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Sweden has its own typeface. Frank says America should have one too

Published on January 28, 2015

Frank discusses several options for an all-American font. Helvetica is not an option. After all, it means Switzerland. ATF Americana comes to mind.

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Discussion

By Tony Hodgson on Jan 28, 2015

London has its own typeface - or at least its subway system has. Johnston Sans, designed by Edward Johnston, has been used throughout the London Underground ever since 1916. You can see it on London's iconic Tube map.

As for America, I don't know, but an image of wanted posters from Western movies springs to mind. Ironically, the most recognisable wanted poster typeface was called French Clarendon.

 

By Jim Hamilton on Jan 28, 2015

I'm with you, Frank. I vote for Century.

 

By Dov Isaacs on Jan 30, 2015

But of course, Frank didn't tell us which typeface was Sweden's (or maybe better, the Swedish government's) official typeface.

OK, that appears to be Sweden Sans!

For those interested, you can download a .ZIP file with Sweden Sans and Sweden Sans Bold fonts, both in OpenType CFF format and “web-format” at .

There are no matching italic or oblique styles and the glyph complement is rather limited - 262 distinct glyphs. No small caps, old style figures, or other esoteric OpenType features.

Rather than this being a “national font,” it actually appears to be a corporate identity font for the Swedish government.

 

By Dov Isaacs on Jan 30, 2015

URL for Swedish Sans:

http://sweden.identitytool.com/buildingblocks/secondary-building-blocks-always-use

 

By Joe Fedor on Jan 30, 2015

American Typewriter?

Actually, Century is a good choice. Though as a history buff, I do like the Caslon-Declaration of Independence connection.

If there were something that was comfortable to read when used in hundreds of thousands of pages of politically polarizing legislation, while still instantly recognizable in a fast food ad, that would be the one.

 

By Wayne Peterson on Jan 31, 2015

I'd cast my vote for an unconventional candidate: Baker Signet by Arthur Baker. It's a beautiful typeface with calligraphic strokes and hints of serifs, that debuted in 1965. Baker is an American, still living in MA, and has a passion for paper airplanes as well. I believe that the bold version of Baker Signet is used for the Coke logo. A quintessential American typeface.

 

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