The Twentieth Century font family is a geometric sans serif created in 1937 to compete and keep up with the success of Bauhaus influenced typefaces like the hugely popular Futura® font family. As with its contemporaries, Twentieth Century is based on the formal geometry and simplicity of the German modernist aesthetic.
Twentieth Century History
Sol Hess created Twentieth Century during his 50-year tenure at Lanston Monotype as Art Director. He had spent a good deal of his career redrawing Lanston’s existing catalogue, but he was especially adept at developing entirely new typefaces and adapting existing types to new technological standards.
After the rampant success of the New Typography and Paul Renner’s Futura, the Lanston foundry decided to develop Twentieth Century as a potential competitive response. Like Futura, it focused on the sparse geometric shapes of modernism, but incorporated a taller x-height and more even stroke contrast in the lowercases. Hess also chose to redraw and include experimental alternates that Renner had originally included in Futura, but then thrown out. These glyphs gave Twentieth Century a very modern, abstract accent.
Like many of Hess’ typefaces during this period, its development was undertaken before WWII, but the entire series of weights and italics was not completed until after the resolution of the conflict. Toward the end of the century, Monotype Imaging issued a version of Twentieth Century optimized for digital use– the Century Gothic™ font family; however, Century Gothic bears few aesthetic similarities to Twentieth.
Twentieth Century Usage
Given its bold geometry and stylized approach, Twentieth Century is most often used in display work, headlines, and on occasion short text such as might be used in advertising. Lighter weights have been recommended and used for body text. Its experimental alternates were used in the titles of the 2008 James Bond film,
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