Probably asked before, but

blackxacto's picture

What is the difference in:
• Times
• Times LT Std
• Times New Roman
• Times New Roman MT Std

I have all four, and want to trash unnecessary fonts. Would I want all four, and why if so?

charles ellertson's picture

Well, I guess the first question would be why do you want any? Are you doing work for other people? In that case you'll want all four, because someone, sometime, will want to use it.

Or do you just want one for your own use? In that case, pick the one you like best.

Martin Silvertant's picture

This is a bit of a different issue, but on some level I wonder why it would even matter. The Times New Roman which comes with Windows already consists of different typefaces. Compare the Regular and Bold and look at the details. It's not the same typeface!

I would probably keep Times New Roman and archive the others for when you may need them for whatever reason. It's probably better to archive fonts you don't immediately have a need for than delete them and risk needing them later.

blackxacto's picture

So nobody knows what the difference in these four fonts?

I want to know what the heck is the difference in the letters. For some reason 4 people designed 4 type families and gave them almost the same names. Why? Am I to use one family in the web and another in print, or only one on a PC?

Why have four families of the same fonts if they are the same. If they are not why?

DrDoc's picture

Times Roman is a typeface, designed in 1931 for the Times of London.
Times, Times New Roman, Times LT (Linotype) Std, and Times MT (Monotype) Std are four different type foundries' digital adaptations (fonts) of that typeface. (Actually, I think Times and Times New Roman probably each correspond to Linotype and Monotype— maybe someone can confirm?)
There are subtle differences in the letterforms and typesetting functionality (letterspacing, hinting) of each. Which one you use is entirely up to you. And Charles, if someone ever insists that you *have* to use Times MT Std try using LT and dare them to tell the difference.

Karl Stange's picture

From Linotype's web site:

In 1931, The Times of London commissioned a new text type design from Stanley Morison and the Monotype Corporation, after Morison had written an article criticizing The Times for being badly printed and typographically behind the times. The new design was supervised by Stanley Morison and drawn by Victor Lardent, an artist from the advertising department of The Times. Morison used an older typeface, Plantin, as the basis for his design, but made revisions for legibility and economy of space (always important concerns for newspapers). As the old type used by the newspaper had been called Times Old Roman," Morison's revision became "Times New Roman." The Times of London debuted the new typeface in October 1932, and after one year the design was released for commercial sale. The Linotype version, called simply "Times," was optimized for line-casting technology, though the differences in the basic design are subtle. The typeface was very successful for the Times of London, which used a higher grade of newsprint than most newspapers. The better, whiter paper enhanced the new typeface's high degree of contrast and sharp serifs, and created a sparkling, modern look. In 1972, Walter Tracy designed Times Europa for The Times of London. This was a sturdier version, and it was needed to hold up to the newest demands of newspaper printing: faster presses and cheaper paper. In the United States, the Times font family has enjoyed popularity as a magazine and book type since the 1940s. Times continues to be very popular around the world because of its versatility and readability. And because it is a standard font on most computers and digital printers, it has become universally familiar as the office workhorse. Times™, Times™ Europa, and Times New Roman™ are sure bets for proposals, annual reports, office correspondence, magazines, and newspapers.

Linotype offers many versions of this font:
Times™ is the universal version of Times, used formerly as the matrices for the Linotype hot metal line-casting machines. The basic four weights of roman, italic, bold and bold italic are standard fonts on most printers. There are also small caps, Old style Figures, phonetic characters, and Central European characters.
Times™ Ten is the version specially designed for smaller text (12 point and below); its characters are wider and the hairlines are a little stronger. Times Ten has many weights for Latin typography, as well as several weights for Central European, Cyrillic, and Greek typesetting.
Times™ Eighteen is the headline version, ideal for point sizes of 18 and larger. The characters are subtly condensed and the hairlines are finer.
Times™ Europa is the Walter Tracy re-design of 1972, its sturdier characters and open counterspaces maintain readability in rougher printing conditions.
Times New Roman™ is the historic font version first drawn by Victor Lardent and Stanley Morison for the Monotype hot metal caster.

You have not specified the origin for the versions you have, which would be key to identifying whether they are commercial retail versions or OEM operating system versions.

blackxacto's picture

Where do I look for these specified origins? Do you mean the manufacturer if that is what one calls a font designer? Is there some embedded code in the fonts w this info? I've used a computer since '89 and don't remember where these came from.

Again, what is the difference between Times LT Std & Times New Roman MT Std? I mean, why designate LT Std & MT? You only mention Times New Roman, not Times New Roman MT Std.

I don't mean to sound ugly, I just don't understand what are the origins of these specifically named fonts, and then why name them specifically instead of just Times New Roman.

DrDoc's picture

Hey, read my post above Karl's. MT and LT are abbreviations for Monotype and Linotype.

quadibloc's picture

One difference - I'm not saying it's significant - that lets people quickly identify whether a font is based on Linotype Times Roman or Monotype Times (New) Roman - is the shape of the lowercase z in italics. The Monotype version has a simple sloped z; the Linotype version has a swash on the bottom stroke.

Any other differences (Linotype vs. Monotype, as opposed to Times versus Times Ten) are generally too subtle for the layperson and not particularly significant. Times Ten, on the other hand, is based on the 10 point size of Times, and so genuinely addresses a common flaw in digital adaptations of metal type - they're used to set text, but they're based on large sizes of the metal face, not text sizes, because they're easier to trace from.

The history is that Monotype invented Times Roman; Linotype licensed it, and copied it just about as closely as they could, and then Monotype had to use a slightly different name in the U.S. to avoid a trademark conflict.

Oh, yes, I almost forgot - and Linotype machines had a very serious limitation, in that the regular and italic forms (and usually the bold as well) of a face had to have the same widths for every letter. This meant, for many Linotype typefaces, that the italic was wider than it should be.

blackxacto's picture

Beautiful, thanks everyone. The fog is clearing.

blackxacto's picture

I forgot to ask:

" . . . they're based on large sizes of the metal face, not text sizes, because they're easier to trace from."

What do you mean by tracing?

You guy's are great.

Martin Silvertant's picture

Times New Roman was a physical typeface and so it had to be digitized later. Apparently larger metal types of TNR were digitized rather than the appropriate 10pt. Tracing is the process of digitizing metal letters or sketches.

blackxacto's picture

I thought it was referring to using vellum tracing paper. Boy, does that date me. I've seen the molten lead used on a Lino machine back when we all rode dinosaurs to work.

JamesM's picture

When I was a design student in college around 1980 a professional type designer — can't recall who — showed us his work. He drew the letters on paper and then placed a sheet of rubylith over them and cut them out, with huge letters about 12" high.

(Rubylith is a 2-layer film with a transparent red layer and a clear base layer. The red layer can be cut away with an x-acto knife, the clear base layer remains and holds everything together. It works well for tracing with a knife.)

I have no idea if that was a common method back then or not.

hrant's picture

AFAIK it was the 12 point metal that was used as a rule.


quadibloc's picture

The high school I went to was a composite high school, both academic and vocational. I was in the academic program, and went on to get an M. Sc. in nuclear physics. Anyways, there was an open house in the vocational section - and there I do remember seeing linotype slugs in the scrap metal bin - for some reason, I don't recall seeing the machines in action, although other things were demonstrated. There was also a TV studio.

And I once bought a couple of fonts - Centenary and Cheltenham - from Kelsey, along with a tube of ink. (I was dismayed they only had such old-style fonts. I would have gone for Times if it were affordable.)

Thomas Phinney's picture

The "LT Std" and "MT Std" versions are Adobe's releases of the Linotype and Monotype typefaces (respectively) in OpenType CFF format.

Some of the most obvious differences between the Monotype and Linotype cuts:

- width of E and F
- angle of serifs on the S
- join of the R

inktrap's picture

If you're on Windows get Microsoft's Font properties extension then check the Names, Version and Charset/Unicode tabs for each of the fonts to compare them.

Times LT Std is from Linotype (LT) and a standard version (Std), which means it supports only American and Western European letters.
Times is probably also from Linotype and the lack of "Std" could mean that it supports more than the standard character set, but you'll have to check.

Times New Roman MT Std is from Monotype (MT) and also just a basic version.
Times New Roman is probably also from Monotype and the same thing I wrote for Times applies.

Basically, you want to keep both Monotype and Linotype version, but you'll have to compare all of their properties to see which of the four families are the best versions for each foundry.

Martin Silvertant's picture

By the way, can someone tell me where the different fonts within Times New Roman come from? I haven't checked all versions of TNR, but the standard one on my computer features different fonts for Regular and Bold. The dimensions are the same but the details are different. I've heard this was a mistake when packaging TNR for use on Windows but I don't know anything about the specifics. Does anyone know what happened there?

Thomas Phinney's picture

“I've heard this was a mistake when packaging TNR for use on Windows”

No, the design differences between the regular and bold go back to the original metal typefaces.

Martin Silvertant's picture

Why are they different, then? Aren't they just digitized from different pt sizes?

quadibloc's picture

Well, although this may not answer your question, what Thomas Phinney was referring to was the fact that back around 1931, while Stanley Morison came up with the basic idea of a modernized Plantin for the Times, and had Victor Lardent draw it, the bold face was an afterthought, and someone else drew that - and thus, even then, at the time of the original hot metal introduction of Times Roman by Monotype (the one called Times New Roman in the U.S. for trademark reasons) the mismatch between the bold and the normal typeface was highly criticized.

Times Titling was drawn by Eric Gill and to me it looks like it could have been a titling font for Perpetua (although there is a Perpetua Titling and it is different).

Thomas Phinney's picture

> Aren't they just digitized from different pt sizes?

No, they are both digitized from the phototype masters, which were based on the 12 pt metal masters. Leastways, that's my recollection.

Plus, what John (Quadibloc) said.

hrant's picture

Except Burgess.


riccard0's picture

This could well be used to highlight the sometimes subtle difference between typeface and font.

quadibloc's picture

Luc Devroye's web site claims that the notion that William Starling Burgess was the real designer of Times Roman was a joke.

If so, I don't think that Monotype is laughing.

I don't think that is the case. I think that Burgess did design a face, and it did look a lot like Times Roman, and so Mike Parker acted in good faith.

However, I think he was still wrong.

Basically, I think the original face by Burgess derived from De Vinne, while Times Roman derived from Plantin, and the similarity between them was coincidental (to the extent that it exceeded the similarity to be expected from having Caslon and Dutch types among their models and influences).

Actually, this doesn't have anything much to do with the difference between "typeface" and "font" in the usual sense, but rather with the difference between "typeface" and something else, which is sometimes taken as another meaning of the word "font".

That is, the thing we want people to use the word "font" for is one of the following:
- a package of lead type slugs for printing in a given typeface, perhaps containing 20 a's and proportional numbers of the rest of the letters in the alphabet;
- a file with the extension .ttf or .otf used to allow a computer to print in a given typeface;
- an element for a Selectric composer, the brass matrices to fill a Monotype matrix-case, or the round or square negative to put in a photocomposition machine.

The alternate meaning of font, for which we really need a third word, is a specific weight, size, and drawing of a given typeface. It's the "sometimes subtle difference between typeface and" that which Times Roman in this discussion would help to explain.

And it doesn't help that this third thing is much closer to being like a typeface (as it is an abstract way of shaping letters too, just a more specific one) than it is to be a font. So as long as you call the third thing a font, you end up increasing confusion rather than decreasing it.

riccard0's picture

Surely it would be semantically correct finding a new term defining the “abstract way of shaping letters”, but I think that, apart from historical contexts, that’s exactly what I think “font” is good for.
After all, the meaning of the word has already broadened (abstracted) its meaning along with the evolution of type. Otherwise, we’ll need a new term also for files used to produce vector-based letters, because they’re not size-specific, like a lead font is.
So, given there will always be philosophical and semantical nuances, I think the best way to discriminate is to referring to the “thing”, the œuvre, the platonic idea, as typeface, and as font to the technical mean needed to deliver it.

Thomas Phinney's picture

I have a moderately strong belief that the whole Burgess thing was a mammoth practical joke. If not, Parker invented some completely bogus/imaginary supporting evidence.

Mike Parker claimed there was a written document that bound Lanston Monotype and its successors to secrecy, and it was suggested that Gerald Giampa had it and had seen it and felt bound by it.

But when Giampa sold his business, assets and the Lanston name to P22, they found no trace of it, nor any other evidence.

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