The Times New Roman font is a grand old typeface that dates as far back to the days of printing presses. It is known as a Serif font (”serifs are tiny lines that attach themselves to the end of a stroke in a letter”) and is stated to be much older than even Comic Sans. It was created by Stanley Morison, a typographer who worked for the Times of London.
The origins of The Times New Roman font
The punches that created the molds for the typeface were the result of a joint effort by the Monotype Corporation and the Linotype Company. Morison, in his role as an artistic director at Monotype and historian of printing and informal adviser to the Times, suggested that the Didone typeface be changed to a more robust and solid one.
Morison, together with Victor Lardent, an advertising artist, created the new text font for the Times. He created history of sorts when the Times unveiled the new font on October 3, 1932 for it was the first time that any newspaper had ever designed its very own typeface. Victor Lardent played an important role in this creation by drawing the letterforms for the font.
The new typeface is named differently for the Mac and PC, and that’s because Apple chose to license the linotype typeface while Microsoft preferred to license Monotype’s.
Monotype named its typeface “Times New Roman”, Linotype called in just “Times Roman”.
Is Times New Roman actually connected with Rome or Italy?
Interestingly, Times New Roman’s design is neither connected to Rome nor the Romans. The word Roman merely refers to “the regular style of a conventional font.” In 1932, the Times clearly stated that Times New Roman was only a newspaper typeface and not suited for books. Years later however, a wider version was developed to cater to the longer lines of text in books.
American newspapers were slow to adopt the typeface and it was not until 1941 that Times New Roman was used as the font in Woman’s Home Companion. Later in 1953, the Chicago Sun-Times used it for printing.
Apple and Microsoft both implemented Times New Roman in their products
Microsoft included “Times New Roman” in its office suite in the early 90’s and since then it has grown alongside Arial and Calibri to become one of the mainstream fonts today. It still lives up to its image as a ‘serious font,’ and is the default font not only for word processors but also for e-book publishing and Web-based content. It’s so ubiquitous that there aren’t many who can say that they’ve never used it or heard of it before.
The Times used it for 40 years
The Times was very loyal to this font and stayed with it for 40 years. New production techniques, new formats made the paper change its typeface five times since 1972. Today, Times New Roman is 83 years old and is still going strong. Along with Arial and Calibri, its popularity is not going to wane any time soon.