Gotham is one of the most successful typefaces of the early twenty-first century. Originally inspired by the lettering on Manhattan’s Port Authority Bus Terminal sign, it was designed after Frere-Jones conducted an extensive study of New York City’s vernacular lettering. A distillation of the “letters of paint, plaster, neon, glass and steel that figure so prominently in the urban landscape,” as the typographers have said, Gotham has a familiar quality even though it is newly designed. The letterforms are simple and straightforward—an engineer’s idea of “basic lettering.”
Gallery label from Standard Deviations, 2011.