Poster Details: Tracy, Hepburn(s), Grant

Spencer Tracy Katharine Hepburn Audrey Hepburn Cary Grant

From top:

Univers + Century Schoolbook + Goudy + Univers

[ Univers LT Std 57 Condensed + Century Schoolbook Bold + ITC Goudy Sans Std Black + Univers LT Std 67 Bold Condensed ]

From a cinematic perspective, Spencer Tracy, Katharine Hepburn, Audrey Hepburn and Cary Grant form quite a unique, interesting and compatible foursome. Tracy and Hepburn’s affinity for each other began in the movie Woman of the Year. They starred in 8 more movies together, to go with a 25-year love affair. Hepburn and Grant also starred in many movies, notably Bringing Up Baby. Audrey Hepburn starred in only one film with Grant, but it was a doozy: Charade. The foursome also features some cross-pollinating of nationalities. Audrey was born in the Netherlands, Grant in the UK. The other two were from America. Similarly, Univers was designed in 1956 by fellow European Adrian Frutiger, a native of Switzerland. The versatility and wide range of the typeface is perhaps only matched by Spencer Tracy’s versatility on celluloid. The other two typefaces in question were designed by Americans. Morris Fuller Benton, after being approached by a publishing company to design a legible typeface for use in school textbooks, responded with Century Schoolbook, released in 1920. The version from Monotype is the one used here.

Frederic Goudy designed a few fonts that feature his name. Goudy sans was designed for Monotype from 1922 to 1929 (he created 3 styles during that time). It’s unique for a san serif typeface, slightly eccentric, and did not follow a trend toward geometric san serif type started by Futura. Kinda sounds like the unconventional pants-wearing actress of the 1930s, Katharine Hepburn, doesn’t it?

So why do the typefaces work well together? It’s an interesting mix of two faces that share a simplicity and straightforwardness (Univers and Century) and contrasting that with something a little more eccentric: Goudy.

Where can you find these fonts today?
ITC Goudy Sans, Univers LT Std:
Century Schoolbook:

Any similar typefaces out there?
Another version of Goudy Sans is sold at and is called LTC Goudy Sans (LTC = Lanston Type Company). I find it more eccentric than the ITC version. There are many versions of Century including: Century Expanded, Century Old Style, New Century Schoolbook, and on and on and on. For something similar to Univers, an obvious choice would be Helvetica Condensed or Compressed. A less obvious choice would be News Gothic or Franklin Gothic Condensed (both designed by Morris Fuller Benton, at least the regular styles of Franklin Gothic) and Trade Gothic (designed by Jackson Burke in 1948).


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