Whitney: clear for signage, compact for print.

A type family originally developed for New York’s Whitney Museum, Whitney contends with two different sets of demands: those of editorial typography, and those of public signage.

Typefaces for catalogs and brochures need to be narrow enough to work in crowded environments, yet energetic enough to encourage extended reading. But typefaces designed for wayfinding programs need to be open enough to be legible at a distance, and sturdy enough to withstand a variety of fabrication techniques: fonts destined for signage need to anticipate being cast in bronze, etched in glass, cut in vinyl, and rendered in pixels.

While American “gothics” such as News Gothic (1908) have long been a mainstay of editorial settings, and European “humanists” such as Frutiger (1975) have excelled in signage applications, Whitney bridges this divide in a single design. Its compact forms and broad x-height use space efficiently, and its ample counters and open shapes make it clear under any circumstances.

New: Whitney Greek, Cyrillic, and Multiscript

In addition to economy and clarity, Whitney addresses a third challenge: internationalization. Having outfitted the design with our Latin-X™ character set, which serves 1.4 billion speakers of more than 140 languages, Hoefler & Co. embarked on two major expansions of the character set into the Greek and Cyrillic alphabets. The development of Whitney Cyrillic began in 2005, with a year-long research project to survey the effects of language, culture, politics, and technology upon Cyrillic typography. Beyond including the characters needed to render the six most widely supported Balto-Slavic languages (Russian, Ukrainian, Serbian, Belarusan, Bulgarian and Macedonian), a primary goal of the project was to reach large populations that remain underserved by high-quality digital fonts. The resulting design, which uses our new Cyrillic-X™ specification, is capable of representing 59 languages from the Slavic, Baltic, Turkic, Uralic, Tungusic, Caucasian, and Mongolic language families. Together with Whitney Greek, which serves thirteen million speakers throughout Greece and the Balkan Peninsula, these new fonts represent the primary languages of an additional 280 million people worldwide.

The Basic, Advanced, and Pro editions of Whitney are each available with the Latin, Greek, or Cyrillic character set. For designers whose projects have an international scope — such as those needing all three official scripts of the European Union (Latin, Greek, and Bulgarian Cyrillic) — the Whitney Multiscript package integrates all three character sets into a single set of designs, and is available for less than half the cost of buying all three fonts individually.


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    Economy. Whitney was designed to work in crowded environments, so its shapes are especially space-efficient in text sizes.

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    Clarity. The brief for Whitney included a range of signage applications, so its forms were shaped with both distance reading and material fabrication in mind.

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    Indices. Whether it’s enumerating the steps in a recipe or marking key places on a map, a set of circled numbers comes in handy. The Whitney Index package includes these, pre-made, in sixteen different styles.

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    Numerics. For tables and charts, each of Whitney’s styles offers a companion “Numeric” range that contains tabular figures and fractions.

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    Stylistic Sets. Whitney uses an advanced feature of OpenType-savvy applications, allowing designers to transform the look of the font with a single click.

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    Multiscript Language Support. New for 2010, OpenType editions of Whitney now offer our most international character set, with Latin-X™, Cyrillic-X™ and Greek variations that cover more than 200 languages worldwide.

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