ITC Avant Garde Gothic / ITC Newtext
ITC Avant Garde Gothic
Some typophiles trace ITC Avant Garde Gothic’s design heritage to the geometric sans serifs produced by Bauhaus designers in the mid-1920s. Actually, the design has its foundation in the first sans serif ever produced: a cap-only face issued by the Caslon Type Foundry in 1816. The characters in this design set the standard for the basic geometric shapes found not only in Avant Garde Gothic but also in virtually every geometric sans serif produced since 1816.
The original design, used for Avant Garde magazine, only had capital letters. Avant Garde Gothic was one of the first two text and display typeface families released by ITC. The other was ITC Souvenir.
When the copperplate gothics became popular in the first decade of the twentieth century, they were available in several weights, in italics and even in a shaded version. They were not, however, cast with a lowercase alphabet. This is not so unusual in that the fonts were made to mimic copperplate engraving – which also seldom used lowercase roman letters.
Ray Baker took the concept of copperplate gothics and added to it. He built every design refinement that could sharpen the usefulness of Newtext. A lowercase was just the first step. The expanded shapes give the letters a generous feeling of legibility, and the economical vertical can result in more lines to the page. Newtext’s wide proportions and small, but sturdy, serifs also insure high levels of readability at small sizes.
- Allan Haley is Director of Words & Letters at Monotype Imaging. Here he is responsible for strategic planning and creative implementation of just about everything related to typeface designs. He is also responsible for editorial content for the company’s type libraries and Web sites.
- Prior to working for Monotype, Mr. Haley was Principal of Resolution, a consulting firm with expertise in fonts, font technology, type and typographic communication. He was also executive vice president of International Typeface Corporation.
- Mr. Haley is ex officio Chairman of the Board of the Society of Typographic Aficionados, and past President of the New York Type Directors Club. He is highly regarded as an educator and is a frequently requested speaker at national computer and design conferences.
- Mr. Haley is also a prolific writer, with five books on type and graphic communication and hundreds of articles for graphic design publications to his credit.