ITC Handel Gothic
What’s old is new again. Master type designer Rod McDonald revives, expands and enhances the Handel Gothic family
The Handel Gothic
™ typeface has been a mainstay of graphic communication for over 40 years – all the while looking as current as today and as forward as tomorrow. Designed by Don Handel
in the mid-1960s, Handel Gothic was an instant success with the graphic design community. Typographic lore has it that Handel went on to work for Saul Bass, who selected Handel Gothic for his new wordmark for United Airlines in the early 70s.
Handel Gothic’s generous lowercase x-height and full-bodied counters make the design highly readable at a wide range of sizes. Forty years ago, the typeface’s slightly idiosyncratic character shapes gave it a futuristic look – which retains its visual power today. The Uncial-like lowercase is instantly identifiable – and still unique among sans serif typestyles. In addition to having ample proportions, the round characters have distinctive squared-off shoulders.
Award-winning type designer Rod McDonald
was attracted to the simple, decisive forms of the original, but he felt the design would benefit from some refinement and updating. One of his goals was to bring a modern typographic sensibility – consistency and versatility – to the almost half-century-old phototypesetting font. To achieve this, McDonald re-proportioned every character, balancing the delicate relationship between the curves and the straight strokes. McDonald’s redesign dramatically expands the family from the single-weight original to five weights, He further extended the design by adding a full suite of alternate characters in each weight.
New italic weights complement the roman designs, and the family is available as a suite of OpenType Pro fonts. Now, graphic communicators can use this versatile design while taking advantage of OpenType’s capabilities
. These fonts offer many typographic refinements, including: optional ligatures, alternate characters and an extended character set supporting most Central European – and many Eastern European – languages.