Morris F. Benton, typeface designer

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Morris Fuller Benton

Birthplace: Milwaukee, Milwaukee, WI, United States
Death: June 30, 1948 (75)
All Souls Hospital, Morristown, Morris, NJ, United States (an embolism after a brief illness )
Immediate Family:

Son of Linn B. Benton, inventor and Jessie Elizabeth Reid Benton
Husband of Mary Ethel Benton and Katrina Ten Eyck Benton
Father of Elizabeth Swain and Caroline Gregg

Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Morris F. Benton, typeface designer

Morris Fuller Benton (November 30, 1872 – June 30, 1948) was an influential American typeface designer who headed the design department of the American Type Founders (ATF), for which he was the chief type designer from 1900 to 1937. Benton was America's most prolific type designer, having completed 221 typefaces, ranging from revivals of historical models like ATF Bodoni, to adding new weights to existing faces such as Goudy Old Style and Cheltenham, and to designing original designs such as Hobo, Bank Gothic, and Broadway. Benton's large family of related neogrotesque sans-serif typefaces, known as "gothics" as was the norm at the time, includes Alternate Gothic, Franklin Gothic, and News Gothic. These typefaces better anticipated and were more similar to later realist sans-serif typefaces such as Helvetica than the other early grotesque types of his contemporaries.


  1. Typefaces
  2. Technology
  3. References
  4. External links


All of Benton's typefaces were cut by American Type Founders.

  • Roycroft (c. 1898), inspired by lettering in the Saturday Evening Post and often credited to Lewis Buddy, though (according to ATF) designed “partly” by Benton.
  • Century series, based on the original Century Roman cut by Linn Boyd Benton.

o Century Roman sub-series

+ Century Expanded (1900)

+ Century Italic + Century Bold (1905)

+ Century Bold Condensed (1909)

+ Century Bold Extended (1910)

o Century Oldstyle sub-series

+ Century Oldstyle + italic + bold (1909)

+ Century Oldstyle Bold Italic (1910)

+ Century Oldstyle Bold Condensed (1915)

o Century Catalog sub-series

+ Century Catalog (1917)

o Century Schoolbook sub-series

+ Century Schoolbook (1918), commissioned by textbook publishers Ginn & Company for maximum legibility.

+ Century Schoolbook Italic (1921)

+ Century Schoolbook Bold (1923)

  • Globe Gothic (c. 1900), a refinement of Taylor Gothic, designed by ATF vice-president Joseph W. Phinney in 1897 for Charles H. Taylor for the exclusive use of the Boston Globe.

o Globe Gothic Condensed + Extra Condensed + Extended (c. 1900)

o Globe Gothic Bold (1907), credited to Benton, though Frederic Goudy claims Phinney commissioned him to do it.

o Globe Gothic Bold Italic (1908)

  • Card Mercantile (1901), a redesign of the two smallest sizes of an 1890’s Dickinson Type Foundry design that ATF had acquired when the companies merged in 1896.
  • Wedding Text (1901)

o Wedding Text Shaded (1913)

  • Typo Script + extended (1902), originally ‘‘Tiffany Script’’.
  • Engravers Bold (1902, also cast by Barnhart Brothers & Spindler)
  • Franklin Gothic series, the patriarch of American sans-serif faces, named for Benjamin Franklin, America’s greatest printer.

o Franklin Gothic (1903)

o Franklin Gothic Condensed + Extra Condensed (1906)

o Franklin Gothic Italic (1910)

o Franklin Gothic Condensed Shaded (1912)

  • Alternate Gothic, Nos. 1,2,3 (1903)
  • Cheltenham series, based on the original Cheltenham designed by Bertram Goodhue.

o Cheltenham Bold (1903)

o Cheltenham Bold Condensed (1904)

o Cheltenham Bold Italic + Cheltenham Bold Condensed Italic + Cheltenham Wide + Cheltenham Bold Outline (1905)

o Cheltenham Bold Extra Condensed + Cheltenham Bold Extended (1906)

o Cheltenham Inline + Cheltenham Inline Extra Condensed'

o Cheltenham Inline Extended (1907)

o Cheltenham Oldstyle Condensed + Cheltenham Medium (1909)

o Cheltenham Medium Italic + Cheltenham Extra Bold (1910)

o Cheltenham Bold Shaded + Cheltenham Bold Italic Shaded + Cheltenham Extra Bold Shaded (1912)

o Cheltenham Medium Condensed + Cheltenham Medium Expanded (1913)

  • Bulfinch Oldstyle (1903), commissioned by the Curtis Publishing Company and prepared by Benton for production from original designs by William Martin Johnson. The “house face” of Ladies’ Home Journal from 1903, offered for general use in 1905.
  • Bold Antique (1904)

o Bold Antique Condensed (1908/9 ?)

o Re-issued as Whittin Black and Whittin Black Condensed (1960)

  • Cloister Black (1904), usually credited to Joseph W. Phinney, but many authorities give full credit to Benton. It is an adaptation of Priory Text, an 1870’s version of William Caslon’s Caslon Text of 1734. Lower-case letters are identical with Phinney's erlier Flemish Black (1902).
  • Miehle Extra Condensed + Title (1905)
  • Typo Upright (1905), originally Tiffany Upright.
  • Cushing Antique (1905), design suggested by J.S. Cushing
  • Engravers Shaded (1906)
  • Norwood Roman (1906), made for J. S. Cushing’s Norwood Press.
  • Engravers Old English (1906), based upon Caslon Text and designed in association with "Cowan" or perhaps Joseph W. Phinney.

o Engravers Old English Bold (1910)

  • Clearface series, designed with the help of his father, Linn Boyd Benton.

o Clearface (1907)

o Clearface Bold + Italic

o Clearface Heavy + Italic

o Clearface Italic

  • Monotone Gothic (1907)
  • News Gothic series

o News Gothic (1908)

o News Gothic Italic

o News Gothic Condensed

o News Gothic Extra Condensed

o News Gothic Extra Condensed Title

o News Gothic Bold

o News Gothic Condensed Bold

  • Lightline Gothic (1908), essentially a News Gothic ultra light.
  • Commercial Script (1908)
  • Bodoni series, first American revival of the faces of Giambattista Bodoni.

o Bodoni (1909)

o Bodoni Italic (1910)

o Bodoni Book (1910)

o Bodoni Book Italic (1911)

o Bodoni Bold + Italic (1911)

o Bodoni Bold Shaded (1912)

o Bodoni Shaded Initials (1914)

o Card Bodoni (1915)

o Card Bodoni Bold (1917)

o Bodoni Open (1918)

o Bodoni Book Expanded (1924)

o Ultra Bodoni + italic(1928)

o Bodoni Bold Condensed (1933)

o Ultra Bodoni Condensed + extra condensed (1933)

o Engravers Bodoni (1933), designed in 1926.

  • Hobo (1910)

o Light Hobo (1915)

  • Clearface Gothic (1910)
  • Venetian + Italic (1911)

o Venetian Bold (1913)

  • Copperplate Gothic Shaded (1912), an addition to Goudy’s Copperplate series.
  • Cloister series

o Cloister Old Style (1913), based on the 1470 Venetian face of Nicolas Jenson.

o Cloister Italic (1913), based on the 1501 italic face of Aldus Manutius.

o Cloister Bold Condensed (1917)

o Cloister Cursive (1922)

o Cloister Lightface (1924)

o Cloister Lightface Italic (1925)

o Cloister Cursive Handtooled (1926), with Charles H. Becker.

  • Della Robbia Light (1913), based on T.M. Cleland’s Della Robbia. Later copied by Damon & Peat as Armstrong. [1]
  • Cromwell (1913), uses capital letters from Benton’s Cloister Old Style.
  • Packard (1913), based on lettering by Oswald Cooper

o Packard Bold (1916)

  • Antique Shaded (1914), cut on a new shading machine invented by Linn Boyd Benton.
  • Lithographic Shaded (1914), a half-shaded version of Engravers Shaded by W. F. Capitian.
  • Adscript (1914)
  • Souvenir (1914), later Ed Benguiat’s photo-type versions of this type would achieve huge popularity.
  • Light Oldstyle (1916), possibly an old front from Inland Type Foundry, but sometimes credited to Benton.
  • Invitation Shaded (1916)

o Invitation (1917)

  • Goudy series (1916), based on Goudy’s Goudy Old Style.

o Goudy Title (1918)

o Goudy Bold Italic + Goudy Catalog (1919)

o Goudy Catalog Italic (1922), credited to Benton, Charles H. Becker, or Wadsworth A. Parker by varying authorities.

  • Garamond series, based upon the designs of 16th-century type founder, Claude Garamond.

o Garamond (1919), with T.M. Cleland

o Garamond Bold (1920)

o Garamond Italic (1923), with T.M. Cleland

o Garamond Open (1931)

  • Baskerville Roman + Italic (1915), after the Fry Foundry version.
  • Motto (1915)
  • Sterling (1917)

o Sterling Cursive (1919)

  • Freehand (1917)
  • Rugged Roman (1917?), designed 1909-11, patented in 1915, earliest showing 1917.
  • Card Litho + Card Light Litho (1917), a modification of a 1907 Inland Type Foundry design that ATF had acquired when the companies merged in 1912.
  • Announcement Roman + Italic (1918)
  • American Caslon (1919), based on the Inland Type Foundry's Inland New Caslon, a version of a face originally cut by William Caslon in the 18th century.
  • Pen Print Open (1921), based on the Inland Type Foundry design of 1911.
  • Civilité (1922), a modern adaptation of Robert Granjon’s face cut in 1557.
  • Typo Roman Shaded (1924)
  • Schoolbook Oldstyle (1924)

o Schoolbook Oldstyle Italic (1928)

  • Card Roman (1925)
  • Typo Roman (1926)
  • Canterbury (1926)
  • Bulmer Roman (1926), based on a face cut by William Martin for the printer William Bulmer in 1790.

o Bulmer Roman Italic (1927)

  • Greeting Monotone (1927)
  • Gravure (1927)
  • Galia (1927), most sources attribute this to Wadsworth A. Parker.
  • Broadway (1928), capital letters only. Lower case letters were later cut by Sol Hess for the Lanston Monotype copy.

o Broadway Condensed (1929), capitals + lower-case

  • Modernique (1928)
  • Novel Gothic (1928), completed from drawings by ATF matrix cuter Charles H. Becker.
  • Chic (1928)
  • Parisian (1928)
  • Louvaine series

o Louvaine (medium) + Italic (1929)

o Louvaine Light + Italic

o Louvaine Bold + Italic

  • Paramount (1929)
  • Bank Gothic series

o Bank Gothic Light (1930)

o Bank Gothic Medium (1932)

o Bank Gothic Bold (1932)

o Bank Gothic Light Condensed (1933)

o Bank Gothic Medium Condensed (1933)

o Bank Gothic Bold Condensed (1933)

  • Dynamic Medium (1930)
  • Piranesi series, roman by Willard T. Sniffin.

o Piranesi Italic (1930)

o Piranesi Bold Italic (1931)

o Piranesi Bold (1933)

  • Engravers Text (1930)
  • Rockwell Antique (1931), an updating of Inland Type Foundry’s Litho Antique, later revised yet again as Stymie Bold.
  • Stymie series, cast up to 288 point, Stymie is believed to be the largest type ever to be cast in regular molds. The “W” alone weighed two pounds!

o Stymie Bold + Light + Medium + Light Italic + Medium Italic (1931)

o Stymie Bold Italic

  • Thermotype (1931), with three widths on the same basic design they prefigured the failed Univers. by some twenty years.
  • American Text (1932)
  • Raleigh Gothic (Condensed) (1932)
  • Agency Gothic (1933)

o Agency Gothic Open (1934)

  • Tower (1934), similar to Stymie Medium Condensed.
  • Eagle Bold (1934), a variant of Novel Gothic, designed for the NRA, used on their Blue Eagle posters.
  • Poster Gothic (1934), essentially larger sizes (24 pt. +) of Bank Gothic Condensed Medium.
  • Benton (1934), designed as Cambridge, released as Benton, reïntroduced in 1953 as Whitehall.
  • American Backslant (1934)
  • Othello (1934), a revision of an 1884 face issued by the Central Type Foundry of Saint Louis (merged with ATF in 1892), though just as probably a big F-U to Bauer Type Foundry for Futura Display.
  • Shadow (1934)
  • Headline Gothic (1935)
  • Phenix (1935), originally called Acquitaine.
  • Headline Gothic (1936), not to be confused with the Ludlow font of the same name.
  • Empire (1937), no lower-case.


In addition to his strong aesthetic design sense, Morris was a master of the technology of his day. His father, Linn Boyd Benton, invented the pantographic engraving machine, which was capable not only of scaling a single font design pattern to a variety of sizes, but could also condense, extend, and slant the design (mathematically, these are cases of affine transformation, which is the fundamental geometric operation of most systems of digital typography today, including PostScript). Morris worked on many of these machines with his father at ATF, during which these machines were refined to an impressive level of precision.

Theo Rehak, the current owner of most ATF equipment and author of the definitive treatise "Practical Typecasting", explains that the Bentons demanded that any deviation in machining or casting be within two ten thousands of an inch.[1] Most modern machine shops are equipped to measure down to a one thousandth inch variance. As an advertising device, in 1922 ATF manufactured a piece of type eight points tall containing the entire Lord's Prayer in 13 lines of text, using a cutting tool roughly equivalent to a 2000 dpi printer.


  • Baines, Phil, Hastam, Andrew. Type and Typography. Watson-Guptill Publications: 2005. ISBN 0-8230-5528-0.
  • Blackwell, Lewis. 20th Century Type. Yale University Press: 2004. ISBN 0-300-10073-6.
  • Cost, Patricia. The Bentons: How an American Father and Son Changed the Printing Industry. Cary Graphic Arts Press, 2011. ISBN 978-1-933360-42-3.
  • Fiedl, Frederich, Nicholas Ott and Bernard Stein. Typography: An Encyclopedic Survey of Type Design and Techniques Through History. Black Dog & Leventhal: 1998. ISBN 1-57912-023-7.
  • Jaspert, W. Pincus, W. Turner Berry and A.F. Johnson. The Encyclopedia of Type Faces. Blandford Press Lts.: 1953, 1983. ISBN 0-7137-1347-X.
  • Macmillan, Neil. An A–Z of Type Designers. Yale University Press: 2006. ISBN 0-300-11151-7.
  • Meggs, Phillip B. Revival of the Fittest. RC Publications, Inc: 2002. ISBN 1-883915-08-2.
  • Rollins, Carl Purlington American Type Designers and Their Work. in Print (magazine), V. 4, #1.
  • MacGrew, Mac, "American Metal Typefaces of the Twentieth Century," Oak Knoll Books, New Castle Delaware, 1993, ISBN 0-938768-34-4.

1. ^ Theo Rehak. "Dale Guild Artifacts". Retrieved 2007-11-28.

  • Morris Benton blog, related to the 2011 book The Bentons: How an American Father and Son Changed the Printing Industry by Patricia Cost
  • Linn Boyd Benton, Morris Fuller Benton, and Typemaking at ATF (PDF)
  • Morris Fuller Benton history by Cynthia Jacquette[dead link]
  • Morris Fuller Benton

Source: Downloaded January 29, 2012, from Wikipedia at

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Morris Fuller Benton – born 30. 11. 1872 in Milwaukee, USA, died 30. 6. 1948 in Morristown, USA – engineer, type designer.

After training as a mechanic and engineer, Benton jointed the American Type Founders (ATF), where he became type designer and in-house designer with ATF.

Fonts: Benton developed over 200 alphabets, all of which were published by ATF, including Century roman (with Theodor Low de Vinne, 1885), Mariage (1901), Alternate Gothic (1903), Franklin Gothic (1903–12), Cheltenham® (1904), Clearface® (1907), News Gothic™ (1908), Bodoni (1909), Cloister Oldstyle (1913), Souvenir® (1914), Garamond® (with T. M. Cleveland, 1914), Goudy™ bold, 1916, Century Schoolbook™ (1919), Civilité (1922), Broadway™ (1928), Bulmer™ (1928), Bank Gothic (1930), Stymie (with S. Hess and G. Powell, 1931), American Text (1932).

  • TYPOGRAPHY – An Encyclopedic Survey of Type Design and Techniques Throughout History by Friedrich Friedl, Nicolaus Ott (Editor), Bernard Stein, published by Könemann Verlagsgesellschaft mbH.

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Linn Boyd Benton and his wife Jessie Benton (Donaldson) had: Morris Fuller Benton (b. Nov. 30, 1878, d. June 30, 1948), who had two children, (1) Elizabeth Swain (Benton) and (2) Caroline "Carol" Gregg (Benton), whose husband was Gordon Gregg. The Greggs had Mary Louise Gregg and Larry Gregg (Laurence Benton Gregg). Larry lives (2012) in Wisconsin. MRD received a message from him Feb.1, 2012, via

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On March 17, 1920, Morris's wife Ethel died suddenly of an infection after an operation. She was only forty-two years old, and her death was a shock to the family.

In 1923, Morris married Katrina Ten Eck Wheeler, his second cousin on his father’s side of the family. She was thirty-one at the time, twenty years younger than Morris.’ After his mother died, Morris and Katrina moved back to the big white house [Plainfield, NJ] with Boyd.

Source: Patricia A. Cost article, "Linn Boyd Benton, Morris Fuller Benton, and Typemaking at ATF," from Printing History, downloaded Jan 2012, p. 33. Number 31–32 (Volume 16, No. 1 and Volume XVI no. 2) 1994. From

Also see: Patricia Cost. The Bentons: How an American Father and Son Changed the Printing Industry. Cary Graphic Arts Press, 2011. Hardcover, ISBN 978-1-933360-42-3. Softcover, ISBN 1-933360-42-9. []

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Morris F. Benton, typeface designer's Timeline

November 30, 1872
Milwaukee, Milwaukee, WI, United States
June 30, 1948
Age 75
Morristown, Morris, NJ, United States