Morris Fuller Benton designed Lightline Gothic in 1908. In the early 20th Century, our current concept of typeface families had not yet been formed; Lightline Gothic is a lightweight sans serif that was designed to harmonize with other sans serif offerings from the American Type Founders (ATF). Today, most type families (like Neue Helvetica ) contain light, regular, bold, etc. weights of the same basic letterform design. This was not always the case. Benton's Lightline Gothic is a single typeface: it has no direct companions. Nevertheless, it manages to integrate almost seamlessly with other sans serif typefaces of Benton's, e.g., Alternate Gothic , Franklin Gothic , and News Gothic .
Founded in 1892 by Morris Fuller Benton's father, Linn Boyd Benton, ATF was a conglomeration of over 20 American type foundries. Morris Fuller Benton worked for ATF for most of his life, from its founding in 1892 until 1937. One of his greatest contributions to ATF was his new interpretation on the sans serif genre. Benton is largely responsible for bringing sans serif type into mainstream design usage. In the 1800s, sans serif typefaces were limited to advertising and display purposes, and they were almost set very large and very black on the page. Today, sans serif typefaces are used all over the world to set text as well as headlines. The breadth of the sans serif medium has grown to rival serif typography in overall usage.
Each of Lightline Gothic's letters appears to have been drawn with single, mono-weight lines. In fact, the letters display a great variation of stroke width upon closer examination. This feature improves the legibility of the overall design, and is a common element of most 20th Century sans serifs. Still, Benton's slightly condensed, and evenly rhythmic letterforms are more legible than legions of his successors'. Lightline Gothic is perfectly suited for almost any application, including book and magazine design.
Lightline Gothic is a trademark or a registered trademark of The Monotype Corporation in the United States and/or other countries.
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