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|Commissioned by||The Times|
|Design based on||Plantin|
Times New Roman is a serif typeface designed for legibility in body text. It was commissioned by the British newspaper The Times in 1931 and conceived by Stanley Morison, the artistic advisor to the British branch of the printing equipment company Monotype, in collaboration with Victor Lardent, a lettering artist in the Times' advertising department. Although no longer used by The Times, Times New Roman is still very common in book and general printing. It has become one of the most popular and influential typefaces in history and a standard typeface on most desktop computers.
Times New Roman's creation took place through the influence of Stanley Morison of Monotype. Morison was an artistic director at Monotype, historian of printing and informal adviser to The Times. Asked to advise on a redesign, he recommended that they change their text typeface from a spindly and somewhat dated nineteenth-century face to a more robust, solid design, returning to traditions of printing from the eighteenth century and before.[a][b] This matched a common trend in printing tastes of the period.
The new face was drawn by Victor Lardent, an artist from the advertising department of The Times, with Morison consulting, before refinement by the Monotype drawing office.[c] Morison proposed an older Monotype typeface named Plantin as a basis for the design, and Times New Roman mostly matches Plantin's dimensions. The main change was that the contrast between strokes was enhanced to give a crisper image. As a typeface designed for newspaper printing, Times New Roman has a high x-height, short descenders to allow tight linespacing and a relatively condensed appearance. The new design made its debut in The Times on 3 October 1932. After one year, the design was released for commercial sale. Although Morison may not have literally drawn the design, his influence on its concept was sufficient that he felt that he could take credit for it as "my one effort at designing a font".[d] In Times New Roman's name, Roman is a reference to the regular style of a conventional serif font, or what is called its roman, the first part of the Times New Roman family to be designed. (The style is called Antiqua in some countries.) Roman type has some roots in Italian (and other European) printing of the late 15th and early 16th centuries, but Times New Roman's design has no connection to Rome or to the Romans.
The Times stayed with Times New Roman for 40 years, but new production techniques and the format change from broadsheet to tabloid in 2004 have caused it to switch typeface five times from 1972 to 2007. However, all the new fonts have been variants of the original New Roman typeface. Once released for commercial sale, Times New Roman became extremely successful, becoming Monotype's best-selling typeface of all time in metal type.
Times New Roman has a robust colour on the page and influences of European early modern and Baroque printing. The design is slightly condensed, with short ascenders and descenders and a high x-height (tall lower-case letters), all effects that save space and increase clarity.
The ultimate origin of the 'Roman' (regular) style of Plantin and Times New Roman was a metal type created in the late sixteenth century by the French artisan Robert Granjon and preserved in the collection of the Plantin-Moretus Museum of Antwerp. This style is sometimes categorised as part of the old-style of serif fonts. Morison admired this style for its solid structure and clarity.[f]
However, due to features such as its 'a' and 'e', with larger counters and apertures than in Granjon's design, its ball terminal detailing and an increased level of contrast between thick and thin strokes, it has also been compared to fonts from the late eighteenth century, the so-called 'transitional' genre, in particular the Baskerville typeface of the 1750s. Historian and sometime Monotype executive Allan Haley commented that compared to Plantin "serifs had been sharpened...contrast was increased and character curves were refined," while Lawson described Times's higher-contrast crispness as having "a sparkle [Plantin] never achieved." (The 'a' of Plantin was already not directly sourced from Granjon's work: the sheet from the Plantin-Moretus Museum used as a specimen for Monotype to use in designing Plantin had an 'a' from the wrong font.) Other changes from Plantin include a straight-sided 'M' and 'W' with three upper terminals not Plantin's four, both choices that move away from the old-style model.
Morison described the companion italic as also being influenced by the typefaces created by the Didot family in the late 18th and early 19th centuries: a "rationalistic italic that owed nothing to the tradition of the sixteenth or seventeenth centuries. It has, indeed, more in common with the eighteenth century." Morison had several years earlier attracted attention for promoting the radical idea that italics in book printing were too disruptive to the flow of text, and should be phased out. He rapidly came to concede that the idea was misguided, and later wryly commented to historian Harry Carter that Times' italic "owes more to Didot than dogma." Morison wrote in a personal letter of Times New Roman's mixed heritage that it "has the merit of not looking as if it had been designed by somebody in particular."[g]
Rather than creating a companion boldface with letterforms similar to the roman style, Times New Roman's bold has a different character, with a more condensed and more upright effect caused by making the horizontal parts of curves consistently the thinnest lines of each letter, and making the top serifs of letters like 'd' purely horizontal. This effect is not found in sixteenth-century typefaces (which did not have bold versions); it is most associated with Didone type of the early nineteenth century and with the more recent 'Ionic' styles of type influenced by it that were offered by Linotype (discussed below), which were very dominant in contemporary newspaper printing. Some commentators have found Times' bold unsatisfactory and too condensed, such as Walter Tracy and Stephen Coles.
The development of Times New Roman was relatively involved due to the lack of a specific pre-existing model – or perhaps a surfeit of possible choices. Morison wrote in a memo that he hoped for a design that would have relatively sharp serifs, matching the general design of the Times' previous font, but on a darker and more traditional basic structure. Bulked-up versions of Monotype's pre-existing but rather dainty Baskerville and Perpetua typefaces were considered for a basis, and the recent Legibility Group designs from Linotype, which had attracted considerable attention and may have influenced the decision to carry out a redesign, were also examined. (Perpetua, which Monotype had recently commissioned from sculptor Eric Gill at Morison's urging, is considered a 'transitional' design in aesthetic, although it does not revive any specific model.) Walter Tracy, who knew Lardent, suggested in the 1980s that "Morison did not begin with a clear vision of the ultimate type, but felt his way along."
Morison's biographer Nicolas Barker has written that Morison's memos of the time wavered over a variety of options before it was ultimately concluded that Plantin formed the best basis for a condensed font that could nonetheless be made to fill out the full size of the letter space as far as possible. (Morison ultimately conceded that Perpetua, which had been his pet project, was 'too basically circular' to be practical to condense in an attractive way.[i])
Walter Tracy and James Moran, who discussed the design's creation with Lardent in the 1960s, found that Lardent himself had little memory of exactly what material Morison gave him as a specimen to use to design the typeface, but he told Moran that he remembered working on the design from archive photographs of vintage type, which Tracy suggests might have been the same specimen of type from the Plantin-Moretus Museum that Plantin had been based on, or a specimen of Plantin itself. The sharpened serifs somewhat recall Perpetua, although Morison's stated reason for them was to provide continuity with the previous Didone design and the crispness associated with the Times' printing; he also cited as a reason that sharper serifs looked better after stereotyping or printed on a rotary press. Morison's several accounts of his reasoning in designing the concept of Times New Roman were somewhat contradictory and historians of printing have suggested that in practice they were mostly composed to rationalise his aesthetic preferences. After Morison's death Monotype's newspaper printing consultant Allen Hutt described his unsigned 1936 article on the topic after his death as "rather odd…it can only be regarded as a piece of Morisonian mystification".
Lardent's original drawings are according to Rhatigan lost, but photographs exist of his drawings. Rhatigan comments that Lardent's originals show "the spirit of the final type, but not the details." The design was adapted from Lardent's large drawings by the Monotype drawing office team, which worked out spacing and simplified some fine details. Further changes were made after manufacturing began (the latter a difficult practice, since new punches and matrices had to be machined after each design change).
Morison continued to develop a close connection with the Times that would last throughout his life. Morison edited the History of the Times from 1935 to 1952, and in the post-war period, at a time when Monotype effectively stopped developing new typefaces due to pressures of austerity, took a post as editor of the Times Literary Supplement which he held from 1945 to 1948. Times New Roman remained Morison's only type design; he designed a type to be issued by the Bauer Type Foundry of Frankfurt but the project was abandoned due to the war.[j]
Monotype also created some caps-only 'titling' designs to match Times New Roman itself, which was intended for body text. While these are not sold by Monotype in digital format, Linotype's Times Eighteen in the same style (see below) remains available and could be used as a substitute.
An elegant titling caps design, quite different to Times New Roman with a Caslon-style A (with a serif at top left of the letter, suggesting a stroke written with a quill) and old-style C and W; Tracy suggests Monotype's previous Poliphilus design as an influence. Named after Hever Castle, the home of the Times' owner Lord Astor. Designed early on, it was used by the Times for section headings. It has not been digitised.
A variant intended for book printing, avoiding the slight condensation of the original Times New Roman. Although it was popular in the metal type period for book printing, it was apparently never digitised.
Monotype also produced Series 727, in which the heavier strokes of upper-case letters were made slightly thinner. This was done to produce a lighter effect in which capital letters do not stand out so much, and was particularly intended for German use, since in the German language capitals are far more common since they appear at the start of each noun. Series 827 modified some letters (notably the R) to correspond to their appearance in other typefaces popular in French printing. This production of what are now called stylistic alternates to suit national tastes was common at the time, and many alternates were also offered for Gill Sans for use in Europe.
A modified 4¾ point size of Times Roman was produced by Monotype for use in printing matter requiring a very small size of type. Listed as Times Newspaper Smalls, available as either Series 333 or 335, it was also referred to by the name Claritas.
This is a variant designed for printing mathematical formulae, using the 4‑line system for mathematics developed by Monotype in 1957. This modified version of Times Roman was designed for use as part of Monotype's 4-line Mathematics system. The major changes to the Times Roman typeface itself were a reduction in the slope of italic characters to 12 degrees from 16 degrees, so as to reduce the need for kerning, and a change in the form of italic v and w so that italic v could be more easily distinguished from a Greek nu.
The 4-line system involved casting characters for 10-point Times Roman on 6-point bodies. The top of the character would overhang the slug, forming a kern which was less fragile than the normal kerns of foundry type, as it was on a slab of cast metal. This technique had been in previous use on Monotype machines, usually involving double-height matrices, to allow the automatic setting of "advertising figures" (numbers that occupy two or more lines, usually to clearly indicate a price in an advertisement set in small type). This meant that the same matrix could be used for both superscript and subscript numbers. More importantly, it allowed a variable or other item to have both a superscript and a subscript at the same time, one above the other, without inordinate difficulty.
Previously, while the Monotype system, due to its flexibility, was widely used for setting mathematical formulas, the typeface Modern Series 7 was usually used for this purpose. Because of the popularity of Times Roman at the time, Monotype chose to design a variant of Times Roman suited to mathematical composition, and recut many additional characters needed for mathematics, including special symbols as well as Greek and Fraktur alphabets, to accompany the system instead of designing it around the typeface that was being used, for which characters were already available. Matrices for some 700 characters were available as part of Times Roman Series 569 when it was released in 1958, with new characters constantly being added for over a decade afterwards (thus, in 1971, 8,000 characters were included, and new ones were being added at a rate of about 5 per week).
Times New Roman's popularity rapidly expanded beyond its original niche, becoming popular in book printing and general publishing. Monotype took advantage of this popularity by commissioning a widened version, Series 427, for book publishing, although many books ultimately used the original version.
An early use of Times New Roman outside its origin was by Daniel Berkeley Updike, an influential historian of printing with whom Morison carried an extensive correspondence. Impressed by the design, he used it to set his book Some Aspects of Printing, Old and New. It then was chosen by the Crowell-Collier magazines Woman's Home Companion and then its sister publications such as Collier's. A brochure was published to mark the change along with a letter from Morison hoping that the redesign would be a success.
Walter Tracy, who worked on a redesign, however noted that the design's compression and fine detail extending to the edge of the matrices was actually problematic in the aggressive conditions of most newspaper printing, in which the Times was unusual for its particularly high standard of printing suiting its luxury market. Users found that in the hot metal period it was common for the molten metal to rapidly eat through the matrices, and so it did not become popular among other newspapers: "Times Roman achieved its popularity chiefly in general printing, not in newspaper work." He described it as particularly used in "book work, especially non-fiction" such as the Encyclopaedia Britannica. Times New Roman remains popular in publishing, helped by the extremely large range of characters available for international and mathematics printing. For example, the American Psychological Association suggests using Times New Roman in papers written in its APA style.
Despite Monotype's key role in creating Times New Roman, its rival Linotype rapidly began to offer the design; The Times used Linotype equipment for much of its production. Linotype referred to the design as Times or Times Roman. Monotype and Linotype have since merged, but slight differences have split the lineage of Times into two subtly different designs.
Although Times New Roman and Times are very similar, various differences developed between the versions marketed by Linotype and Monotype when the master fonts were transferred from metal to photo and digital media. For example, Linotype has slanted serifs on the capital S, while Monotype's are vertical, and Linotype has an extra serif on the number 5. Most of these differences are invisible in body text at normal reading distances, or 10pts at 300 dpi. Subtle competition grew between the two foundries, as the proportions and details as well as the width metrics for their version of Times grew apart. Vivid differences between the two versions do occur in the lowercase z in the italic weight (Times Linotype has a curl also followed in the STIX revival, Times New Roman is straight) and in the percent sign in all weights. (Linotype and STIX have a stroke connecting up the left-hand zero with a slash, Times New Roman does not.)
Linotype licensed its version to Xerox and then Adobe and Apple, guaranteeing its importance in digital printing by making it one of the core fonts of the PostScript page description language. Microsoft's version of Times New Roman is licensed from Monotype, hence the original name. For compatibility, Monotype had to subtly redraw their design to match the widths from the Adobe/Linotype version. It has been reported to have lighter capitals that were originally developed for printing German (where all nouns begin with a capital letter). Versions of Times New Roman from Monotype exist which vary from the Linotype metrics (i.e. not the same as the version for Microsoft).
Linotype applied for registration of the trademark name Times Roman and received registration status in 1945. In the 1980s, there was an attempt by a group of entrepreneurs to seek from Rupert Murdoch, who owned The Times, the right to use the Times Roman name; separately, a legal action was also initiated to clarify the right of Monotype to use the name in the US despite Linotype's registration. As a result of legal action, Linotype and its licensees continued to use the name Times Roman, while Monotype and its licensees used the name Times New Roman.
Monotype sells a wider range of styles and optical sizes for Times New Roman than are offered with Windows, in order to meet the needs of newspapers and books which print at a range of text sizes. Its current release includes Regular, Medium, Semi Bold and Bold weights with matching italics, Extra Bold, Condensed (in regular, italic and bold), Seven (for smaller text, in regular, italic, bold and bold italic) and Small Text (for very small text, in regular, italic and bold).
As of 2017, the version of Times New Roman included with Windows 10, version 6.96, includes small capitals, text figures, and italic swash capitals. The Microsoft/Monotype digitisation of Times New Roman omits automatic ligature insertion (although as of v. 6.96 it is selectable), which the version of Times installed with macOS has. (This can result in unsightly character collisions if the characters 'fi' are needed.)
This is a version based on fonts released with Windows Vista. It includes fonts in WGL character sets, Hebrew and Arabic characters. Similar to Helvetica World, Arabic in italic fonts are in roman positions.
Like Monotype, Linotype released additional versions of Times for different text sizes. These include:
Times New Roman has been used for a wide range of newspapers around the world. In addition:
In 1994 the printing historian Mike Parker published claims that the design of Times New Roman’s roman or regular style was based on a 1904 design of William Starling Burgess. This theory remains controversial. Parker and his friend Gerald Giampa, a Canadian printer, claimed that in 1904 Burgess created a type design for company documents at his shipyard in Marblehead, Massachusetts, and hired Lanston Monotype to issue it. However, Burgess abandoned the idea and Monotype shelved the sketches, ultimately reusing them as a basis for Times New Roman. Giampa claimed that he stumbled upon original material in 1987, after he had purchased Lanston Monotype. Giampa claimed that some of the papers that had been his evidence had been lost in a flood at his house, while Parker claimed that an additional source was material in a section of the Smithsonian now closed due to asbestos contamination. Giampa asked Parker to complete the type from the limited number of surviving letters, which was issued in June 2009 by Font Bureau under the name of 'Starling'.
Reception to the claims was sceptical with dismissal from Morison's biographer Nicolas Barker and Luc Devroye among others; Barker suggested that the material had been fabricated in order to aid Giampa in embarrassing Monotype's British branch, while Devroye suggested that the claim had begun as a prank. Monotype executive Dan Rhatigan described the theory as implausible in 2011: "I'll admit that I tend to side with the more fully documented (both in general, and in agreement with what little I can find within Monotype to support it) notion that Times New Roman was based on Plantin...I won't rule out the possibility that Starling Burgess drew up the concept first, but Occam's razor makes me doubt it."
The Times Online web site credits the design to "Stanley Morrison, Victor Lardent and perhaps Starling Burgess".
Because of its popularity, the typeface has been influential in the subsequent development of a number of serif typefaces both before and after the start of the digital-font era.
Times Roman and Times New Roman are proprietary fonts. There are some free software metric-compatible fonts used as free Times Roman and Times New Roman alternatives or used for font substitution:
The consensus appears to be that not only the wrong-fount a in the cases at Antwerp but also the italic that Monotype adapted for their Plantin (which can be seen on that first page of the 1905 specimen) may be the work of Johann Michael Schmidt (died 1750), also known as J. M. Smit or Smid.
Plantin was a recreation of one of the old types held at the Plantin-Moretus Museum in Antwerp, of which a specimen, printed in 1905, had been acquired by Pierpont on a visit. The type from which the specimen was printed was not only centuries old and worn almost beyond use, but it was contaminated with wrong-font letters (notably the letter ‘a’) and the italic did not even belong to the roman. The revival, derived by Monotype from an indirect and confused original, is [nonetheless] as sound a piece of type-making as was ever created in the 20th century…behind the foggy image of the roman type lies the...'Gros Cicero' Roman of Robert Granjon, acquired by the Plantin printing office after the death of its founder.
One of the distinctive things about French calligraphy of [the 1680s] is that the lead-in stroke of letters like i, m, n and so on have flat, rather ‘roman’, serifs, making them look a bit like a ‘sloped roman’…Fournier used it fifty years later in his ‘new style’ italics, and later so did Firmin Didot. And that French flat serif also turns up in…the italic to Times New Roman.
[Shown are] overlays from the article 'The Evolution of Times New Roman’ by John Dreyfus. He writes: ‘These drawings demonstrate how severely the bowl of “p” has been reduced in the bold version, because mainstrokes have been thickened without drawing the bold version any wider.'
[Writing on cold type rereleases of Times New Roman by Berthold]: To me, the sources for both Monotype and Linotype digital versions…really suffer from the condensed bold…in fact, many Bold letters are actually narrower, resulting in counters reduced to mere slits in some cases. Times 421 [an alternative release in the 1970s by Berthold] is not compromised in this way and the result is much more clear and confident. Yes, it takes up more space; but this style needs to — especially for text. [It] also maintains the angled stress of the regular (327), while Times New Roman Bold is forced into an unrelated vertical stress…I don’t know if this design originated at Monotype or if it’s a Berthold invention. It isn’t a match, but it does seem similar to the variant used by Stanley Morison in his essay on Times for A Tally of Types(1953), which he describes as “a wide version, more suited for longer lines.” Jaspert, Berry and Johnson show that in Encyclopaedia of Typefaces as “Times Wide” (Series 427). Another possible link to this Berthold design is mentioned by Tracy in Letters of Credit: “This disparity in style between the roman and bold was evidently something the German Linotype company thought should be eliminated. In the version of Times Roman they issued in 1935, first called Neue Romanisch but then named Toscana, the bold lowercase was redesigned in the ‘old style’ mode. The idea of harmonising the bold with the roman was logical; the actual execution, especially the character spacing, was not well done. The type soon disappeared."
Some types look larger, size for size, than others, because they have unusually short descenders and ascenders. This allows more room for the 'x' or the middle part of the lower-case [but] a 'large x' is bound to waste space horizontally...the imperceptible condensation of Monotype Times New Roman puts it in a class by itself as a news face. In the wider book measure, however, condensation is no asset.
The original STIX fonts were based on a Times New Roman clone. The new #STIX2 faces are redesigned, inspired by 10pt metal Times fonts.
The new design is fantastic — it can be described as “the better Times New Roman”. It’s somewhat similar to Times, but with a touch of Fleischmann. Its lower contrast, enlarged x-height and less inclined italic all contribute to superb(!) readability, in both web and print. STIX Text is a neutral, non-invasive text face for continuous reading.
integrated into Mandriva Linux 2008
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