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ITC and Font Bureau Collaborate on Expanded ITC Franklin Typeface Family

Friday, October 01, 2004

Press release from the issuing company

ATypI Conference WILMINGTON, Mass. & PRAGUE, Czech Republic--Sept. 30, 2004-- International Typeface Corporation and The Font Bureau Inc. are working on a multi-phase project to update and enlarge the ITC Franklin Gothic typeface family. The expanded product will be available in 2005, re-branded as the ITC Franklin family. "Although an important mainstay in the ITC library for almost 25 years, the typeface is deserving of attention to bring it up-to-date and beyond," said Allan Haley, director of words and letters at ITC. "We turned to Font Bureau for two reasons. First, we needed to ensure that the design's original personality remained intact through the delicate updating process. Second, as part of our plan to add new weights, we looked for a partner with deep experience and a reputation for top-quality design work." "ITC Franklin Gothic is one of the most well known and respected faces, particularly in the newspaper industry and advertising markets," said David Berlow, head designer and co-founder of Font Bureau. "Designed as a display face, ITC Franklin Gothic was used often over the years for text purposes. Moving forward with ITC, the family will have special display versions and finally a suite of true text fonts, including agate versions for small sizes such as those used for box scores and stock quotes." ITC Franklin is expected to grow to 72 fonts, with the first set of 32 display faces available from www.ITCFonts.com and www.fontbureau.com early next year. Text and agate weights, available through Font Bureau, will follow later in 2005. The fonts will be offered for both Macintosh and Microsoft Windows platforms in the PostScript, TrueType and OpenType font formats. A suite of alternate characters, simpler access to tabular figures and other features will be included in the OpenType collection. "The reason to drop 'Gothic' from the name boiled down to a practical decision," Haley said. "The name was becoming unruly, especially with weights such as ITC Franklin Gothic Extra Condensed Italic. Aside from that, the name Franklin Gothic has always been an anomaly - the face is not a gothic type style, and it also has no relation to Benjamin Franklin, for whom the typeface was named." Franklin Gothic was designed at the turn of the 20th century by Morris Fuller Benton. The typeface was the third in a series of sans serif families designed after the American Type Founders was formed in 1892. Released as a single roman weight, additional variants were gradually added, including a condensed design drawn in 1905 and an extra-condensed font created in 1906. An italic weight followed in 1911 and a shaded weight was offered two years later as the last Benton addition to the Franklin Gothic series. In 1980, ITC revived Franklin Gothic with the intent to retain the characteristics of the original typeface. Slight increases were made in the x-height and character width to distinguish the face from Benton's design. "The general attitude, even among purists, is that ITC Franklin Gothic is a worthy design. It's also one of ITC's best-selling typefaces," Haley said. As part of ITC's collaboration with Font Bureau, the existing ITC Franklin Gothic faces will undergo a "reenvisioning" process, according to Berlow. "This involves applying modifications to enhance the appearance of the types at larger sizes, then at reading sizes, and then in the agate. This is all accomplished through the subtle manipulation of stroke weights, shapes and the sizes of letters," Berlow said. "The professional segment of the publishing market has evolved tremendously since the '80s and early '90s. Publishing experts are able to easily identify the need for and apply enhanced typography, such as these ITC Franklin fonts," he added.




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