Skip to main content

Times®

By Linotype

Stanley Morison
Linotype

In 1931, The Times of London commissioned a new text type design from Stanley Morison and the Monotype Corporation, after Morison had written an article criticizing The Times for being badly printed and typographically behind the times. The new design was supervised by Stanley Morison and drawn by Victor Lardent, an artist from the advertising department of The Times. Morison used an older typeface, Plantin, as the basis for his design, but made revisions for legibility and economy of space (always important concerns for newspapers). As the old type used by the newspaper had been called Times Old Roman," Morison's revision became "Times New Roman." The Times of London debuted the new typeface in October 1932, and after one year the design was released for commercial sale. The Linotype version, called simply "Times," was optimized for line-casting technology, though the differences in the basic design are subtle. The typeface was very successful for the Times of London, which used a higher grade of newsprint than most newspapers. The better, whiter paper enhanced the new typeface's high degree of contrast and sharp serifs, and created a sparkling, modern look. In 1972, Walter Tracy designed Times Europa for The Times of London. This was a sturdier version, and it was needed to hold up to the newest demands of newspaper printing: faster presses and cheaper paper. In the United States, the Times font family has enjoyed popularity as a magazine and book type since the 1940s. Times continues to be very popular around the world because of its versatility and readability. And because it is a standard font on most computers and digital printers, it has become universally familiar as the office workhorse. Times™, Times™ Europa, and Times New Roman™ are sure bets for proposals, annual reports, office correspondence, magazines, and newspapers.
Linotype offers many versions of this font:
Times™ is the universal version of Times, used formerly as the matrices for the Linotype hot metal line-casting machines. The basic four weights of roman, italic, bold and bold italic are standard fonts on most printers. There are also small caps, Old style Figures, phonetic characters, and Central European characters.
Times™ Ten is the version specially designed for smaller text (12 point and below); its characters are wider and the hairlines are a little stronger. Times Ten has many weights for Latin typography, as well as several weights for Central European, Cyrillic, and Greek typesetting.
Times™ Eighteen is the headline version, ideal for point sizes of 18 and larger. The characters are subtly condensed and the hairlines are finer.
Times™ Europa is the Walter Tracy re-design of 1972, its sturdier characters and open counterspaces maintain readability in rougher printing conditions.
Times New Roman™ is the historic font version first drawn by Victor Lardent and Stanley Morison for the Monotype hot metal caster.
"

Times™ was named after the Times newspaper in the UK and was the result of a criticism made by renowned typographer Stanley Morison that the Times newspaper was outdated from a typographical perspective and that the paper was badly printed; all of which made the newspaper difficult to read. The newspaper took up this criticism in a constructive manner by commissioning a new typeface for them to use in daily print. Morison supervised the new design which was actually drawn by Victor Lardent who worked as an artist for the Times newspaper. The Times typeface was based upon a much older typeface called Plantin. Morison set about revising this existing typeface with economy of space and legibility being the major criteria.

The new typeface was released in 1932 and appeared in the Times newspaper in October of that year. Times offered better contrast, was more condensed and was an overall success for the paper. The paper increased sales significantly and the main reason seemed to be the improvement in print quality. After a year of use in the Times newspaper, the typeface was made available for public sale.

Linotype optimized the Times typeface for line-casting technology which was the latest printing method of the period. The typeface that the Times newspaper used became known as Times New Roman® (because the existing typeface was named Times Old Roman) and was a very successful maneuver for the paper. At the same time that they switched over to the new typeface, they also introduced a new type of paper and their printers were outputting a much higher quality publication than their competitors. The combination of the easier to read typeface and the distinctive whiter paper made the newspaper a hit among readers; despite the ongoing depression in the 1930‘s the paper did comparatively well.

Over the years the use of the small but versatile Times font family grew and grew until it became the de facto standard for publications of all types. From newspaper and magazine publishing and across all areas of business reports and publications, Times is everywhere in print. To add to the popularity of use, nearly every printer available for the last three decades has the four basic Times fonts built into the firmware/hardware as a basic proportional-spaced serif font for printing. The Times font is a standard just about everywhere; from the Internet to Adobe‘s embedded PostScript, Times appears on just about every font list imaginable, from the technologies of the 1930‘s to the 21st century, Times still holds top spot in terms of its daily use around the globe.

References:
Linotype Times Family
Identifont - Times

Just about every publication has used Times at some time or another. Some publications use nothing else – many newspapers still use this workhorse of a font which can be found in nearly every corner of the world; from commercial publishing, book printing, through to business and personal communications Times is profoundly visible. Its inclusion as a standard printer font has broadened its application by being installed in the hardware of hundreds of millions of printers around the world.

Transitional
Serif