Tuesday Type: Times New Roman
In the world of design there are a few typefaces that are the equivalent of a graphic designer’s drinking buddies. They’re always there in the type palette giving you a knowing nod as you scroll through looking for the perfect typeface for a given project. You’re happy to offer a little friendly banter with these typographic friends, but what do you really know about them? What’s their backstory? Why are they still so relevant in a world filled with thousands upon thousands of typefaces?
Today’s spotlight falls upon the heavy hitting serif Times New Roman. For a long time I tended to write off Times New Roman as too plain and boring. I think the real reason I wrote it off was due to the fact that it was just always there as an option, I felt like I was missing out on finding that next amazing timeless serif, but damn it…why try and reinvent the wheel? If it’s not broken, let’s not fix it. I’ve come to really appreciate the typeface and embrace it as a traditional serif that can walk the talk.
The backstory of Times New Roman goes back to 1929 when British newspaper the Times of London, hired typographer Stanley Morison of the Monotype foundry to create a new custom typeface for their publication. The rights to the typeface were eventually turned over to a competing type foundry, Linotype. This resulted in the two foundries selling essentially the same font as “Times New Roman” (Monotype) marketed by Apple and “Times Roman” (Linotype) marketed by Windows. Regardless today it is both loved and hated for a variety of reasons. Here’s a great video that talks more about the history and sentiment surrounding Times New Roman. So, how about you? Love it or hate it? Tell me what you think in the comments!