The Garage Gothic™ font family was created in 1992 by the prolific type designer Tobias Frere-Jones. It was inspired by the letterforms found on the numbered tickets given out to motorists at city parking garages. Heavier versions of the font came from similar letterforms found at other garages in the city.
Garage Gothic History
Tobias Frere-Jones was born in 1970 and came from a rich publishing and writing bloodline, with relatives including Edgar Wallace, the screenwriter responsible for the creation of the King Kong script. His grandfather, Alexander Stuart Frere-Reeves, was chairman of the board at the British publishing house William Heinemann Ltd.
Upon graduation from the Rhode Island School of Design in 1992, Frere-Jones joined the famous Font Bureau and shortly thereafter, Garage Gothic was born. The letterforms were initially based upon those found on city parking garage tickets. Irregularities and oddities found on the letters were kept, but restrained slightly in the final typeface. Three styles are available: Regular, Bold and Black.
Over his seven year career as Senior Designer with the firm, he created some of the most well known Font Bureau typefaces, including the Poynter Oldstyle™ and Interstate™ font families. When he left the company in 1999, Frere-Jones went on to pursue solo interests, setting up a new foundry in Manhattan with Jonathan Hoefler known as Hoefler & Frere-Jones. To date, he has produced more than five hundred typefaces, collaborating with companies like The New York Times, The National Design Museum and Neville Brody.
Garage Gothic Usage
Because of its variable weights and sturdy structure, Garage gothic has found itself in use in various arenas including tangible print and digital design. Its robust qualities have been particularly successful in packaging creation and logo design.
The 20th Century Masters CD collection make use of Garage Gothic on their CD covers and inserts; these CDs are then commonly sold in retail stores around North America. Other examples of Garage Gothic in use include promotional materials for The Vagina Monologues as well as advertising for a lecture at Reed College about the 1980’s non-fiction book A People’s History Of The United States, given by its author and political activist Howard Zinn.
Garage Gothic Media Coverage
Because of its widespread use in print, Garage Gothic is easy to find in the media. Its heavy styling is perfect for headline use in magazines and newspapers alike. Additionally, the font lends itself well to advertising and promotional materials creation in all three available weights (sometimes in combination with one another).
“Pay Attention and Keep Breathing” – a quote by the late by Terrence McKenna – was used in a Cargo Collective campaign and, like the Cargo logo, was set in Garage Gothic. The Cargo Collective is a creative publishing platform designed to increase the online exposure of artistic individuals.
Garage Gothic Notes
In this creative style, a designer will create an aged, rustic look (in various degrees of subtlety) – almost like a modern version of an old Wild West poster. Usually, the fonts used are either “pre-aged” or rendered as an aged version via various graphic methods.
Licenses for desktop fonts
A typical desktop font EULA will allow you to install the font on your computer for use with authoring tools including word processors, design tools and other applications that permit font selection. Fonts can also be used for creation of print documents, static images (JPEG, TIFF, PNG) and logos. The cost of a desktop font license is determined by the number of workstations on which the font is to be used.View the desktop EULA for this family
Licenses for Fonts.com Web Fonts subscriptions
The Fonts.com Web Fonts license provides access to a selection of fonts for use on websites for use with CSS@font-face. Font delivery from our global network is available through all subscriptions – even our free plan. Some plans include the option to self-host, access to desktop fonts, and use of our FontExplorer X font manager and Typecast design application. The price of a plan is determined by its pageview allowance and other features included.View the Fonts.com Web Fonts subscription license agreement
Licenses for mobile apps
A mobile app license permits the embedding of the font into the iOS, Android or Windows RT mobile platforms. Licenses are platform-specific meaning a separate license is required for each platform the font is embedded into. Licenses remain valid for the total operating life of the app and a new license is not required to cover free updates to the app.Learn more about licenses for mobile apps
Licenses for electronic publications (eBooks)
An electronic publication license can be used for the embedding of fonts into electronic documents including e-books, e-magazines and e-newspapers. A license covers only a single title but is valid for the full operating life of that title. Every issue of an e-magazine, e-newspaper or other form of e-periodical is considered a separate, new publication. Format variations do not count as separate publications. If a publication is updated and distributed to existing users, a new license is not required. However, updated versions issued to new customers are defined as new publications and require a separate license.Learn more about licenses for eBooks
Server licenses authorize the installation of a font on a server that is accessed by remote users or website visitors. These licenses are commonly used by Web-based businesses providing goods that are personalized by its users such as business cards, images with captions and personalized merchandise. Users are not allowed to download the font file and the font may not be used outside the server environment. The font may not be employed for a software as a service (SaaS) application in which the service is the actual product and not the means of providing the product. Server licenses cover a set number of CPU cores on production servers (development servers are not counted) on which the font is installed. The license is valid for 1 year.Learn more about server licenses