The Bell Gothic™ font family was originally commissioned by the AT&T corporation for use in telephone books and other applications. It was created by typographer Chauncey H. Griffith in 1938 and was not available for general use until after 1978, when AT&T adopted the Bell Centennial™ font family instead.
Bell Gothic History
When the AT&T corporation commissioned Chauncey H. Griffith to create the Bell font, they were looking for a number of useful features for inclusion in the finished typeface. Attractiveness was an important factor: so too the ability to print the font at fairly high speed on thin paper without loss of clarity. The font also had to be legible at very small sizes, as it would be used in their telephone books. For the same reason, Bell Gothic also had to be spatially economical, given the constraints of the medium it was to be published on.
At the time of the font’s creation, Griffith was heading the typographic development program at the Mergenthaler Linotype Company. Earlier in his career with Linotype, Griffith had been responsible for the production of a typeface known as the Excelsior™ font family, which had taken the newspaper industry by storm because of its impressive readability at tiny point sizes as well as its attractiveness.
When Bell Gothic was replaced by Bell Centennial in 1978, the original font was licensed for widespread use and released by Linotype. It later became very popular with the design community in publishing, logotype and informal use. Currently, the font is available in six variants including italic, bold and black.
Bell Gothic Usage
Aside from its commissioned usage in AT&T telephone books - a function it performed for four decades – Bell Gothic has found success in other arenas. After its release to the general populous in the late seventies, Bell Gothic became the subject of extensive experimentation in type at modern creative locations like the Cranbrook Academy of Art, RISD and the Design Academy Eindhoven. The usage of Bell Gothic in design has continued to be widely debated and slightly controversial, as creative artists utilize the face in increasingly unusual ways, straying from its “intended use.” Nevertheless, the versatility of the font continues to inspire in the creation of corporate identities and published materials all over the world.
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