|Designer(s)||Morris Fuller Benton|
|Foundry||American Type Founders|
News Gothic is a sans-serif typeface designed by Morris Fuller Benton, and was released in 1908 by his employer American Type Founders (ATF). The typeface is similar in proportion and structure to Franklin Gothic, also designed by Benton, but lighter.
News Gothic, like other Benton sans serif typefaces, follows the grotesque model, resembling serif text faces of the period, with a double-storey lower-case 'a' and 'g'. Also distinctive are the blunt terminus at the apex of the lowercase 't', and the location of the tail of the uppercase 'Q' completely outside the bowl. The letter forms are compact, and descenders are shallow. The typeface differs from other grotesque sans-serifs in its rather light weight and open letterforms, contributing to a less severe, humanist tone of voice.
For much of the twentieth century, News Gothic was used in newspaper and magazine publishing with copies available on Monotype and Intertype machines for hot metal typesetting. Both companies added additional weights to the family. For use in headlines, it was designed with condensed and extra-condensed styles.
'Gothic' was an early twentieth century term for sans-serifs, found mostly in the United States and Canada. It was also used in the UK, along with 'grotesque'. In Germany the term 'Grotesk' was used.
Benton's autobiographical notes list the following designs as his contributions to the family:
ATF's 1923 specimen book also shows:
As with Franklin Gothic, the foundry expanded the line sometime later, adding two more variants:
Both Monotype and Intertype released oblique versions; McGrew reports that while ATF's archives contained 1912 production drawings for an oblique "we have no record of its production".
Virtually all producers of cold type offered their own versions of News Gothic under different names:
Because there is no active descendant of the American Type Founders Corporation making digital typefaces, News Gothic has been revived in digital form in many different versions from different sources.
Benton Sans is a greatly expanded font family based on News Gothic by Font Bureau, adding additional features such as wide styles and extra-bold weights. At 80 styles, it is one of the most comprehensive digital renditions of the News Gothic style. Its users include Newsweek, Fortune magazine, the Boston Globe and Sotheby's.
Digital releases actually named News Gothic have a variety of features, often adding in weights not present in the original design or removing some less popular ones. For example, Bitstream's release is rare in including the extra-condensed styles. URW++'s (also sold by Fontsite) is only sold in one width but in a wide range of weights and with italics for every weight, while Linotype's lacks a light weight or any condensed styles. Monotype's revival, a subset of which is included with many Microsoft products, features the condensed style but not extra-condensed, and has wider spacing than several others. Adobe, Monotype, Linotype and Bitstream have their own versions. The Bitstream version of News Gothic was extended with Cyrillic glyphs in 2005 and Greek glyphs in 2009 by Dmitry Kirsanov for ParaType, and is sold by them separately.
Hamburg Serial is a lesser-known version of News Gothic by SoftMaker, with italics that have a one-story 'a' and 'g'.
News Gothic No. 2 is an enhanced version of News Gothic produced by the D. Stempel AG type foundry in 1984. It adds more weights to the News Gothic family than were available in other versions.
Adobe Source Sans Pro is a single-width design based on News Gothic, but differs in having true italics and a larger x-height for use with onscreen display. It was released in 2012 as Adobe's first open-source family under the SIL Open Font License; Adobe's training material highlights it as having a more consistent colour on the page than the rather condensed News Gothic.
News Cycle is an open-source variant by Nathan Willis based on 1908 specimens of News Gothic typeface from ATF extended with full Latin, Greek, and Cyrillic glyphs. It is an open source typeface licensed under the SIL Open Font License.
Linotype called their similar design Trade Gothic while the Ludlow version was known as Record Gothic. Intertype copied the face under the same name and added a variant, News Gothic Bold (1955). Baltimore Type's copy was called Balto Gothic, while their copy of Inland Type Foundry's Inland Gothic No. 6 was perversely sold under the name News Gothic.
In 1916, Sol Hess made alternate rounded characters for News Gothic Extra Condensed and the resulting face was sold by Lanston Monotype as Jefferson Gothic, which was also sold by Baltimore Type as Tourist Extra Condensed In 1935, M.F. Benton did much the same thing for A.T.F. and the face was called Phenix.
Ludlow's Record Gothic began as a mere knock-off but, between 1956 and 1961, their in-house designer, R. Hunter Middleton made many original additions to the family including:
Record Gothic is, again, a very inconsistent family, and has never been fully digitised.
Yu Gothic is a Japanese font bundled with some versions of Windows, but the Latin glyphs look similar to News Gothic. The fonts are otherwise unrelated.
Source Sans has an obviousness and toughness similar to News Gothic, but with a much more even color. Its letterforms are wider and more widely spaced, more modest than monumental, which makes sense in a body text setting....News Gothic is not a good choice of body text typeface. Certain letter combinations are very dense, and the overall color is not even.