Three years after the Second World War, Californian book designer Jackson Burke
took over from his colleague Chauncey H. Griffith
as head of typographic development at Mergenthaler Linotype
. Not long after joining the company, he presented his first drafts for a sans-serif typeface which he continued to develop and expand until 1960. Its name was Trade Gothic
This extended period of development goes some way towards explaining why the members of the Trade Gothic font family resemble each other less closely than those of other successful sans-serif typefaces, such as Helvetica or Frutiger. But it is precisely these “dissonances” that have secured the “down-to-earth” typeface a loyal following over several decades.