Designed by 2010 MacArthur Grant recipient, Matthew Carter, the Miller™ font family is one of the most popular fonts in the publishing industry. It was based on the Scotch Roman genre, which was in turn based on designs cut by English punchcutter Richard Austin in the 19th century.
In 1997, the Font Bureau decided to develop a font family based on the Scotch Roman class of typefaces. The Scotch Romans had been very popular in the UK and U.S. in the 19th century, but had fallen out of favor in recent decades.
Matthew Carter began developing the Miller font family along with Tobias Frere-Jones and Cyrus Highsmith. The team also relied on the cooperation of James Mosley of the St. Bride Library. Carter’s intent in designing Miller was to emulate Austin‘s Scotch Roman in the gestalt, focusing on the overall character of the Scotch Roman style, rather than on one particular typeface. Carter’s development of Miller helped to create a resurgence in the popularity of the forgotten Scotch Roman.
It bears some classic characteristics of the Scotch Roman types, including both roman and italic small caps and in the sturdy modeling of its design. It was repurposed for the modern age with Text and Display versions.
Since the development of the original Miller Text and Miller display, other designers as well as Carter have expanded the family to include new variants like Miller Banner for large point printing and Miller Globe, a commissioned design for The Boston Globe.
Miller is widely used in the newspaper publishing industry, especially in the States. Publications such as The Washington Post, The Dallas Morning News, and The San Jose Mercury News all employ Miller.
Although embodying a sturdy functionality, the typeface’s elegant details, like its upright lines, also make it useful for more delicate printing endeavors, such as invitations and announcements. Its most recent versions have facilitated its applications in large point banners and headlines.