Category Serif
Classification Old Style
Designer(s) Morris Fuller Benton + Linn Boyd Benton
Foundry American Type Founders
Date created 1905
Date released 1907 - 1911
Re-issuing foundries Stephenson Blake, Linotype, Monotype, Intertype, British Monotype, Ludlow

Clearface is an Old Style, serif typeface designed by Morris Fuller Benton with the collaboration of his father Linn Boyd Benton, produced at American Type Founders in 1907, immediately following his preparation of Century Old Style. The bold was drawn first, in 1905, but the regular weight was the first to be released. Six variants were released between 1907 and 1911:[1]

  • Clearface (1907)
  • Clearface Bold + Italic
  • Clearface Heavy + Italic
  • Clearface Italic


Hot Metal Copies

Clearface had considerable popularity and was either licensed or copied by all the makers of mechanical composition machines, including Linotype, Intertype, Monotype, British Monotype, and Ludlow. Stephenson Blake not only cast it as foundry type, but also made an open face version in 1925 that was sold under the names Clearface Open, Clearface Handtooled, and Dominus.[2]

Cold Type Copies

Clearface was redesigned by Victor Caruso for ITC in 1979. Other cold type versions were also available.

Digital Copies

Victor Caruso's version, ITC Clearface is available through Bitstream, Adobe and Linotype. Other versions are made by Elsner+Flake, Monotype, and URW++.

Clearface Gothic

Clearface Gothic
Category Sans Serif
Designer(s) Morris Fuller Benton
Foundry American Type Founders
Date created 1908
Date released 1910

Clearface Gothic is a sans-serif with only a distant resemblance to Clearface. The typeface has a very organic and friendly appearance. It was designed by Morris Fuller Benton and cast by American Type Founders. It was made in only one weight and was never expanded into a family.[3]

Cold Type Copies

A Cold Type knock-off was made at ITC by Victor Caruso], who expanded the typeface to four weights: light, medium, bold, and extra bold. Italics were included, but stayed in photo-negative film format until recently. The latest version of Clearface Gothic has five weights: light, roman, medium, bold, and black.

Digital Copies

Digital copies of the Clearface Gothic family include five weights and are available from Adobe, Linotype, Monotype, and URW++. Two weights of Victor Caruso's version, demi bold and bold, are available from FontShop. A slightly altered version of the family, called Clear Gothic Serial, complete with italics, is available from


  1. ^ McGrew, Mac, "American Metal Typefaces of the Twentieth Century," Oak Knoll Books, New Castle Delaware, 1993, ISBN 0-938768-34-4, pp. 92 - 93.
  2. ^ Jaspert, W. Pincus, W. Turner Berry and A.F. Johnson. The Encyclopedia of Type Faces. Blandford Press Lts.: 1953, 1983. ISBN 0-7137-1347-X, pp. 50 + 72.
  3. ^ McGrew, Mac (1986). American Metal Typefaces of the Twentieth Century. Oak Knoll Books. pp. 93. ISBN 0938768395. 

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