Cheltenham (typeface)

Cheltenham is a typeface for display use designed in 1896 by architect Bertram Goodhue and Ingalls Kimball, director of the Cheltenham Press. The original drawings were known as Boston Old Style and were made about 14" high. These drawings were then turned over to Morris Fuller Benton at American Type Founders (ATF) who developed it into a final design. Trial cuttings were made as early as 1899 but the face was not complete until 1902. The face was patented by Kimball in 1904. Later the basic face was spun out into an extensive type family by Morris Fuller Benton.[1]

Cheltenham is not based on a single historical model, and shows influences of the Arts and Crafts Movement. Originally intended as a text face, "Chelt" became hugely successful as the "king of the display faces." Part of the face's huge popularity is because, as it has elements of both an old style and transitional face, a Cheltenham headline complements virtually any body type.[2] The overwhelming popularity of the face for display purposes lasted until the advent of the geometric sans-serif typefaces of the 1930s.

Classificationold style
Designer(s)Bertram Grosvenor Goodhue

Ingalls Kimball
Morris Fuller Benton

Joseph W. Phinney
FoundryAmerican Type Founders
Date released1903

Foundry Type

The following versions were available in foundry type:[3]

Cold Type Versions

The popularity of Cheltenham continued strong right in the cold type era, and it was offered by various manufacturers under the following names:[4]

A cold type variant ITC Cheltenham, was also designed by Tony Stan for the International Typeface Corporation, in 1975. It features a larger x-height and improved italic details. The family includes 4 weights and 2 width each, with complementary italics.

Digital Versions

The original face has been digitized by the current owner, Kingsley/ATF and is sold by Bitstream Inc. The ITC version is also available from Linotype, Monotype, and Adobe Systems, along with ITC Cheltenham Handtooled, a 1993 version with highlight, designed by Ed Benguiat. Other versions are available from Tilde, Font Bureau, URW++, Scangraphic Digital Type Collection, and Elsner+Flake. Besley Clarendon is available from HiH.

Prominent usage

In 2003, The New York Times introduced a more unified Cheltenham typographic palette for its headline use in the print edition. Previously, Cheltenham was only one of several types including a sans-serif in a Victorian looking mix of headline faces. Tom Bodkin, assistant managing editor and design director of the Times, engaged typeface designer Matthew Carter to create multiple weights and a heavily condensed width of Cheltenham to replace most of the Latin Extra Condensed face in use, as well as Bookman and a variant of Century Bold.[5]

In the U.S. Congress the bill or resolution number of all bills and resolutions set for public printing is set in Cheltenham.[6] The typeface is also featured within the bills and laws themselves to designate title and section headings.

The Liturgical Press uses the Cheltenham Bold typeface for Lectionaries prescribed by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops for Roman Catholic dioceses in the United States.

IDG's ...for Dummies series of how-to books are set in ITC Cheltenham.

L.L.Bean's logo is set in Cheltenham.

Akai's logo is set in ITC Cheltenham Ultra.

The street name plaques of Helsinki are set in Cheltenham.[7]

This font is used prominently in the Japanese anime Cowboy Bebop, most notably for the ending cards of each episode, usually with the phrase "See you Space Cowboy..."


  • Blackwell, Lewis. 20th Century Type. Yale University Press: 2004. ISBN 0-300-10073-6.
  • Fiedl, Frederich, Nicholas Ott and Bernard Stein. Typography: An Encyclopedic Survey of Type Design and Techniques Through History. Black Dog & Leventhal: 1998. ISBN 1-57912-023-7.
  • Jaspert, W. Pincus, W. Turner Berry and A.F. Johnson. The Encyclopedia of Type Faces. Blandford Press Lts.: 1953, 1983. ISBN 0-7137-1347-X.
  • Lawson, Alexander S., Anatomy of a Typeface. Godine: 1990. ISBN 978-0-87923-333-4.
  • Macmillan, Neil. An A–Z of Type Designers. Yale University Press: 2006. ISBN 0-300-11151-7.


  1. ^ Some sources say that Joseph W. Phinney, head of ATF's design department, and not Benton, was responsible for finishing the type. See Mac McGrew, American Metal Typefaces of the Twentieth Century, Oak Knoll Books, New Castle Delaware, 1993, ISBN 0-938768-34-4, pp. 84 - 89.
  2. ^ Hlasta, Stanley C., Printing Types & How to Use Them, Carnegie Press, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, 1950, p. 217.
  3. ^ McGrew, Mac, American Metal Typefaces of the Twentieth Century, Oak Knoll Books, New Castle Delaware, 1993, ISBN 0-938768-34-4, pp. 84 - 89.
  4. ^ W.F. Wheatley, Typeface Analogue, National Composition Association, Arlington, Virginia, 1988, p. 8. pp. 34 - 35.
  5. ^ By The New York Times. "A Face Lift for the Times, Typographically, That Is'" The New York Times, October 21, 2003, retrieved March 15, 2007.
  6. ^ U.S. Government Printing Office. [1] retrieved October 27, 2013.
  7. ^ By The Guardian. "Walking tour of Helsinki's architecture'" The Guardian, June 10, 2012, retrieved September 29, 2012.

External links

1896 in literature

This article presents lists of the literary events and publications in 1896.

Bertram Goodhue

Bertram Grosvenor Goodhue (April 28, 1869 – April 23, 1924) was an American architect celebrated for his work in Gothic Revival and Spanish Colonial Revival design. He also designed notable typefaces, including Cheltenham and Merrymount for the Merrymount Press. Later in life, Goodhue freed his architectural style with works like El Fureidis in Montecito, one of the three estates designed by Goodhue.

Betelguese, a Trip Through Hell

Betelguese, a Trip Through Hell is a 1908 lyrical poem book written by Jean Louis De Esque. The publication includes a preface by the author with two poetic works, "When I am Gone" and "Betelguese." The latter poem has been called a "classic" work that utilized off-beat language, considered to be a delight to the philologist. It has been compared to the poetic works of George Sterling and Kenneth Patchen.

The book was published during the height of the nature fakers controversy, and it has been suggested that De Esque elected to release Betelguese, a Trip Through Hell while Theodore Roosevelt was on a trip to Africa in an effort to avoid potential conflict that might have resulted from Roosevelt's awareness of its content.

Ingalls Kimball

Ingalls Kimball (born Hannibal Ingalls Kimball; April 2, 1874 – October 16, 1933) was an American printer and entrepreneur.

Tom Bodkin

Tom Bodkin is the Design Director at The New York Times. Bodkin, who hails from Great Neck, New York, graduated from John L. Miller Great Neck North High School in 1971. Editor-in-chief of the award-winning school newspaper "Guide Post," he started at The New York Times in the 1980s as an Art Director for the Home Section. His career began at CBS where he worked with Lou Dorfsman.

Bodkin is an Assistant Managing Editor and oversees design and layout for the newspaper. His staff include the Art Directors, Designers, Production and Layout desks and he is an important factor in the look and feel of the daily front page. Bodkin also works with his Senior Art Director, Steven Heller. Bodkin was the presiding Design Director during 9-11 and had a large influence on the layout of the front page with the headline 'U.S. Attacked".

Bodkin has been responsible for many of the visual projects at the paper, including introducing the Cheltenham typeface and redesigning the A-Section of the paper. He also led the team that created the Times Reader, a digital version of the newspaper created in collaboration with Microsoft.

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