City of Sound is about cities, design, architecture, music, media, politics and more. Written by Dan Hill since 2001.

Gotham: A well-rounded type

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As seen up there in the masthead, the cityofsound house typeface is Gotham, by Tobias Frere-Jones. It’s a lovely thing: elegant, practical, versatile, modern. And the face has just been extended with the addition of Gotham Rounded.

“Our Gotham typeface, inspired by signs on buildings, celebrates the workmanlike “draftsman’s alphabet” at a monumental scale. Similarly unadorned, but at a more intimate size, is the lettering of engineering: the marks on precision instruments, blueprints, stencils and templates. Drawn, stamped, engraved and routed, these forms are sensitively captured by our new Gotham Rounded family, available in four weights (with italics!) that go from friendly to high-tech to cheeky with ease.”

“Gotham Rounded’s expressive set of styles gives rise to a range of different tones. Set tightly in upper- and lowercase, the heavier weights are youthful and cheeky; these same fonts, composed as letterspaced caps, have a mechanical, even austere quality. Specific combinations of weight and spacing can even conjure the specific artifacts that inspired Gotham Rounded: letterspaced medium capitals evoke the markings on camera lenses, the light italic recalls the alphabets used on lettering templates, and the bold caps can pass for the routed wooden signs that identify hiking trails and picnic grounds.”




Gotham_rounded1 Gotham Rounded


8 responses to “Gotham: A well-rounded type”

  1. Neoh Avatar

    an alternative to sanserif? with expanded usage. can i get this free anywhere?


  2. Dan Avatar

    Free? Go buy it, Neoh; support the people who make these typefaces.


  3. Blake Avatar

    The company I work for used Gotham last year for identity work. It’s now one of my fav’s. Great article!


  4. Tom Coates Avatar

    Coincidentally last night I bit the bullet and just bought the bloody thing. Now I have to work out how I’m going to use it in the future. Quite expensive though.


  5. Me Avatar

    $179 for a font! I’m sticking with good old wingdings.


  6. Aaron Swartz Avatar

    Where did you get these Gotham examples? (I’m looking for something to decorate my room with and I was thinking the same for the non-rounded version of Gotham would be delicious.)


  7. Dan Hill Avatar

    It’s on the front of the Hoefler and Frere-Jones site at the moment, in the Flash preview:
    But it might not be there forever!


  8. tim from Radio Clash Avatar

    It’s basically an Avenir/Futura copy, meh. With some Gill Sans rippage thrown in for good measure.


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