Griffith Gothic from from Font Bureau

Griffith Gothic specimen
Font Bureau’s popular Griffith Gothic is now available as webfonts on Webtype. The series, designed by Tobias Frere-Jones, has its roots in the typeface Bell Gothic from 1937 by Chauncey Griffith, long-time Mergenthaler Linotype type director.

Of all the typefaces Griffith designed and directed throughout his career, he considers Bell Gothic his most original design. Commissioned by AT&T especially for the use in telephone directories, its open, economical forms are drawn to stay highly legible in small sizes and under demanding printing conditions. The serifs on ‘I’ and ‘1’, deep notches to prevent joints from filling in, as well as the overall sharp corners and tapered terminals became Bell Gothic’s signature features.

For his revival under the name Griffith Gothic, Tobias Frere-Jones removed obsolete remains of old typesetting systems but retained the characteristic thinning of joints as a salient trait. Initially drawn as the house sans serif for Fast Company, he developed the typeface into a full series in six weights, accompanied by a condensed variant and italics for the regular width.

Although originally designed for text and listings in small sizes, Griffith Gothic is well suited as a strong headline face where its distinct features are allowed to stand out in display sizes. It combines well with all genres of serif typefaces, such as Poynter Serif RE, Harriet Text, or the equally edged and economical Proforma.

As with all fonts on Webtype, Griffith Gothic can be tested free of charge for 30 days. For more details, see the Griffith Gothic webfont page.

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