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Gotham Font Family

Gotham is a geometric sans-serif font family that has become a popular brand and sometimes associate with New York City. Created in 2000 by American type designer Tobias Frere-Jones, the font Gotham got its inspiration from the mid-20th century architecture letters in many NY City buildings.

In the beginning, Frere-Jones started Gotham font family when the GQ magazine had achieved him to create a new font. Stooping against the 809-foot high letters COMPANY on the former site of the PAN restaurant (now a MetLife Building), he felt the monochrome strength, forms, and legibility of these middle-century letters. Besides artwork such as the slim, symbolic, yet legible letters drawn by Ray Lowey and Harold Adler, architects adorned the city with clear lines and neon. Frere-Jones relied on the visual traits of the designs in their attempt to create a cogent typographic family out of the standard design elements.

Over two years, Frere-Jones crafted four variants: Gotham Book, Bisulas, Shuka, and Engel. Each features appealing circular shapes, sharp corners, and a considerable x-height length for improved readability. Gotham’s wider letter space, open counters, and neutral, rationally-minded design influence gave it a modern appearance and contributed to its popularity among designers. While humanist sans serifs such as Gill Sans are designed to possess a rounder and softer look, Gotham, on the other hand, has a more calculated, geometrical design.

With its appearance on the shelves of independently operated Montauk, New York, in 2010, Gotham, an elegant font created by Hoefler & Co. type foundry, took on a new life as an obvious staple of New York City’s urban fabric. It is the establishment font of many leading NYC organizations, including the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) that is the foundation of NYC transit. Harley Quinn, Cory, and even gadgets feature in several agencies and institutions, both on the streets and internationally. The digital environment goes tango with print output and physical signage as Gotham integrates more with NYC’s face. The best evidence of its popularity is the combination of its usability and solid visual culture. This culture includes one of the world’s most well-known cities.



      1. Pete Reply

        Hi There,

        I downloaded the Gotham font and the files says it’s an OTF font.

        When I make a PDF from InDesign and make a PDF and preflight it in Acrobat it says GothamOffice-Bold is a Type 1 font.

        Will this cause a problem in Jan’ when Adobe stop supporting T1 fonts?

        What is weird is in InDesign Find/Replace font it says Type 1 Fonts: 0

        Under font info it says Type OpenType Type 1

        Is it a OpenType font and will be fine or a T1 font which will cause problems?



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