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NEW TYPE · December 18, 2008

New Fonts: Zocalo, Whitman Display, and Benton Sans

Font Bureau announces the release of six new and expanded typefaces from our drawing studio: Whitman Display, Whitman, Benton Sans, Zócalo Text, Zócalo Banner and Zócalo Display.

Check out our NEWSLETTER

Classical Traits with a Spartan Finish

Drawing inspiration from W.A. Dwiggins and Eric Gill, book designer Kent Lew blended classical design traits with a crisp, spartan finish to create the original Whitman. In 2004, Monica Moses saw even greater potential and commissioned headline styles for the Minneapolis Star Tribune, noting that “it’s intelligent-looking without being aloof, fussy, or snooty.” Expanded further for Fortune magazine and others, the versatile display series now offers a finely graduated range of weights and widths — from the stately charm of Light Italic to the rich, robust authority of Compressed Extra Black.

28 Styles: Light, Regular, Semibold, Bold, Extra Bold, Black, and Extra Black in Normal, Condensed, and Compressed widths; with Italics in Normal width.

The Sequel

To keep pace with the Display family and in response to popular demand, the original Whitman text family has also been expanded. Initially released in only four styles (the traditional “book quartet,” as designer Kent Lew put it), Whitman has now been furnished with three additional weights and a full complement of Italics, making it suitable for a variety of text applications, wherever a clear, forthright tone is desired.

12 Styles: Roman, Small Caps, Semibold, Bold, Extra Bold, and Black; all with Italics. Proportional oldstyle and lining figures in all styles.

A Blockbuster Expansion for a Workhorse Sans

Derived originally from the line of several quintessential American gothics drawn by Morris Fuller Benton for ATF in the early 1900s, Benton Sans has become the epitome of a hardworking sans serif, figuring prominently now in dozens of newspapers and magazines. Its steadfast clarity pairs comfortably with just about anything, and it has proven supremely capable in the whole gamut of tasks from bylines, captions, and infographics all the way up to decks, pull quotes, and headlines.

Begun in 1995 by Tobias Frere-Jones and revised by Cyrus Highsmith and the Font Bureau staff, Benton Sans has now been expanded to a far-reaching series of 8 weights in 4 widths. Spanning from a fashionable Thin to a hardy Black, the family is outfitted not only with matching Italics, but also with a full range of Small Caps (a relative rarity in sans serifs). And with all weights carefully honed in four multi-purpose widths, Benton Sans represents a truly formidable toolkit.

128 Styles: Thin, Extra Light, Light, Book, Regular, Medium, Bold, and Black in Normal, Condensed, Compressed, and Extra Compressed widths; all with Italics and Small Caps.

A Hot-blooded Oldstyle

Cyrus Highsmith’s Zócalo (Mexican for “central plaza”) is a spirited new series with an exuberant personality. Conceived originally for Eduardo Danilo’s redesign of El Universal, Zócalo takes oldstyle forms after the late 17th-century manner of Nicholas Kis and animates them with typical Highsmith style, inspired by the energetic character of Mexico City.

Taking additional cues from the classic newsface Ionic No. 5, Zócalo Text is broad and sturdy, with a large x-height and generous counters. It excels in narrow columns and small text. For larger sizes, there are two distinct versions with narrower proportions and refined contrast: Banner retains some of the robust character of the Text with hardy flat serifs, while Display replaces these with sharper, slightly bracketed serifs and adds extra sparkle and elegance with even higher contrast.

Together, all three versions form a unique, multifaceted family with singular verve and vitality.

8 Text Styles: Regular and Bold, both with Italics and Small Caps.
8 Banner Styles: Regular, Semibold, Bold, Black; all with Italics.
8 Display Styles: Regular, Semibold, Bold, Black; all with Italics.


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