Franklin Gothic is a workhorse sans-serif typeface first designed by Morris Fuller Benton (1872–1948) in 1902, and first produced by ATF in 1903. Benton was the influential American typeface designer who headed the design department of the American Type Founders (ATF), for which he was the chief type designer. “Gothic” here is another name for sans serif, particularly in the nineteenth century. Franklin Gothic is based on earlier nineteenth century sans serif models. It was named in honor of that prolific American printer, Benjamin Franklin.
Benton designed many variations on the face, including condensed, wide, and shaded variations. The various variations in the Franklin Gothic family were issued over a period of ten years, all of which were designed by Benton and issued by A.T.F. It was popular enough with printers that it was produced in monotype and linotype versions, and there are many digital versions of the face available to designers today.
Franklin Gothic is an extra-bold sans-serif type which can be distinguished from other sans serif typefaces by its double-story g and a. Other main distinguishing characteristics are the tail of the Q and the ear of the g.
|The MoMA Department of Graphic Design’s case of Franklin Gothic|
Franklin Gothic is the primary influence for nearly all MoMA materials; it’s the basis of their logo and their proprietary official font “MoMA Gothic,” which were both created by designer Matthew Carter.Other fans of Franklin Gothic include NYU, Time Magazine, PBS’s The Electric Company, Showtime and Bank of America. Franklin Gothic’s highly noticeable and legible display faces for are perfect for headlines, advertising, and packaging. The next time you’re riding the subway or in line at the bank or grocery store, take a look around you. Can you spot the ever-popular Franklin Gothic on the walls of your local branch, on the nearby magazine rack, in subway advertisements, or anywhere else?
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