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ITC Bookman was an instant success when it was first released in 1976. The design was an interpretation of the original Bookman typeface that dates back to the late 1800s. This earliest Bookman was also one of the first typefaces to have swash letters, not only in the italics, but also in the roman designs. The design -- and its swash characters -- was very popular in the early part of the 20th century. Bookman fell out of use in the middle part of the last century, only to be re-discovered" by graphic designers in the 1970s. The problem was this: there was no complete and well-organized family of Bookman. Ed Benguiat came to the rescue when he drew the ITC Bookman family.
Benguiat developed a full family of four weights plus complementary cursive designs. This was the first time that true italics were available for the Bookman design. All previous versions merely had obliqued roman characters. Benguiat also drew a suite of swash and alternate characters for each of the members of the family. Most phototype foundries of the time incorporated these characters into their fonts, and graphic designers began using them in everything from airline ads to record covers.
When digital replaced photo as a typesetting technology, these special characters were left out of the fonts. While most phototype display fonts could have virtually unlimited character sets, the first digital fonts could not. The ITC Bookman special characters went the way of Disco.
Today's OpenType technology has allowed us to release a complete version, named ITC Bookman by ITC, offering the full breadth of Benguiat's design - which means all the original swash and alternate characters. In addition, ITC Bookman by ITC is a brand-new, re-spaced, re-kerned, and refurbished typeface family. We went back to the original art and created the best-possible digital versions of these designs. ITC Bookman by ITC's dateless charm and communicative power is back in full-force."
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