Type designer and history
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The century school book was designed in 1914 by Morris Fuller Benton, son of Linn Boyd Benton the founder of century roman, for American type founders being a request from Ginn and company. The Ginn & company was a text book publisher in search of easily legible face for their text books. The style is originally classified as old style but it s variation bears resemblance with the Didone classification and it is also based on the century roman.
The style is very common among many people in North America as their first style to learn with, the designer made use of the research work provided by Clark University showing that more young people were identifying themselves with letters forms of contrasting weight and with presence of lighter strokes. From these findings M.F.
Benton designed the style with x-height increased and also both the letter spacing and the stroke with increased, the effect of these ensured counter form enabled the face to be recognized at smaller sizes. All these faces were designed by m.f Benton and issued by ATF for a period of five years. They included the century school book (1918), century school book italics (1921) and century school book bold (1923).
Context of the typeface
In general the designing of the century school book was as a result of the need to change the old version which was being used by the century magazine. The initial design was created by Linn Boyd Benton with the help of T.l. de Vinne however subsequent version were developed by M. F. Benton from 1918.
In the century schoolbook version which appeared in 1923 is open solid and round but even though is quite heavy compared to other serif fonts it can be listed among no-nonsense texts fonts and generations of students have been use to learn using it. For such reasons the font have been widely accepted and remains vibrant in periodicals, general literature and even in text books.
The other versions bear only very little variations to the original version. For example, the schoolbook italics difference to the original version is the italicizing of the letters. In the century schoolbook italicizing the letters and the century schoolbook bold have is letter in bold. There is also a possible version where the two are incorporated and an italicized and bold style developed. All these versions are well known for their brilliant legibility.
Usage of typeface
This typeface is used almost everywhere due to its clear readability from basic personal computing to the highest judicial courts. The supreme court of the United States has instructed the use of the century family for typesetting all the briefs. Huge computer software programmers like Microsoft use the same almost in all their programs. School and high-level learning books are printed in this version which is described as adult and no-nonsense, the periodicals thesis dissertations and journals are also printed in similar style.
The style has also commanded presence in the media fraternity where most magazines, newspapers and advert texts are presented in the century schoolbook formats. The religious group have used this development to present their holy writings in bibles and other publications.
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