Posts Tagged ‘itc berkeley oldstyle’

by Allan Haley

Volume Ten of U&lc was very important to me. Volume Ten Number One announced the results of the first typeface project I worked on for ITC, and Volume Ten Number Three was the first time an article with my byline appeared in the publication.

The story behind the ITC Berkeley Oldstyle™ typeface began in 1977, almost seven years before it was announced in Volume Ten of U&lc. It began at a company called Compugraphic, a manufacturer of phototypesetting equipment.
At one point the Compugraphic type library had more typefaces by Frederick Goudy than any other type supplier. Why so many? Because I liked Goudy’s designs, and my job at Compugraphic in the late 1970s allowed me to have a certain amount of control over what faces were added to its type library. Truth is, I had total control; but if other, more senior, managers realized this, my power would have been severely curtailed. So I had to be careful in how I “suggested” which faces to be developed.

A Goudy Favorite

The University of California Old Style typeface, the basis for ITC Berkeley Oldstyle, was one of Goudy’s favorite designs. In 1937, a friend asked Fred Goudy if he would consider drawing a face for the exclusive use of the University of California Press at Berkeley. Goudy accepted the task gladly and produced the foundation for the new type family a little over a year later.

I had admired the University of California Old Style design for many years, and made it part of my personal “Goudy Design Program.” As much as I liked the design, however, it was not to be first on my priority list. It was too obscure, and I was concerned that pushing it too soon would call attention to the design, and jeopardize, my grand plan. So Goudy’s favorite was relegated to somewhere around sixth on my list. When it moved closer to the top, I began to gather specimens to be used as the basis for the revival process, had enlargements made from the metal type specimens, and began preliminary discussion with a designer to work on the project.

But then something happened. Aaron Burns offered me a job at ITC: an opportunity that wasn’t turned down. Knowing that I was not going to be able to start, let alone finish, the University of California design project, I filed the specimen material, the photo-enlargements, and the design notes I had made, in a large manila envelope and stored it in my attic.

Berkeley Hibernates

It sat there for a couple of years. My early responsibilities at ITC provided no opportunities contribute to the company’s typeface release plans. It took some time to establish the credibility required to suggest a new design. I may have been the “senior type person” at my former employer, but that only translated to “the kid from Compugraphic” at ITC.

Finally, I got my chance when a type designer notified ITC that he would be late in delivering artwork, producing an opening in the release schedule. There was, however, just enough time for an accomplished designer to create a revival typeface design. I felt like the second-string high school quarterback who, after spending much of the season on the bench, sees the first-string hero sustain an injury in the big game. The phrase “put me in coach” kept coming to mind as I tried to convince Aaron Burns that my idea for the revival of The University of California Old Style was worthy of an ITC release.

My Big Chance

Burns finally capitulated and called Tony Stan to asked him if he would be willing to work on a project with me as the design director. Stan, in addition to being a world-class type designer and someone who knew a great design project when he saw it, was also a kind, gentle man who would have no trouble working with someone of half his age and possessing a third of his talent. The collaboration was one of the most rewarding of my life.

The name “Berkeley Old Style” was chosen because the design isn’t really a direct copy of the University design, but close enough that we wanted to give credit where it is due.

Additional Releases

ITC also announced two additional new typefaces in Volume Ten: the ITC Weidemann™ family, based on a custom design Kurt Weidemann did for the German Bible Society, and the ITC Usherwood™ family, released posthumously after the death of its designer, Leslie Usherwood.

The First Article

While I had been writing for U&lc for some time, the first article that carried my byline also showed up in Volume Ten. It was about Morris Fuller Benton, and was the first of many biographical sketches in the “Typographic Milestones” series. There is a backstory here too. Maybe I’ll write about it in a future post.

Click the PDFs below to find out what else was in U&lc Volume Ten.

Low Resolution:

Volume 10–1 (Low Res).pdf (15.0 MB)

Volume 10–2 (Low Res).pdf (13.6 MB)

Volume 10–3 (Low Res).pdf (14.8 MB)

Volume 10–4 (Low Res).pdf (14.6 MB)

High Resolution:

Volume 10–1.pdf (73.5 MB)

Volume 10–2.pdf (69.1 MB)

Volume 10–3.pdf (69.7 MB)

Volume 10–4.pdf (73.4 MB)

Allan Haley
Allan Haley is Director of Words & Letters at Monotype Imaging. Here he is responsible for strategic planning and creative implementation of just about everything related to typeface designs.


by Allan Haley

The first rule of choosing display typefaces is to make an appropriate choice – appropriate to the delivery vehicle, content and reader.

Appropriate to Delivery Vehicle

The most appropriate display typeface for a small print environment will probably be a different design than one that is best for a large print environment. And neither of these might be appropriate for display copy on screen or in slide presentations.

The best font for presentation graphics, for example, is a sans serif (because it is more legible than a serif design), bold weight (to enable a high level of visibility) of somewhat condensed proportions (to obtain the maximum number of words in the smallest space).

Typefaces for on-screen use should also have large x-heights and open counters. Large x-heights will take the best advantage of the limited screen pixels. The more decorative a design, however, the more problematic it becomes for Web sites and blogs. Very fancy or ornamental designs such as the Arriba-Arriba™ or ITC Wisteria™ typefaces might make excellent choices for posters and brochures, but they would probably not be the best choices for display type on screen. Slightly less fancy – but equally commanding – designs like the Dreamland™ and Pueblo™ typefaces would be better choices.

A few great display typefacesA few great display typefaces

A few great display typefaces

Newspapers, which are almost always read under less than ideal circumstances, require sturdy, industrial strength designs such as the Egyptian Slate™ or ITC Franklin™ typefaces for headlines, while a catalog for women’s clothing would do better with a more supple design like ITC Berkeley Oldstyle™ typeface. The same Berkeley Oldstyle, however, might not be the best choice for a web page banner, while the ITC CuppaJoe™ design might be.

Appropriate to Message

A catalog announcing a new line of Hawaiian shirts should use different typefaces than a brochure for women’s lingerie; and announcements for a new, quarterly law journal report will be best served by yet different typefaces.

For that Hawaiian shirt announcement, a combination of the ITC Puamana™ and DIN Next™ typefaces might be a good choice. The women’s lingerie might benefit from headlines set in the Pouty™ script typeface and text copy using part of the ITC Galliard™ family. The law journal? Try heads in the bold weight of the Felbridge™ typeface and text in the ITC Legacy™ Serif typeface family.

Appropriate to Audience

It’s a pretty safe bet that counter-culture display faces like ITC Panic™ and ITC Schizoid™ designs will not appeal to an over-60s reader or that the Elegy™ or Diotima® Classic typefaces would resonate with a potential customer for skateboards. Typefaces like the Artistik™, Neuland™ and ITC Kick™ typefaces can be great display choices – but probably not for the readers of the quarterly financial reports of an international banking firm.

Allan Haley
Allan Haley is Director of Words & Letters at Monotype Imaging. Here he is responsible for strategic planning and creative implementation of just about everything related to typeface designs.

Great type makes sites stand out