Rockwell Typeface Research

The first website I am visiting for my research is called Typedia.  It simply categorises and gives a brief overview of the typeface and its history.

Research Paragraph 1: Provide historical insight into the type designer

  • The original Rockwell was produced by the Inland type foundry in 1910, which issued it as Litho Antique; American Type Founders revived the face in the 1920s.
  • The Monotype Corporation produced its version of Rockwell in 1934, and that is the typeface commonly referred to by Rockwell today.
  • Frank Hinman Pierpont was the man behind the 1934 incarnation of the typeface.

Monotype Corporation

  • The Monotype Corporation is home to some of the most popular and influential typefaces ever created, including Times New Roman, Arial and Grill Sans
  • Many of these typeface designs were created under the direction of Stanley Morrison, the famous British Typographer.
  • This font library, developed over the last 100 years, is known for its depth and strength in book printing and newspaper publishing.

Frank Hinman Pierport

  • Lived 1860-1937
  • By 1894, he was working for Loewe AG in Berlin, where the Typograph typesetting machine was designed.
  • He was director of the Typograph typesetting machine factory from 1896.
  • He moved to England in 1899 and became foundry manager at Monotype.

Research Paragraph 2: Information about the typeface

  • Rockwell is a slab-serif typeface.
  • Rockwell is a “geometric” slab-serif, with a monoline construction with all strokes appearing to be roughly the same width and its capital ‘O’ roughly circular
  • This gives it a similar impression to common sans-serif of the period like Akzidenz Grotesk, Franklin Gothic, or Futura.
  • It is influenced by a style of geometric slab serif that had become popular released around the time, including the earlier Memphis and Beton, and less similarly Stymie and City.
  • Originally the font was designed for metal, machine printed type. But it’s popularity has remained such that it has been digitised although the shadowed weight has not been.
  • Distributors of the font include Adobe,, FontShop and Linotype.

Rockwell Characteristics

Research Paragraph 3: The context in which the font is used in type

  • Companies such as Malibu Rum, Marshall Amplifiers use it on their products.  It’s also in vogue for posters and magazine advertising.

Rockwell Usage

  • Rockwell appears to be a very bold and attention grabbing font used in small doses to attract the attention of an audience.  Although it is a serif font, it is bold and heavyset, making it a poor choice for large pages of text.
  • Its non calligraphic design makes it clunky to read in more than short bursts.
Example of the full typeface






Author: David Rothwell

I am a Graphic Communication student at Cardiff Metropolitan School of Art and Design If you like any of my work, have feedback (good or bad) or would like to get in touch, please do

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