Typeface tribute

Typeface tribute: The other day, a NY Times story by David Dunlap profiled the typeface, Gotham, chosen for the cornerstone at the World Trade Center site. Fascinating article on the appropriateness of the font.


“…its 26 words were set in a typeface steeped in local origin, developed four years ago at the Hoefler Type Foundry in the Cable Building, at Broadway and Houston Street, by Tobias Frere-Jones, a native New Yorker. The typeface, Gotham, deliberately evokes the blocky, no-nonsense, unselfconscious architectural lettering that dominated the streetscape from the 1930’s through the 1960’s in building names, neon signs, hand-lettered advertisements and lithographed posters. Its chief inspiration, in fact, were the letters spelling out PORT AUTHORITY BUS TERMINAL over the terminal’s Eighth Avenue doors. So the circle comes to a close, since the trade center site is owned by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.

Later: Linguist Mark Liberman of Language Log examines stones and typefaces in a follow-up essay. He also notes a NYT reader’s complaint regarding a missing comma on the cornerstone.