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Hoefler (was: Hoefler&Frere-Jones, and Hoefler Type Foundry) [Jonathan Hoefler]

Born in 1970 in New York, Jonathan Hoefler ran the Hoefler Type Foundry (or: HTF) in New York. It employed Tobias Frere-Jones, Josh Darden, and Jesse Ragan. In 2004, it was renamed Hoefler&Frere-Jones, or HFJ for the cognoscenti. However, a legal problem between Jonathan and Tobias led to a corporate divorce in 2014---the company is renamed again The Hoefler Type Foundry. Their typefaces:

  • Acropolis.
  • Archer (2008). A humanist slab serif originally designed for Martha Stewart Living. It has a great range of features, including a classy hairline style. However, I see trouble down the road with the name Archer which has been used previously by several other foundries such as SignDNA, Arts&Letters and Silver Graphics. Some say that Archer is just Stymie with some ball terminals. Nevertheless, it became a grand hit, and as been used by Wes Anderson in The Budapest Hotel, and in Wells Fargo's branding. David Earls on Archer: with its judicious yet brave use of ball terminals, and blending geometry with sexy cursive forms, all brought together with the kind of historical and intellectual rigour you fully expect from this particular foundry, Archer succeeds where others falter.
  • Champion Gothic.
  • Chronicle Text. In 2007, HFJ published the "blended Scotch" newspaper serif text family Chronicle, which led to Chronicle ScreenSmart in 2015. See also Chronicle Display. In 2016, Hoefler published Chronicle Hairline. In Wired Magazine, Margaret Rhodes writes that it is for men who wear dress shoes without socks. Chronicle Hairline is a didone that breaks the didone rules. It is rounder, asymmetric (as in the mouth of the C), and as Hoefler puts it, more musical. As of 2016, the Chronicle typeface family consists of the display styles Chronicle Hairline, Chronicle Display (+Condensed, +Compressed), and Chronicle Deck (+Condensed), and the 60-style Chronicle Text family, which comes in G1, G2, G3 and G4 subfamilies.
  • Many custom and branding typefaces, including, e.g., General GG (2005-2007) and typefaces for The New York Times Magazine, Times Mirror, Esquire and McGraw-Hill (1995, free download). Time.com provides previews of fonts made for Esquire, Lever House, eCompany Now, The Guggenheim Museum, The New York Times, and the Whitney Museum.
  • Cyclone.
  • Didot. HTF carefully designed and complete families include HTF-Didot (1991) in 42 weights/variations, originally designed for Harper's Bazaar; based on the grosse sans pareille no. 206 of Molé le jeune.
  • Forza (2010). A sans typeface. Not to be confused with the 2007 font Forza by Michel Luther at Die Gestalten.
  • Geometer Screen Fonts. Free Mac fonts.
  • Giant.
  • Gotham (2003). The stylish sans typeface made famous by Obama. See also Gotham Rounded.
  • Historical Allsorts. This includes Historical-EnglishTextura, Historical-FellType, Historical-GreatPrimerUncials and Historical-StAugustin.
  • Hoefler Text (+Ornaments). This antiqua text typeface consists of 27 fonts made in 1991-1992, and is distributed with many Apple products.
  • Hoefler Titling.
  • Ideal Sans. A slightly flared humanist sans. In the 1996 Morisawa Awards competition, Hoefler received a bronze prize for Ideal Sans. In 2011, HFJ writes it up beautifully: Typefaces are born from the struggle between rules and results. Squeezing a square about 1% helps it look more like a square; to appear the same height as a square, a circle must be measurably taller. The two strokes in an X aren't the same thickness, nor are their parallel edges actually parallel; the vertical stems of a lowercase alphabet are thinner than those of its capitals; the ascender on a d isn't the same length as the descender on a p, and so on. For the rational mind, type design can be a maddening game of drawing things differently in order to make them appear the same. Twenty-one years ago, we began tinkering with a sans serif alphabet to see just how far these optical illusions could be pushed. How asymmetrical could a letter O become, before the imbalance was noticeable? Could a serious sans serif, designed with high-minded intentions, be drawn without including a single straight line? This alphabet slowly marinated for a decade and a half, benefitting from periodic additions and improvements, until in 2006, Pentagram's Abbott Miller proposed a project for the Art Institute of Chicago that resonated with these very ideas. As a part of Miller's new identity for the museum, we revisited the design, and renovated it to help it better serve as the cornerstone of a larger family of fonts. Since then we've developed the project continuously, finding new opportunities to further refine its ideas, and extend its usefulness through new weights, new styles, and new features. Today, H&FJ is delighted to introduce Ideal Sans, this new font family in 48 styles. Ideal Sans is a meditation on the handmade, combining different characteristics of many different writing tools and techniques, in order to achieve a warm, organic, and hand-crafted feeling.
  • Idlewild (2012). A wide sans typeface family.
  • Isotope (2018). A squarish typeface family. Not to be confused with Isotope by Fábio Duarte Martins, designed six years earlier.
  • Inkwell (2017). Hoefler writes: Inkwell is provided in a range of styles with which readers already have clear associations: a bookish Serif and a cleanly printed Sans, a conversational Script, a ceremonial Blackletter, a fancy Tuscan for decoration, and a stately Open for titles. Each style is offered in six weights, from a technical pen Thin to a graffiti marker Black. Inkwell is a name used as far back as 1992 by Sam Wang, and additional older fonts called Inkwell exist by Dan Solo, Philip Cronerud and MXB Foundry.
  • Knockout. The Knockout collection was designed to celebrate the beauty and diversity of nineteenth century sans serif wood types.
  • Knox.
  • Landmark (2013). In Regular, Inline, Shadow and Dimensional styles. A collection of architectural caps which started out as a custom typeface for Lever House in New York.
  • Leviathan.
  • Mercury Text and Mercury Display.
  • Nitro & Turbo (2016). Hoefler writes: We designed Nitro for Pentagram's Michael Bierut, as part of a new identity for the New York Jets football team. Originally named Jets Bold, Nitro is rooted in the styles of lettering used by the team throughout its fifty-year history: even as its logotype evolved, it consistently used heavy, slanting forms to imply force and movement. and ends with corporate babble: Nitro embodies this indomitable spirit in the context of a fresh, contemporary design. About the naming: AF Nitro was made by Sylvia Janssen at the very popular Die Gestalten Studio in Germany, in 2001. It will be fun to watch that battle between giants. Not to mention that lesser known players also made commercial fonts called Nitro more than a decade earlier---these include Jack Wills at Sign DNA and Markus Schroeppel (in 2004).
  • Numbers. In 2006, HFJ published the Numbers family, 15 fonts with nothing but numbers from various sources: Bayside (based on a set of house numbers produced around 1928 by H. W. Knight & Son of Seneca Falls, New York), Claimcheck (inspired by ticket stubs), Delancey (from tenement doorways), Depot (modeled on vintage railcars), Deuce (based on playing cards), Dividend (from an antique check writer), Greenback (based on U. S. currency), Indicia (inspired by rubber stamps), Premium (after vintage gas pumps), Prospekt (based on Soviet house numbers), Redbird (inspired by New York subways), Revenue (from cash register receipts), Strasse (after European enamel signs), Trafalgar (inspired by British monuments), Valuta (after Hungarian banknotes).
  • Obsidian. In 2015, Jonathan Hoefler and Andy Clymer cooperated on the decorative copperplate engraved emulation typeface Obsidian. Various kinds of 3d illumination in Obsidian were obtained by an algorithmic process. Not to be confused with about ten other fonts called Obsidian--for example, we have Obsidian (pre 2003, Silver Graphics), Obsidian (2014, Steffi Strick), Obsidian (2012, Krzysztof Stryjewski), Obsidian Deco (2013, Yautja), Obsidian (2005, Sparklefonts), and Obsidian Chunks (pre 2002, Jeni Pleskow).
  • Operator.
  • Peristyle (2017). A stylish condensed typeface family with piano key elements, and described by Hoefler as dramatic.
  • Quarto.
  • Requiem.
  • In 2003, they published Retina (which was originally designed for the stock listings in the Wall Street Journal), but that font disappeared from their listing.
  • Ringside.
  • St. Augustin Civilité: St. Augustin Civilité is a digitization of Robert Granjon's extraordinary type of 1562, now in the collection of the Enschedé type foundry, Haarlem. This typeface is reproduced in Civilité Types by Harry Carter and H. D. L. Vervliet (Oxford Bibliographical Society, by the Oxford University Press, 1966.) As figures and punctuation were lacking in the original, these have been borrowed from two other Granjon types, the Courante and Bastarde of 1567. (The remainder of the character set has been invented.)
  • Saracen.
  • Sentinel. Sentinel (2009) is HFJ's take on a Clarendon. I can't understand why they picked a name already taken by many foundries such as Graphx Edge Fonts, Comicraft, Dieter Steffmann and Sentinel Type.
  • Shades (2003). In Cyclone, Topaz, Giant and Knox weights.
  • Surveyor (2014). An exquisite mapmaker and newsprint didone font family with Fine, Display and Text subfamilies.
  • The Proteus Project.
  • Topaz.
  • Tungsten (2009) and Tungsten Rounded. Their sales pitch: That rarest of species, Tungsten is a compact and sporty sans serif that's disarming instead of pushy - not just loud, but persuasive. Douglas Wilson compares Tungsten with Alternate Gothic No. 3 (Morris Fuller Benton). Not to be confused with Tungsten (2005, Sparklefonts).
  • Uncategorized early typefaces: Gestalt-HTF, Fetish-HTF (blackletter modernized, 1995), Ehmcke-HTF.
  • Verlag (2006). A 30-style art deco-inspired semi-Bauhaus geometric sans family based on six typefaces originally designed for the Guggenheim. HFJ writes: From the rationalist geometric designs of the Bauhaus school, such as Futura (1927) and Erbar (1929), Verlag gets its crispness and its meticulous planning. Verlag's fairminded quality is rooted in the newsier sans serifs designed for linecasting machines, such as Ludlow Tempo and Intertype Vogue (both 1930), both staples of the Midwestern newsroom for much of the century. But unlike any of its forbears, Verlag includes a comprehensive and complete range of styles: five weights, each in three different widths, each including the often-neglected companion italic.
  • Vitesse (2010). The typophiles react to the slab family with praise: I think they're chasing Cyrus Highsmith, Dispatch and Christian Schwartz, Popular on this one. Doing a pretty good job of it too! [...] Looks to me like the love-child of Eurostile and City.
  • Whitney. In 2004, they produced an amazing 58-weight sans serif family, Whitney (by Tobias Frere-Jones), designed for use in infographics. Whitney's sales blurb: While American gothics such as News Gothic (1908) have long been a mainstay of editorial settings, and European humanists such as Frutiger (1975) have excelled in signage applications, Whitney bridges this divide in a single design. Its compact forms and broad x-height use space efficiently, and its ample counters and open shapes make it clear under any circumstances. See also Whitney Condensed and Whitney Narrow.
  • Ziggurat.

Hoefler received Bukvaraz 2001 awards for HTF Guggenheim, HTF Knockout, HTF Mercury (1997, no relationship with Goudy's Mercury of 1936) and HTF Requiem. At ATypI in 2002, he received the Charles Peignot award.

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Commercial fonts (small outfits) ⦿ Type designers ⦿ Type designers ⦿ Pixel/bitmap fonts ⦿ Blackletter fonts ⦿ Mathematics fonts ⦿ Very thin (hairline sans) typefaces ⦿ Type scene in New York ⦿ Art deco typefaces ⦿ Bauhaus and type design ⦿ Civilité ⦿ Modern style [Bodoni, Didot, Walbaum, Thorowgood, Computer Modern, etc.] ⦿ Textura ⦿ Fashion mag typefaces ⦿ Uncial typefaces ⦿ Architectural lettering/typefaces ⦿ Frederic William Goudy ⦿ Clarendon ⦿ Piano key typefaces ⦿








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Luc Devroye ⦿ School of Computer Science ⦿ McGill University Montreal, Canada H3A 2K6 ⦿ lucdevroye@gmail.com ⦿ http://luc.devroye.org ⦿ http://luc.devroye.org/fonts.html