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Posts Tagged ‘letraset’

by Allan Haley

The Aachen typeface dates back to the late 1960s when Colin Brignall designed it for Letraset dry transfer lettering sheets. Named after the German city where many believe Gutenberg first used moveable type, Aachen’s bold weight and short, slab serifs made it a natural choice for display typography. A lighter (medium) complement was drawn in the late 1970s but the bold design continued to be the most popular design. Aachen was made available as phototype fonts in the 1970s and digital fonts in the early 1990s – but the family retained its diminutive size.

Realizing that more weights would dramatically increase Aachen’s range of use, Jim Wasco – a senior type designer at Monotype Imaging – put together a proposal that would bring the family into the 21st century.

“I was amazed at how much I saw the old Aachen Bold being used and I thought that a larger family would be welcomed by graphic designers,” says Wasco. “I hope my redesign and enlargement of the original family make it more versatile – and will satisfy the desire designers seem to have for more Aachen.”

The happy result of Wasco’s proposal is Neue Aachen, a family of 9 weights, from ultra light to black, each with an italic complement – for a total of 18 styles. Neue Aachen is also available as a suite of OpenType Pro fonts, allowing for the automatic insertion of ligatures, fractions – and a special alternate g that Wasco felt added a distinctive quality to the design. Pro fonts also include an extended character set supporting most Central European and many Eastern European languages.

When asked about how his design improved the versatility of Neue Aachen, Wasco replied, “The family can now be put to work at any size from small text to large display applications. The bold weights can be excellent choices for headlines, banners and ads. The book and regular were drawn for text setting, and the extra light and ultra black weights add extra oomph – or a touch of finesse – to large display copy.”

Wasco’s revitalization of Neue Aachen takes a 40-year-old design – with a heritage that dates back to the first fonts of movable type – fully into the 21st century.

The complete Neue Aachen family is available as desktop fonts from the Fonts.com, Linotype.com and ITCFonts.com websites. It is also available as dynamically downloadable Web fonts.

Click here to learn more about – and license – the Neue Aachen family.

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

You may notice something different in the last two issues of U&lc Volume Sixteen. The table of contents, that normally ran on page one of each issue, is moved back several pages to make way for advertising. Letraset, primarily known as the premier provider of dry transfer lettering the 1970s and 1980s, had acquired ITC just a couple of years earlier – and the ads were for the company’s new line of design software and plug-ins.

I remember the general manager of Letraset in North American at the time telling me that fonts were a “mature” product with little hope for growth. “The future,” he said, “is in software. ITC’s main function will be to serve as a conduit to provide graphic designers with Letraset design software.” He didn’t realize that fonts were also quickly becoming software available to a much wider audience than he imagined. Which is why the folks that founded Monotype Imaging purchased ITC, and its typefaces, in 2000, even though it was abandoned by Letraset and reduced to a shell of its former self. Today, new typefaces are added to the ITC Library on a regular basis and it’s fonts are seen in everything from websites to smart phones – in addition to traditional hardcopy environments.

Along with the increase in advertising, U&lc continued its tradition of announcing new ITC typefaces. After many years and very many requests, a suite of italic designs was announced for the ITC American Typewriter™ family. Two new scripts, the ITC Flora™, and ITC Isadora™ designs by Gerard Unger and Kris Holmes respectively, were also announced in the same issue. The ITC Giovanni™ family, from Robert Slimbach, was first shown in Volume Sixteen Number Three, and a revival and extension of William Morris’ Golden Type by a team of young designers, Helge Jorgensen, Sigrid Engelmann, Bildende Künste and Andy Newton, as the ITC Golden Type™ family was announced in Volume Sixteen Number Four.

Also featured in the pages of Volume Sixteen were articles on the lettering artist, Michael Doret, a retrospective by Steven Heller of the Broadway caricaturist Al Hirschfeld – and a piece that provided insight into the Japanese love of Roman letters.

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

Low Resolution:

Volume 16–1 (Low Res).pdf (12.9 MB)

Volume 16–2 (Low Res).pdf (11.4 MB)

Volume 16–3 (Low Res).pdf (12.1 MB)

Volume 16–4 (Low Res).pdf (12.5 MB)

High Resolution:

Volume 16–1.pdf (62.5 MB)

Volume 16–2.pdf (60.9 MB)

Volume 16–3.pdf (62.7 MB)

Volume 16–4.pdf (65.2 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.