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Rockwell (typeface)

ClassificationSlab serif
Date released1934

Rockwell is a slab serif typeface designed by the Monotype Corporation and released in 1934.[1][2] The project was supervised by Monotype's engineering manager Frank Hinman Pierpont. A serif at the apex of uppercase A is distinct. The lowercase a is two-storey. Because of its monoweighted stroke, Rockwell is used primarily for display or small-size use rather than lengthy bodies of body text. Rockwell is based on an earlier, more condensed slab serif design cast by the Inland Type Foundry called Litho Antique.

Rockwell is a "geometric" slab-serif, with a monoline construction with all strokes appearing to be roughly the same width and its capital 'O' roughly circular. This gives it a similar impression to common sans-serifs of the period like Akzidenz Grotesk, Franklin Gothic, or Futura.[3] It is influenced by a style of geometric slab serif that had become popular released around the time, including the earlier Memphis and Beton, and less similarly Stymie and City.[4]

Rockwell has remained popular and been digitised, although a shadowed weight has not been.


The Guinness World Records used Rockwell in some of their early-1990s editions. Informational signage at Expo 86 made extensive use of the Rockwell typeface.[5] Docklands Light Railway also used a bold weight of this typeface in the late 1980s and early '90s. It is also used by the poetry publisher Tall Lighthouse for all their books, as well as on their website.[6]


  1. ^ W. Pincus Jaspert, W. Turner Berry and A.F. Johnson (1970) [1953]. Encyclopaedia of Type Faces (4th ed.). London: Blandford Press. p. 194. ISBN 0-7137-0191-9.
  2. ^ Lucienne Roberts (1 November 2005). Drip-dry Shirts: The Evolution of the Graphic Designer. AVA Publishing. p. 32. ISBN 978-2-940373-08-6.
  3. ^ "Sentinel: historical background". Hoefler & Frere-Jones. Retrieved 15 July 2015.
  4. ^ Tam, Keith. "The revival of slab-serif typefaces in the 20th century" (PDF). University of Reading (MA thesis). Retrieved 3 March 2016.
  5. ^ General Report on the 1986 World Exposition. Expo 86 Corporation, 1986, p. 115.
  6. ^ []

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