Century type family
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Century is a family of serif type faces particularly intended for body text. The family originates from a first design, Century Roman, cut by American Type Founders designer Linn Boyd Benton in 1894 for master printer Theodore Low De Vinne, for use in The Century Magazine. ATF rapidly expanded it into a very large family, first by Linn Boyd, and later by his son Morris.
|Classification||Didone, Scotch Modern|
|Designer(s)||Linn Boyd and Morris Fuller Benton|
|Foundry||American Type Founders|
|Variations||Century Expanded, Century Schoolbook, Century Old Style, Century Catalogue|
|Shown here||Century Schoolbook|
Century is based on the "Scotch" genre, a style of type of British origin which had been popular in the United States from the early nineteenth century and is part of the "Didone" genre of type popular through the entire nineteenth century. Its design emphasizes crispness and elegance, with strokes ending in fine tapers, ball terminals, and crisp, finely pointed serifs. However, compared to many earlier typefaces in the genre, stroke contrast is quite low, creating a less sharp and highly readable structure. With ATF no longer operating, a wide variety of variants and revivals with varying features and quality are available.
Despite originating in the nineteenth century, use of the typeface remains strong for periodicals, textbooks, and literature. The Supreme Court of the United States requires that briefs be typeset in Century family type. According to Charles Shaw, "The rugged simplicity of the Century family of types has made it an enduring favorite of American typographers for almost one hundred years. Beginning as foundry type, Century has withstood a series of technical transformations into Linotype, Monotype, Ludlow, phototype, transfer type, digital type, and Xerox-like 'toner type'."