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Explore the Past

Utopia
ITC Franklin Gothic
Gill Sans

utopia Robert Slimbach, 1993

Utopia, a transitional serif, is among the initial group of Adobe Original typefaces. Utopia’s design is not a direct revival. Its vertical axis and open counters maintain crispness even at low print quality. An industrious newspaper face, Utopia exhibits flair in its footless k and the lachrymal terminals of a, c, f, and r. Adobe’s donation of Utopia for the X Window System raised questions about offering free fonts in the (then) new age of digital type.

itc franklin gothic Victor Caruso (1979), David Berlow (1991)

ITC Franklin Gothic is a revival of the realist sans serif designed by Morris Fuller Benton in 1902. The original was intended for advertising/newspaper headline type, and was thus named after printer Benjamin Franklin. It can be recognized by its wide capitals with subtle modulation and the protruding ear of its lowercase g. European sans serifs delayed its initial popularity, but ITC’s expanded weights reclaim Frankin Gothic’s straightforward, friendly essence.

gill sans Eric Gill, 1928

Gill Sans, a humanist sans serif based on Edward Johnston’s typeface for the London Underground, was issued by Monotype and subsequently adopted by London and North Eastern Railway. Roman-inspired capitals and broad nib-pen-like lowercase forms deem it a straightforward, warm, and readable typeface at both text and display sizes. Its ubiquity in British Graphic Design has been questioned due to its inconsistencies between weights, its seemingly random curves, and its designer’s vocal opinions and personal life.