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ITC Humana™ Sans

By ITC

Timothy Donaldson
ITC

The ITC Humana™ family is an extensive suite of typefaces that delivers a host of virtues: It’s exceptionally versatile, it’s extremely legible, and it has a friendly personality that remains distinctive across all its weights and styles.

Drawn by Timothy Donaldson, the family offers light, medium and bold weights of a serif, sans serif and script design, with matching italics for the serif and sans serif, giving graphic communicators a remarkable range of typefaces. Donaldson’s first sketches for Humana were with a broad-edged pen, drawing the letterforms that would become ITC Humana Script. As this design neared completion, he wondered what a corresponding serif typeface might look like, and made pencil sketches as a prelude to working with type design software. Humana Sans was built on the foundation of the serif designs. 

When he was two years old, Donaldson amazed his parents by being able to name each of the ships that passed by his home on the Manchester Ship Canal, near Manchester, England. “Apparently I had memorized the peculiarities of each ship’s mast, which was all I could see,” he recalls, “and linked these to the ship's name.” Donaldson believes this heightened awareness of minute details has served him well in the world of typography. 

In late adolescence, Tim Donaldson became obsessed with handwriting and spent countless hours experimenting with different writing tools and materials. This led to his first career, as a sign painter. But a desire to create even more detailed lettering, along with encouragement from Hermann Zapf, propelled him into a second career, as a type designer. An award-winning calligrapher and type designer, Donaldson also teaches graphic design, handwriting, lettering and type design at Stafford College, England. 

While each design of ITC Humana has a slightly different personality, Donaldson sees the sans serifs as the most affable members of the family. The serif design is legible and warm, while the italics and scripts are distinctive tools for creating emphasis and visual interest. 

Now the complete ITC Humana family is available as a suite of OpenType® Pro fonts. These fonts, in addition to providing for the automatic insertion of ligatures and old style figures, also offer an extended character set supporting most Central European and many Eastern European languages.