ITC Johnston™ font family


Designed by Richard Dawson in 1999
Dave Farey in 1999
Edward Johnston in 1916
ITC Johnston is the result of the combined talents of Dave Farey and Richard Dawson, based on the work of Edward Johnston. In developing ITC Johnston, says London type designer Dave Farey, he did “lots of research on not only the face but the man.” Edward Johnston was something of an eccentric, “famous for sitting in a deck chair and carrying toast in his pockets.” (The deck chair was his preferred furniture in his own living room; the toast was so that he’d always have sustenance near at hand.) Johnston was also almost single-handedly responsible, early in this century, for the revival in Britain of the Renaissance calligraphic tradition of the chancery italic. His book Writing & Illuminating, & Lettering (with its peculiar extraneous comma in the title) is a classic on its subject, and his influence on his contemporaries was tremendous. He is perhaps best remembered, however, for the alphabet that he designed in 1916 for the London Underground Railway (now London Transport), which was based on his original “block letter” model.

Johnston’s letters were constructed very carefully, based on his study of historical writing techniques at the British Museum. His capital letters took their form from the best classical Roman inscriptions. “He had serious rules for his sans serif style,” says Farey, “particularly the height-to-weight ratio of 1:7 for the construction of line weight, and therefore horizontals and verticals were to be the same thickness. Johnston’s O’s and C’s and G’s and even his S’s were constructions of perfect circles. This was a bit of a problem as far as text sizes were concerned, or in reality sizes smaller than half an inch. It also precluded any other weight but medium ‘ any weight lighter or heavier than his 1:7 relationship.” Johnston was famously slow at any project he undertook, says Farey. “He did eventually, under protest, create a bolder weight, in capitals only ‘ which took twenty years to complete.”

Farey and his colleague Richard Dawson have based ITC Johnston on Edward Johnston’s original block letters, expanding them into a three-weight type family. Johnston himself never called his Underground lettering a typeface, according to Farey. It was an alphabet meant for signage and other display purposes, designed to be legible at a glance rather than readable in passages of text. Farey and Dawson’s adaptation retains the sparkling starkness of Johnston’s letters while combining comfortably into text.

Johnston’s block letter bears an obvious resemblance to Gill Sans, the highly successful type family developed by Monotype in the 1920s. The young Eric Gill had studied under Johnston at the London College of Printing, worked on the Underground project with him, and followed many of the same principles in developing his own sans serif typeface. The Johnston letters gave a characteristic look to London’s transport system after the First World War, but it was Gill Sans that became the emblematic letter form of British graphic design for decades. (Johnston’s sans serif continued in use in the Underground until the early ‘80s, when a revised and modernized version, with a tighter fit and a larger x-height, was designed by the London design firm Banks and Miles.)

Farey and Dawson, working from their studio in London’s Clerkenwell, wanted to create a type family that was neither a museum piece nor a bastardization, and that would “provide an alternative of the same school” to the omnipresent Gill Sans. “These alphabets,” says Farey, referring to the Johnston letters, “have never been developed as contemporary styles.” He and Dawson not only devised three weights of ITC Johnston but gave it a full set of small capitals in each weight ‘ something that neither the original Johnston face nor the Gill faces have ‘ as well as old-style figures and several alternate characters.

ITC Johnston Medium Italic

ITC Johnston™ Medium Italic
world-map Std map

STD supports at least 21 languages.















US$ 29
Add to cart

276 characters

Features:

Languages:

Catalog number: 16783258

Case-Sensitive Forms

Tag: case

Function: Shifts various punctuation marks up to a position that works better with all-capital sequences or sets of lining figures; also changes oldstyle figures to lining figures. By default, glyphs in a text face are designed to work with lowercase characters. Some characters should be shifted vertically to fit the higher visual center of all-capital or lining text. Also, lining figures are the same height (or close to it) as capitals, and fit much better with all-capital text. The user selects a block of text and applies this feature. The dashes, bracketing characters, guillemet quotes and the like shift up to match the capitals, and oldstyle figures change to lining figures.

Fractions

Tag: frac

Function: Replaces figures separated by a slash with 'common' (diagonal) fractions. The user enters 3/4 in a recipe and gets the threequarters fraction.

Standard Ligatures

Tag: liga

Function: Replaces a sequence of glyphs with a single glyph which is preferred for typographic purposes. This feature covers the ligatures which the designer/manufacturer judges should be used in normal conditions. The glyph for ffl replaces the sequence of glyphs f f l.

Lining Figures

Tag: lnum

Function: This feature changes selected figures from oldstyle to the default lining form. The user invokes this feature in order to get lining figures, which fit better with all-capital text. Various characters designed to be used with figures may also be covered by this feature. In cases where lining figures are the default form, this feature would undo previous substitutions.

Old Style Figures

Tag: onum

Function: This feature changes selected figures from the default lining style to oldstyle form. The user invokes this feature to get oldstyle figures, which fit better into the flow of normal upper- and lowercase text. Various characters designed to be used with figures may also have oldstyle versions.

Ordinals

Tag: ordn

Function: Replaces default alphabetic glyphs with the corresponding ordinal forms for use after figures. One exception to the follows-a-figure rule is the numero character (U+2116), which is actually a ligature substitution, but is best accessed through this feature. The user applies this feature to turn 2.o into 2.o (abbreviation for secundo).

Superscript

Tag: sups

Function: Replaces lining or oldstyle figures with superior figures (primarily for footnote indication), and replaces lowercase letters with superior letters (primarily for abbreviated French titles). The application can use this feature to automatically access the superior figures (more legible than scaled figures) for footnotes, or the user can apply it to Mssr to get the classic form.

Stylistic Alternates

Tag: salt

Function: Many fonts contain alternate glyph designs for a purely esthetic effect; these don't always fit into a clear category like swash or historical. As in the case of swash glyphs, there may be more than one alternate form. This feature replaces the default forms with the stylistic alternates. The user applies this feature to Industria to get the alternate form of g.

These fonts support the Basic Latin character set. Each font is Unicode™ encoded, and available in d

Tag: Basic Latin

Function: These fonts support the Basic Latin character set. Each font is Unicode™ encoded, and available in different formats. Please review the product information for each font to ensure it will meet your requirements.

Technical details
Show Hide