edit]

The first American knock-off of Futura was Baltimore Type Foundry’s Airport. No information exists on how this was produced, but it resembles Futura so closely, that it is thought to be stereotyped. After Monotype introduced Twentieth Century, Baltotype began selling some weights of this face under the Airport name.[2]

Digital Type Copies[edit]

There presently exist two modern releases, by Monotype and Lanston Type (in a narrower range of styles but including a set of additional stylistic alternates).[1][2] A limited selection of styles has also been released with Microsoft Office.[3] Digitisations of the original design are sometimes marketed as Tw Cen MT, possibly due to archaic file name length restrictions. In addition, Twentieth Century served as an inspiration for Century Gothic, designed by Monotype Imaging in 1991.[3]


  1. ^ "Twentieth Century". MyFonts. Monotype. Retrieved 14 June 2015. 
  2. ^ "LTC Twentieth Century". MyFonts. Monotype. Retrieved 14 June 2015. 
  3. ^ "Installed files list for Office 2011". Retrieved 14 June 2015. 
  1. ^ McGrew, Mac, American Metal Typefaces of the Twentieth Century, Oak Knoll Books, New Castle Delaware, 1993, ISBN 0-938768-34-4., p. 315.
  2. ^ McGrew, p. 9
  3. ^ Microsoft's description of Century Gothic

External links[edit]