Times New Roman

Classification: Transitional

In 1931, The Times of London commissioned the Monotype Corporation, under the direction of Stanley Morison, to design a newspaper typeface. According to Morison: The Times, as a newspaper in a class by itself, needed not a general trade type, however good, but a face whose strength of line, firmness of contour, and economy of space fulfilled the specific editorial needs of the The Times. Times New Roman, drawn by Victor Lardent and initially released in 1932, is the result. The Linotype version is called Times Roman.

Research into legibility and readability led to a design that was unique in newspaper typography; it is based on old style (or Garalde) types, and has greater contrast and is more condensed than previous newspaper types. Times New Roman continues to be very popular, particularly for newspapers, magazines, and corporate communications such as proposals and annual reports.

Times New Roman is a trademark of The Monotype Corporation registered in the US Patent and Trademark Office and may be registered in certain other jurisdictions.

Stanley Morison was born in Wanstead, Essex England on May 6, 1889. Morison was somewhat of an unprivileged youth with no background in printing or typography, but he came to occupy the position of oneof the most important figures in printing history. From a variety of readings it seems that Stanley Morison was known as a very complex man.

He was forever looking for certainty, whether it be in typography or finding the meaning of life. While working for The London Times, he gained himself the name "The Printer's Friend" apparently from his constant altering of proofs until he achieved the desired result. Morison was very concerned with fitting everything into a predetermined pattern, afraid of the anarchy within himself.

This dread of anarchy may have been what led him to seek the discipline of the Catholic Church. It was from his relationship with Catholicism that his interest in typography stemmed into the world of printing and publishing where Stanley Morison made his name.

The Catholic religion especially influenced him in the area of printing. After converting he found a keen interest in the hymn book and other Catholic writings. He became interested in all early printed books and often visited printing museums in the area. His first typographic work was done for the Church.

After much reading, Morison became an expert on how to lay down letters and words, how they should be spaced and what measures should be used in book design. Sebastian Carter, in his book Twentieth Century Type Designers, says this about Morison, "Almost entirely self-taught, he made himself an expert on typographic history, but he had a practical turn of mind which saw in the past wealth of material useful for the present, and a persuasive pen when it came to convincing his employees that they should back his judgement."

Printing and letters were not just a hobby for Morison. He was launched into printing and had some work printed in The Imprint, an up-to-date periodical, as well as cooperating on some books. Times were troubling for Morison though and his anti-war actions led him to a short but unproductive jail term. He was quite unhappy at the time and struggling with his views of society.

In 1919, in took a position with The Pelican Press and this is where he produced his first study on typography:

The Craft of Printing: Notes on the History of Type Forms. In this book Morison attempted to determine the relationship of Caslon and the Didots to Jenson and Aldus, and the connection between calligraphy and typography.

In 1921 he left The Pelican Press for an offer at Cloister Press, a newly founded press. While working here he seemed to use his Catholic background in designing many of his pages. His use of decoration and illustration is indicative of this.One can see the influence his early workmay have had on the Cloister works. It was at Cloister Press that Morison had sole charge of design. Some of his best works were done here but in 1922 Morison was out of a job due to the press's financial difficulties.



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