About this font family
Franklin Gothic was designed by Morris Fuller Benton for the American Type Founders Company in 1903-1912. Early types without serifs were known by the misnomer “gothic” in America (“grotesque” in Britain and “grotesk” in Germany).
There were already many gothics in America in the early 1900s, but Benton was probably influenced by the popular German grotesks: Basic Commercial and Reform from D. Stempel AG. Franklin Gothic may have been named for Benjamin Franklin, though the design has no historical relationship to that famous early American printer and statesman. More…
Benton was a prolific designer, and he designed several other sans serif fonts, including Alternate Gothic, Lightline Gothic and News Gothic.
Recognizable aspects of Franklin Gothic include the two-story a and g, subtle stroke contrast, and the thinning of round strokes as they merge into stems. The type appears dark and monotone overall, giving it a robustly modern look.
Franklin Gothic is still one of the most widely used sans serifs; it’s a suitable choice for newspapers, advertising and posters.