Franklin Gothic differences in MS Word versions on Mac

cortical's picture


I had a client yesterday with a number of issues in their MS office 2008 and 2011 installed on a current MacBookPro ( so OS 10.8).
The letterhead template had been built for them (a Solicitor) some years ao using ITC Franklin Gothic, and checking the text info in the letterhead template, this was what is still specified, although in Font Book variants named Franklin Gothic are listed.

Problems arose after getting the new MBP and installing Office 2011. THe size of the Company Name in the letterhead form the template was larger , but also inconsistent. Inconsistencies were (presumably) fixed by some hard drive error repairs a,d flushing all caches ( using Onyx).

The residual problem is that there is a noticeable difference between the shape of the capital letter 'C' as printed from there old MBP, and that printed from their new MBP. The old version is less rounded and the gap between the 'jaws' of the letter C are quite different. My familiarity with fonts and such are extremely limited ( as is probably apparent), being a database developer.

I checked MS office site, and there appears to have been different 'versions' of the Franklin Gothic in office 2008 and later, but can not find equivalent info for 2011. However, I am assuming the diference in character (glyph?) shape(s) is something to do with versions of the Font. Is this correct?

I have checked the font info using the text in the template , in the old and new MBP; the sizes, kerning etc are the same.
Can the subtleties of the original font be re-implemented? If this means purchasing a 3rd part copy of the required software this is no problem. The client is keen to maintain precise continuity of the appearance of there letterheads etc.

Is ITC Franklin Gothic technically the same as Franklin Gothic?

thanks for any suggestions

Mark Simonson's picture

No, they are not the same, technically or otherwise.

Franklin Gothic originated as a foundry typeface first produced by American Type Founders (ATF) in the early 20th century. It only had one weight (fairly bold) with four different widths, some with italics.

ITC Franklin Gothic was a reworking of Franklin Gothic as a multi-weight family first released in 1980 by International Typeface Corporation (ITC). Besides having several weights, from Book to Heavy, it has a larger x-height and other design differences which had the effect of making it look more “contemporary” at the time it was released. A condensed width was added a bit later. More styles were added by Font Bureau more recently.

cortical's picture

Ok, thanks.

I had a look on the Linotype site, and the original letterhead ( i.e. from old MBP) looks like Condensed Book, while the current output (new MBP/Office 2011) looks like Book variant.

What I don't yet understand is that the listed Franklin Gothic fonts are the same on both systems ( i.e. MacBooks), and that Fontbook lists Franklin Gothic, yet the Word template indicates ITC Franklin Gothic Book.

If it were just a matter of the template specifying ITC Franklin Gothic, and the system substituting Franklin Gothic as that is all it had, then the output should be the same on both computers.

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