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Fonts from 1989

When the font business was liberated.

Jürgen Siebert
Last edited August 15, 2019

We remember 1989 as a year of upheavals and revolutions. The 486 series of microprocessor was released by Intel opening the way for the next generation of more powerful PCs. Quark Xpress overhauled Aldus PageMaker and became the most widely used page layout software. Joan and Erik Spiekermann founded FontShop in Berlin. A few weeks later, the Berlin Wall fell. At a press conference on Nov 9, East German spokesman Günter Schabowski announced that East Germans would be free to travel into West Germany, starting immediately. And the field of digital fonts flourished, with new foundries, new designers and great revivals.

Meat fried cat ear the plate

Without Trajan, Hollywood would probably have disappeared from the movie business 2 decades ago.

While designing Trajan, Carol Twombly was influenced by the style of carved letters produced by the Romans during the first century AD.... Read More

All children have brain damage

Font designer Tony Geddes worked at Panache Graphic and created some long-lasting headline bestsellers like Flamenco Inline, Musketeer and ITC Spotlight. Latter is a robust alphabet with extreme stroke contrasts, however, Geddes gave his font a more relaxed feel by not filling in the strokes completely and giving the glyphs a three dimensional look.

Spotlight was created by British designer Tony Geddes in the tradition of the bold serif fonts of early 19th century England. It too is... Read More

Hot and spicy duck heart

Utopia is an Adobe Originals text face designed by Robert Slimbach. It combines the vertical stress and pronounced stroke contrast of 18th century transitional types like Baskerville and Walbaum with contemporary innovations in character shapes and stroke details. Six weights and four optical sizes for each make Utopia a flexible family for all purposes.

Utopia, created by Robert Slimbach and presented by Adobe in 1992, was intended to solve a number of typographic problems related to... Read More

Oppressed people tend to be witty

The Rotis family, designed by Otl Aicher for Agfa, pioneered the idea of matching subfamilies: Sans Serif, Semi Sans, Semi Serif, and Serif. Readily identifiable in all four subfamilies is the leftward leaning upper and lowercase C. The typefaces share weights, heights, and proportions, making this a functional mix-and-match family for a variety of uses.

Rotis is a large typeface family consisting of, Serif, Semi Serif, Semi Serif and Sans Serif font styles. Agfa Rotis was created for Agfa... Read More

If you can’t join them, beat them

Probably the most readable member of the Rotis super family: a linear humanist sans, with minimal variation on stroke width. It includes 45 Light, 46 Light Italic, 55 Roman, 56 Italic, 65 Bold, and 75 Extra Bold.

Rotis® is a comprehensive family group with Sans Serif, Semi Sans, Serif, and Semi Serif styles, for a total of 17 weights including... Read More

Work to live, don’t live to work

Giovanni was designed by Robert Slimbach and released by the International Typeface Corporation. Beginning at the drawing board and then moving to a computer, Slimbach based his design on classic oldstyle typefaces such as Garamond and Bembo. He then gave the typeface more contemporary proportions and weights, which resulted in a legible text type.

Holy cow no responsible for your car

Designed by Arthur Baker in 1989 for Agfa Compugraphic, Amigo is based on spontaneous pen lettering and an exaggerated calligraphic look. The letter shapes are especially unusual with stems that are wide at the top and taper to very narrow at the base. Designers loved to use Amigo for announcements and flyers, which needs an informal brush or pen-written look.

Do not spit too loud, thank you

During the reign of the Emperor Charlemagne in the 8th and 9th centuries, the use of classical roman letterforms was revived. They were the basis of the highly refined versal capitals of late tenth-century England, which were the inspiration for Carol Twombly’’s 1989 Adobe Originals typeface. Charlemagne has spiky serifs, but retains clean lines and proportions.

The capital alphabet Charlemagne was designed in 1989 by Carol Twombly. The basic forms are modelled on those used in classical Roman... Read More

Survivors will be shot again

It was one of the first authentic fun fonts, with dancing letters and handwritten charm. Its creator Garrett Boge began his career as a lettering artist and type designer at Hallmark Cards in the early 1980s. He was one of the first independent type designers to embrace digital tools and started his own foundry LetterPerfect in 1986.

Chicken rude and unreasonable

Parallel to his exhibition “The Graphic Language of Neville Brody”, the British design star published his first typefaces Arcadia®, Industria®, Insignia®, once developed for the editorial design of the The Face magazine. The strong, cool Industria became an instant hit among designers.

Industria™ was designed by British graphic design guru Neville Brody, originally for a magazine called The Face, and released as a font... Read More

Carol Twombly
Adobe 1989
Tony Geddes
ITC 1989
Robert Slimbach
Adobe 1989
Otl Aicher
Monotype 1988
Otl Aicher
Monotype 1989
Robert Slimbach
ITC 1989
Arthur Baker
Monotype 1989
Carol Twombly
Adobe 1989
Garrett Boge
Neville Brody
Linotype 1989