intro

how to

 

sizes

styles

purpose

a-z

map

timeline

 

list

links

glossary

search

Date: 1937

Designer:
Chauncey H. Griffith

Foundry:
Bell Telephone Company / Mergenthaler Linotype

Location:
New York, USA

Current equivalent:
Linotype Bell Gothic

See also:
Bell Centennial by Matthew Carter, Griffith Gothic by Tobias Frere-Jones, Furlong, Market Gothic

Technologies:
Metal (foundry)
Metal (machine)
Photosetting
Postscript

Famous for:
The first sans serif designed expressly for saving space.

Applications: Telephone directory typesetting.

Ubiquity:
Widely used.

Category:
Sans Serif Neo Grotesque

Stress: Vertical
Serifs: Sans Serif

Design history:
Designed to optimise both space and legibility at small sizes for printing telephone directories, throughout America. A direct response to the problems of ink spread on absorbent newspaper at 6pt and smaller, the oversized ink traps at the junctions of the letterforms and sheared terminals have been exploited in recent years as a design feature of their own. In 1978 Matthew Carter was commissioned by AT&T to redesign the typeface to resolve imaging problems encountered with new cathode ray tube (CRT) photocomposition machines. The redesign was named Bell Centennial in honour of the centenary of Alexander Graham Bell.

profile 41

picture: Baseline magazine