The ITC Johnston™ typeface has the best typographic qualities of a geometric sans serif married to humanist letter shapes and proportions. It is sturdy, straightforward, and sociable. Designed in 1999 by David Farey and Richard Dawson, ITC Johnston was first released without a suite of italic faces. The reason? ITC Johnston finds its roots in Edward Johnston’s early 1900 “London Underground Railway” typeface, and there were no italics for his original design.
In the early part of this century,David Farey and Richard Dawson teamed up again to develop a suite of italic designs that would serve as a proper complement to the roman weights. In the process, the original roman designs were also freshened up. The result, released in 2002, is a distinctive, exceptionally versatile and ultimately handsome typeface family.
Johnston’s London Underground Railway typeface was the first alphabet created for a specific corporate identity and the first sans serif design of the twentieth century. Erbar, Kabel, Futura and Gill all follow Johnston’s type. Johnston himself, however, never called his design a typeface. It was an alphabet primarily for signage and other display purposes – designed to be legible at a glance rather than readable in passages of text.
Farey and Dawson’s adaptation retains the sparkling starkness of Johnston’s letters while allowing it to settle in comfortably at text sizes. The ITC Johnston family is the culmination of the design abilities of three remarkable designers: Johnston, Farey and Dawson. Or as Dave Farey puts it, “Without Johnston’s dedication to letterforms and in particular his genesis of the twentieth-century sans serif, we would not have been able to create our interpretation.”
At last the Johnston family is available as a suite of OpenType® Pro fonts. Graphic communicators can now work with this versatile design while taking advantage of OpenType's capabilities. The new Johnston Pro fonts also offer an extended character set supporting most Central European and many Eastern European languages.