Erwin Gothic is a sans-serif font designed to accompany Erwin Text as a headline font for use in the local weekly newspaper, The Erwin Record in northeastern Tennessee, USA.
The design of Erwin Gothic is based on a series of German grotesque families from the early 1900s, designed originally by Johannes Wagner and distributed originally by Wagner & Schmidt as Wotan (c. 1914?), Lessing, Reichsgrotesk and Edel Grotesque; and subsequently reworked and re-released by several foundries under these names as well as names such as Annonce Grotesque (c. 1912?), Aurora Grotesk (c. 1928), Neue Aurora Grotesk (1964) and Aura. Anzeigen Grotesk (c. 1943) appears to be another offspring of these designs.
These designs were, in turn, based on older 19th century woodtype grotesques. (The German word "wotan" translates to English as "wooden".)
In designing Erwin Gothic, I have lengthened the ascenders and descenders somewhat for legibility and readability. Erwin Gothic is also cut more deeply than its predecessors, resulting in smaller joins from curved strokes to the main stem, deeper ink traps, sharper spurs on upper-case "G" and lower-case "b" and "q", and a more crisp overal finish. Many characters have been redesigned, and many alternate glyphs are included. Notably, a binocular lower-case "g" is included, as well as an angled-crossbar version of lower-case "e"; the bowl of upper-case "P" has been enlarged; the rounded legs of the upper-case "K" and lower-case "k" have been straightened. Curved-tailed versions of upper-case "Q" and "R" have been included, as well as both the round-sided and straight-sided variants of numeral "4" and letters "V", "v", "W", "w", "X", "x", "Y" and "y". In addition, the tail of lower-case "y" has been smoothed from its previously abrupt angle. A shorter-armed lower-case "r" is made available, as are variant forms of many punctuation glyphs. There is also a less-formal and somewhat unorthodox alternate upper-case "E", as well as several other additions to the basic design.
The finished family will ultimately include at least three weights (light, regular and bold) and four widths (compressed, condensed, regular and extended), each with a regular set and an alternates set in Postscript and TrueType formats; OpenType formats are planned for future release. The first version showing here is the bold condensed.
Comments and suggestions will be much appreciated!