I first encountered Franklin Gothic on the album artwork of Roxette’s 1988 album Look Sharp! in its extra condensed version. Over the next few years, I would see the ITC version used in a few places and would make use of it myself in the school newspaper and yearbook designs. It’s always been a timeless design to me, and will always have a spot in my arsenal.
At some point over the last year, I ran across high-ish quality scans of the original design and thought that the time was right to try redrawing it myself. After I’d finished, I thought it would be great to have a variable version for use on the web and immediately thought of News Gothic. Doing some more research I found out that Lightline Gothic was an even lighter weight in the same style. I found scans of similar quality for these two faces and started redrawing them. I’d almost finished, having only the numbers of Lightline Gothic left, when I ran out of steam and parked the project. Two months later I took a morning and finished up those last few glyphs.
The result is an eight-weight family (without italics/obliques for now) with Lightline Gothic as the extra light weight, News Gothic as the regular weight and Franklin Gothic as the black weight.
You can download the entire family as OpenType and web fonts on GitHub.