From Anton to Antonio.
Anton is one of the popular webfonts available from Google’s webfont service. When first created Anton was released as a single weighted, heavy, display font, specifically made for use in web headlines and banners. The Anton face is now being developed and defined further, with more weights being added and made available under the name ‘Antonio’. Like Anton, Antonio will be available from Google Web Fonts.
The Origins of the Antonio Face.
Anton and Antonio take their basic type forms from a number of old display typefaces, most specifically from original specimens of ‘Anzeigen Grotesk’, a heavy, display, advertising typeface, first marketed in 1943 by the Haas Type Foundry, Basel. The design of Anton and Antonio take these old forms as foundations from which to build new webfonts. Other old faces in the same type family tree as Anzeigen were also used a points of reference for these new web fonts.
Historically, Anzeigen likely formed the basis for other more known and popular typefaces such as Compacta (1963), Impact (1965), Folio (1957), and Helvetica Inserat (1957). Equally, Anzeigen itself owed much of its design from the earlier face of ‘Aurora Bold Condensed’ and to a certain extent from condensed versions of the classic grotesques and gothic faces such as ‘Alternate Gothic’.
The ‘Advertisers Gothic’ Family Tree.
Plotting the family tree of the array of ‘advertising’ type designs and their origins and offshoots can be complex. In the era of machine typesetting, fonts were proprietary to the typesetting equipment, so for the manufactures of this equipment the typefaces manufactured was crucial to machine sales. As a result, every typesetting equipment manufacturer developed functional equivalents of important typefaces in their competitors’ catalogue (1). Alongside this smaller foundries also wished to sell their own version of the popular ‘faces’. A popular and industrious face such as the heavy, condensed, advertising or display gothic became highly copied and derived as each foundry manufactured and marketed it’s own versions. This created an array of typefaces that included very similar type forms. With the introduction of photo-typesetting and later, digital type, the array of these faces has grown larger still.
Making Fonts Free.
The forms of the heavy, condensed, advertising gothics have been used and re-used, shaped and re-shaped for nearly a century, or more. What is new with Anton and Antonio is that these old forms are now used to create fonts that are free to be used across the web, without hindrance from proprietary licensing or paywalls.
Aurora; Design date: 1928 (c.)
Anzeigen Grotesk; Designers: Haas Type Foundry; Design date: 1943 (c.)
Folio Condensed; Designers: Konrad F. Bauer, Walter Baum; Design date: 1957-62 (c.)
Helvetica Inserat; Designers: Edouard Hoffmann, Max Miedinger; Design date: 1957/1961
Compacta; Designers: Fred Lambert; Design date: 1963 (c.)
Impact; Designers: Geoffrey Lee; Design date: 1965 (c.)