Rumors: Tungsten

E.Jacobson's picture

So, I tend to hold out with purchasing HF&J products until more styles are introduced. Economically, it's probably a better model for type founding because it's a more efficient use of development time in terms of reducing long periods of time without profit. I still get kinda bummed when I buy a "family" only to later find out that a few more kids are on the way. (Ahem, Archer, Gotham, and well every HFJ).

So, based on this speculation....who wants to predict what's next for TUNGSTEN? Right now, 4 styles.

If Tungsten follows suit...
Round 1: 4 italics and possibly a rounded or hairline. (Not sure if rounded would work with structure.)
Round 2: Hopefully an EXPANDED and italic expanded.
Round 3: Drop caps and numerals.

Thoughts? Hopes?

William Berkson's picture

Don't they credit you for what you've already bought, so you aren't penalized compared to a new buyer?

farquart's picture


you mean you don't already have a dozen type families that look like tungsten already? you live under a rock or something? what an incredibly lame design. new? hardly!

Rob Mientjes's picture

Wow farquart, that's a totally solid way to help someone figure something out.

Either way, what William said. I would expect a kind of deal here.

— Rob Mientjes /

hoefler's picture

Hi Eddie,

Thanks very much for sharing your thoughts. If I can correct one of your assumptions, Gotham's actually the only family we've ever released that's been followed up by later expansion: everything else has been published all at once. You mentioned Archer above, though we published all 40 of its styles together on January 2008, and haven't added anything since.

It's not our style to hold anything back, so I wouldn't know whether it's better business or not. It's always been our goal to create type families that are both complete and manageable, which means as many styles as necessary, but as few styles as possible. When we designed Gotham, we imagined four weights with matching italics, so the product "Gotham" debuted with these eight styles. Little did we know how persistent people would be in asking for a heavier version, a hairline, a condensed, and finally a narrow version for text, and a less-condensed-than-Condensed version for headlines. We added these over the intervening years, and released them as additional products in 2009.

We also took that occasion to "upgrade" the existing Gothams, by giving them tabular figures, fractions, and extended monetary symbols. William's post above is correct: these additions are offered as a low-cost "upgrade" to all of our existing customers, and free to our most recent licensees.

I don't know what the future holds for Tungsten: in part it depends on what people like you ask for, so feel free to let us know if you have any suggestions. (One person asked me on Twitter for old-style figures, which I never really imagined. Also, we tried a hairline, and didn't like it. And finally, I can assure you that "Tungsten Swash Caps" are not under discussion at this time...) For now we've turned our attention to other projects, so I hope you'll find today's Tungsten useful, and worth its price of $99.

Kindest Regards,

Jonathan Hoefler

david h's picture

> So, based on this speculation....who wants to predict what’s next for.....
Volvo? to buy it now? wait to next model/round?

hoefler's picture

Well Eddie, we took your advice, and I'm happy to announce that three years and four months later, there are a whole bunch of new Tungstens: four widths in eight weights, comprising 32 styles. I hope you like them!

hrant's picture


And maybe soon you could figure out whether full or gradual release is better.


Ryan Maelhorn's picture

Quality work as always, Mr. Hoefler.

jonathanhughes's picture

This is fantastic. I bought Tungsten a couple of years ago and was really excited to get the e-mail about the new lighter (and much needed) weights. I'll be upgrading as soon as I figure out how.

And to Farquart (two years later), although there are certainly some typefaces that look like Tungsten (just like there are some typefaces that look like, well, pretty any other typeface to some degree or another), they don't necessarily work like Tungsten. Nothing against the design of other similar fonts, but Tungsten, to me, is really crafted at a higher level than most anything else I own. I noticed that the first time I used it. I'm really not interested in fonts that don't look like anything else (because they'd probably look so unusual that they'd be pretty unusable for general use), but I'm definitely interested in typefaces that take existing genres to a new place.

hoefler's picture

Thanks, Jonathan. We'd be happy to help you upgrade to add the new styles — drop a line to Thanks for your very kind thoughts!

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