Morris Fuller Benton

Indices : Designers : Morris Fuller Benton

Morris Fuller Benton (November 30, 1872 – June 30, 1948) was born into the type business. His father, Linn Boyd Benton, was a type-founder and the inventor of the matrix-cutting machine, which revolutionised printing. The son graduated as a mechanical engineer from Cornell and went to work with his father in the newly established type design department of the American Type Founders Company. He went on to become the most prolific designer in America, producing more than 180 types of great diversity. Despite all this, he is less well known today than his contemporary Frederic W. Goudy. However, his types have been much digitized and revived, especially by Font Bureau.

Morris was the chief type designer of the ATF from 1900 to 1937, and designed a great many typefaces, ranging from revivals of historical originals, such as Garamond and Bodoni, to new faces of existing fonts such as Goudy and Cheltenham, to strikingly bold and original designs such as Hobo, Stymie, and Broadway. In addition, his "gothics" such as Franklin Gothic and Alternate Gothic are much more similar to modern sans-serif fonts such as Helvetica than the crude, grotesque versions of his contemporaries.

Morris has been credited with 221 type designs including: Adscript, Alternate Gothic, Announcement, American Backslant, Benton, Bold Antique, Broadway, Canterbury, Century Old Style, Century Expanded, Century Schoolbook, Chic, Clearface Gothic, Cloister Oldstyle, Commercial Script, Dynamic, Empire, Engravers, Engravers Text, Franklin Gothic, Freehand, Gravure, Greeting Monotone, Headline Gothic,Invitation, Light OldStyle, Miehle Gothic, Modernique, Norwood Roman, Novel Gothic, Parisian, Raleigh Gothic Condensed, Roycroft, Shadow, Rugged Roman, Sterling, Souvenir, Thermotype, Typo Script, Typo Roman, Venetian, Wedding Text.

Discussion:
Morris Fuller Benton and "Yankee Eclecticism"

Links:
Wikipedia Article: Morris Fuller Benton
Myfonts.com Bio: Morris Fuller Benton
Sherwinbeach.com New book: Searching for Morris Fuller Benton

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