Wood Type

Franklin Gothic

Gaga-Proof-Type-300x121by Jim Thompson, IPM Board of Trustees

The wood-type for September is called Franklin Gothic and was named in honor of America’s most famous printer Benjamin Franklin. It was designed by Morris Fuller Benton in 1902, and issued by the ATF (American Type Foundry) in 1903. Later issues provided variations including condensed, italic, and shaded. The Franklin Gothic typeface achieves a bold look with a combination of heavy and medium stroke widths resulting in this typeface being one of ATF’s most popular designs. In the early 1900s Franklin Gothic was also being produced in wood-type. Our sample “Gaga” is a 6-line version in sign type by an unidentified manufacturer.

This typeface has been widely used in newspapers, advertising, museums, universities, as well as the music and film industries. Memorable applications, shown below, include the film title of the Dark Night, the second album of Lady Gaga, and various tax forms for the IRS.

Dark-Knight lady-gaga-album-2 IRS-form