Inspiration for Times New Roman

Interesting tweet from Prof. Alice Roberts. Does this have any merit?
https://twitter.com/theAliceRoberts/status/1169602172365025280

Comments

  • James PuckettJames Puckett Posts: 1,656
    Times New Roman was inspired by Plantin. And it doesn't look like that inscription 
  • I've always preferred Mike Parker's story myself. Could it be that Burgess saw the Shrewsbury inscription?

  • Ramiro EspinozaRamiro Espinoza Posts: 751
    edited September 5
    Funny thing about Times New Roman is the romans are more or less based on 16th century types but its italics are based on Fournier's italics from two centuries later.
  • Funny thing about Times New Roman is the romans are more or less based on 16th century types but its italics are based on Fournier's italics from two centuries later.
    I admit I am very ignorant about how Times New Roman came about, but aren’t the capitals supposed to be also a refinement of that resurgence of “elzevirian serifs" aiming to recapture classicity in a revised way, after Bodoni's (and more in general early 19th century rigor) produced types with homogeneous letter width and stark vertical contrast?
  • Plus, yes, I agree, that seems a random tweet from a person which is utterly ignorant in typographic (and lettering) history.
  • Interesting tweet from Prof. Alice Roberts. Does this have any merit?
    https://twitter.com/theAliceRoberts/status/1169602172365025280
    As far as being "the inspiration for the Times New Roman font" in the direct, specific way such a remark is likely to be taken, no, it does not have merit.

    Of course, the Times New Roman typeface is a member of a larger family of typefaces, that trace their inspiration back to Jensen's Roman typeface. And this family of typefaces certainly does owe inspiration to Roman monumental inscriptions, and if any one of them were to be singled out in particular, it would be the one on the Trajan column.

    I am suspecting the professor merely meant that this fine monumental inscription "inspired" Times New Roman in this sense - which makes sense from a historian's perspective in acknowledging the ultimate debt owed by all Roman typefaces, but which rather confuses matters if one were dealing with the subject of typographical history rather than human history.
  • Nick ShinnNick Shinn Posts: 1,444
    edited September 5
    There was some precedent for putting “Roman” in the name, for instance Century Roman, which was a type designed for the Century magazine, to replace its existing generic style. The further designation “New” might have been to distinguish the type from certain contemporary new “old style” faces, but also to create marketing buzz. Who knows, perhaps Beatrice Warde was responsible for that, and not the great excogitator.

    At any rate, the term “Roman” had little to do with S.P.Q.R. inscriptions, and I’m surprised that it bamboozled a professor, even a biological anthropologist 90 years hence—although she is a television “presenter”. Kenneth Clark has a lot to answer for!

  • Interesting tweet from Prof. Alice Roberts. Does this have any merit?
    https://twitter.com/theAliceRoberts/status/1169602172365025280
    Of course, the Times New Roman typeface is a member of a larger family of typefaces, that trace their inspiration back to Jensen's Roman typeface.
    If you meant Jenson, why? Not directly. If we say such a thing, in that larger sense, *every* single latin serif typeface "traces its inspiration" to its earliest typographic precedents.
  • Nick ShinnNick Shinn Posts: 1,444
    edited September 5
    That was not a proprietary style, so there was no need for the new custom typeface to be called anything other than “Times”. As I said, Century Roman provided a precedent for “Roman” in the name of a proprietary publication typeface, and the “New” was perhaps prompted by the many types that were named “old style”—Goudy produced quite a few of those, none of which were called New Old-style. 

    On a related note, I have always loved the oxymoronic idea of the New Old Lompoc House where W.C. Fields would decamp for a beverage in The Bank Dick.
  • I am suspecting the professor merely meant that this fine monumental inscription "inspired" Times New Roman in this sense - which makes sense from a historian's perspective in acknowledging the ultimate debt owed by all Roman typefaces, but which rather confuses matters if one were dealing with the subject of typographical history rather than human history.
    Even if so… she wrote «very possibly the inspiration for the Times New Roman font»… c'mon.
    Also, it's always human history.
    It’s just a superficial remark, and I would not expect it from a person supposed to have a minimum of culture.
  • If you meant Jenson, why? Not directly. If we say such a thing, in that larger sense, *every* single latin serif typeface "traces its inspiration" to its earliest typographic precedents.
    Yes, I meant Jenson, and I was simply pointing out that there was only one sense - this most general sense - in which the tweet quoted could be meaningful.
  • I'm pretty sure Times New Roman has its origins in the Phoenician inscriptions which ultimately gave rise to the Latin alphabet.

    And, of course, none of this would have been possible without a certain large black monolith with Also sprach Zarathustra playing in the background.
  • I thought writing started with the Sumerian writing.  Someone making marks in wet clay with a stylus.
  • Kent LewKent Lew Posts: 892
    Pretty sure the "New Roman" in Times New Roman was to distinguish it from the older typeface The Times had been using.
    I agree. I think this is one of those situations where a descriptive epithet transformed into an official moniker. Original, casual references to The Times’s new roman, became Times New Roman.
    Somewhat akin to how Mozart’s Serenade No.13 which was “just a little serenade” has come to be known almost solely as Eine Kleine Nachtmusik.
  • Mark SimonsonMark Simonson Posts: 1,152
    edited September 6
    One other tidbit regarding the name...

    Both Monotype and Linotype released versions of the face in the thirties, but Monotype called it Times New Roman and Linotype called it Times Roman.

    When Linotype licensed it to Adobe for PostScript, the name was shortened to Times. Apple licensed PostScript for the LaserWriter, and ever since Macs have included Times with the OS.

    Microsoft chose to license the face from Monotype, so we have Times New Roman on Windows.
  • More specifically, Linotype went off and got the Times Roman trademark to itself in the United States, forcing Monotype to use Times New Roman instead.
  • Maxim ZhukovMaxim Zhukov Posts: 74
    edited September 7
    Mark Simonson said:

    Pretty sure the “New Roman” in Times New Roman was to distinguish it from the older typeface The Times had been using.


    By the way, The Times’ people did not call the type they used prior to 3 October 1932 “Old Roman”.
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