Last Updated on September 27, 2021
Did you know that there’s a typeface named after the famous Whitney Museum of American Art?
The museum, more commonly known as the ‘Whitney’, was established by famed socialite and art patron Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney. Known for its collection of over 25,000 paintings, sculptures, drawings, prints, photographs, films, videos, and artifacts of new media, it focuses on art from living artists.
The original premise was built upon Gertrude’s wish to have her own museum, exclusively for American art. No wonder the font named after it, Whitney, is also just as bold, daring, and inclusive.
How Whitney Began
This humanist sans-serif was created by Tobias Frere-Jones and released in 2004 through H&FJ (now known as Hoefler&Co). It was designed to complement the Whitney Museum’s existing public signage. The font was requested to be flexible enough for editorial requirements.
This makes Whitney a super functional font. It’s well-known for having the warmth of humanist fonts and the strength of gothic typefaces. It’s also an awfully comprehensive font family. You’ll be happy to know that it includes romans, italics, roman small caps, and italic small caps. Each of these styles is available in six weights, plus tabular figures, fractions, and extended symbols.
Critics love the font for its compact form and broad x-height, making efficient use of space. Thanks to its ample counters and open shapes, Whitney remains legible regardless of circumstance.
How Whitney Font Is Used Today
Whether you love modern art or not, you should definitely include this typeface in your arsenal. Known for bridging the gap between humanist (i.e. Frutiger) and gothic (i.e. Franklin Gothic) fonts, it’s adaptable, clean, and quite handsome.
Get the entire font family from Hoefler&Co; or get your hands on the free version from All Your Fonts. Then experiment with font pairings, such as Mercury, Chronicle, Gotham, or Archer. You can also mix and match the different styles of Whitney to achieve an interesting effect.