The ITC American Typewriter font family was designed by Joel Kaden and Tony Stan in 1974. ITC American Typewriter is intended to meld typewriter type with the proportional spacing of a typographic font.
The ITC American Typewriter™ typeface was released in 1974 to mark the 100th anniversary of the invention of the office typewriter – at a time when the machine was still the primary device for creating office communication. The design goal was to create a typeface that retained the unmistakable look of typewriter type, while overcoming its inherent flaws of marginalized legibility and poor readability in text settings. The long-term success of ITC American Typewriter attests to the achievement of that goal.
The design strikes a happy compromise with its office forerunner. It does away with the typewriter’s rigid spacing (which assigns the same amount of space to a lowercase “i” as it does to a capital “W”). And while the letterforms of ITC American Typewriter are clearly influenced by a typewriter font, they are far more legible and ultimately more readable than any standard typewriter output.
In the years since its initial release, ITC American Typewriter has become a mainstay of typographic communication. When first announced, the family was available only for use on photocomposition equipment. Today, it has elegantly made the transition to digital imagesetters and is part of the standard font suite in operating systems – ITC American Typewriter can even be found on mobile phones.
Offering the best of both worlds – friendly, familiar and the same time sophisticated – ITC American Typewriter is a typographic asset. Now the family is available as a suite of OpenType Pro fonts, allowing graphic communicators to use this versatile design while taking advantage of OpenType’s capabilities. These fonts, in addition to providing for the automatic insertion of ligatures and alternate characters, also offer an extended character set supporting most Central European and many Eastern European languages.