About this font family
With its extended complement, this comprehensive redesign of Bank Gothic by Elsner+Flake offers a wide spectrum for usage. After 80 years, the typeface Bank Gothic, designed by Morris Fuller Benton in 1930, is still as desirable for all areas of graphic design as it has ever been. Its usage spans the design of headlines to exterior design. Game manufacturers adopt this spry typeface, so reminiscent of the Bauhaus and its geometric forms, as often as do architects and web designers. More…
The creative path of the Bank Gothic from hot metal type via phototypesetting to digital variations created by desktop designers has by now taken on great breadth. The number of cuts has increased. The original Roman weight has been augmented by Oblique and Italic variants. The original versions came with just a complement of Small Caps. Now, they are, however, enlarged by often quite individualized lower case letters. In order to do justice to the form changes and in order to differentiate between the various versions, the Bank Gothic, since 2007 a US trademark of the Grosse Pointe Group (Trademark FontHaus, USA), is nowadays available under a variety of different names. Some of these variations remain close to the original concept, others strive for greater individualism in their designs.
The typeface family which was cut by the American typefoundry ATF (American Type Founders) in the early 1930’s consisted of a normal and a narrow type family, each one in the weights Light, Medium and Bold. In addition to its basic ornamental structure which has its origin in square or rectangular geometric forms, there is another unique feature of the Bank Gothic: the normally round upper case letters such as B, C, G, O, P, Q, R and U are also rectangular. The one exception is the upper case letter D, which remains round, most likely for legibility reasons (there is the danger of mistaking it for the letter O.)
Because of the huge success of this type design, which follows the design principles of the more square and the more contemporary adaption of the already existing Copperplate, it was soon adopted by all of the major type and typesetting manufacturers. Thus, the Bank Gothic appeared at Linotype; as Commerce Gothic it was brought out by Ludlow; and as Deluxe Gothic on Intertype typesetters. Among others, it was also available from Monotype and sold under the name Stationer’s Gothic. In 1936, Linotype introduced 6pt and 12pt weights of the condensed version as Card Gothic. Lateron, Linotype came out with Bank Gothic Medium Condensed in larger sizes and a more narrow set width and named it Poster Gothic. With the advent of photoypesetters and CRT technologies, the Bank Gothic experienced an even wider acceptance. The first digital versions, designed according to present computing technologies, was created by Bitstream whose PostScript fonts in Regular and Medium weights have been available through FontShop since 1991. These were followed by digital redesigns by FontHaus, USA, and, in 1996, by Elsner+Flake who were also the first company to add cursive cuts. In 2009, they extended the family to 16 weights in both Roman and Oblique designs. In addition, they created the long-awaited Cyrillic complement. In 2010, Elsner+Flake completed the set with lowercase letters and small caps. Since its redesign the type family has been available from Elsner+Flake under the name Bank Sans®.
The character set of the Bank Sans® Caps and the Bank Sans® covers almost all latin-based languages (Europe Plus) as well as the Cyrillic character set MAC OS Cyrillic and MS Windows 1251. Both families are available in Normal, Condensed and Compressed weights in 4 stroke widths each (Light, Regular, Medium and Bold). The basic stroke widths of the different weights have been kept even which allows the mixing of, for instance, normal upper case letters and the more narrow small caps. This gives the family an even wider and more interactive range of use. There are, furthermore, extensive sets of numerals which can be accessed via OpenType-Features. The Bank Sans® type family, as opposed to the Bank Sans® Caps family, contains, instead of the optically reduced upper case letters, newly designed lower case letters and the matching small caps. Bank Sans® fonts are available in the formats OpenType and TrueType.