ITC Souvenir waited decades to go from painful obscurity to wildly overexposed. This ninety-years-young design is finally free to be its charming, affable self.
ITC Souvenir History
Souvenir was designed by Morris Fuller Benton, who served as director of typeface development for the American Type Founders Company in the early twentieth century. However, being the “boss’s” handiwork didn’t result in the design getting any extra push from ATF’s marketing department; in fact, quite the opposite occurred.
The face was first shown in 1914 as a single-weight design with no italic complement. Souvenir wasn’t promoted again until the famous 1923 ATF specimen book, where its modest two-page showing was overshadowed by the 12 and 15-page showcases devoted to other designs. Few orders were placed for fonts of Souvenir’s handset type. After its ineffective 1923 promotion, the design lay dormant for over forty years until phototypography gave it a second chance.
PhotoLettering later partnered with Lubalin, Burns and Company and ITC was formed; exclusivity was no longer an issue and Souvenir became one of the new company’s first typeface families. It was released in four weights with complementary italic designs, all drawn by Ed Benguiat.
Soon, ITC Souvenir became one of ITC’s most popular offerings – too popular, in fact. Ubiquity is never kind to typefaces; as a typeface becomes overexposed it also becomes a cliché with graphic design cognoscenti. Souvenir’s popularity peaked and then receded, but the enduring appeal of this attractive design remains undimmed.
The word that best describes ITC Souvenir is affability. It’s a friendly and undemanding typestyle. It’s also a “soft” design, with no sharp edges, no strong contrast in stroke thickness and virtually no right angles. The lowercase is rounded and large, with several distinctive characters.
All these traits provide practical typographic benefits. ITC Souvenir’s large x-height and open counters make its characters highly legible. Its distinctive characters help the design stand out from the crowd, while the soft edges and round corners allow Souvenir to be used in a wide variety of print surfaces and imaging environments.
ITC Souvenir has gracefully weathered the ups and downs of its first ninety years. Its enduring aesthetic and practical appeal make it a milestone of typeface design and an important graphic communications tool, as well as a true ITC classic.
ITC Souvenir Usage
In 1967, PhotoLettering Inc. (one of the two founding companies of ITC) revived the Souvenir design as an exclusive advertising face for one of its customers.
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