Ed Benguiat: ITC Benguiat Stranger Things

Ed Benguiat’s most famous project by far is his self-titled font, “ITC Benguiat.” The designer desired to create a font that was “pretty and legible.” This classic decorative serif was published in the late 1970s through the International Typeface Corporation (ITC), which housed the majority of Benguiat’s fonts. He had no intention to title the font after his surname due to his name being difficult to spell and for the sake of humility. However, the president of Photo-Lettering Inc, encouraged Benguiat to be proud and commemorate the font with his own name. Naming the font after himself presented a personal reward for Benguiat. In one interview, he proudly states “I use it a lot myself. I hardly use any fonts I’ve designed but I use that one a lot because I like it. I use it for logos, corporate identity, stationary, mostly branding. I have to be careful I don’t use it too much because then everyone will say, ‘Oh, he’s using his typefaces again!’ (Vincent).”

This art nouveau-inspired type took almost two years for the designer to draft up. Although he did not believe his work was perfect, this font was one of the few projects he found pleasure in (“Ed Benguiat”).  It eventually turned into a family with the publication of the gas pipe style typeface, Benguiat Gothic, which was published two years later in 1979. Benguiat Gothic shined with its “monoline stroke weights and rounded stroke endings in place of serifs (“ITC Benguiat”).”

Article publication around the release of ITC Benguiat

The font allowed Benguiat to stand out in the world of typography. The type can be seen decorated the title covers of the popular “Choose Your Own Adventure” series from the 1980s and 1990s. The type has even found its way into media that people see every day like the chosen font FBI piracy warnings (“Ed Benguiat”).

ITC Benguiat has made a recent re-occurrence in today’s media. The font is the screen title of the well-known Netflix Series Stranger Things. It is also the primary branding type for the Stranger Things franchise. Ed Benguiat was unaware of his font’s rise to fame for his most popular serif font. Its importance to the Stranger Things series was brought to his attention through an interview with the Telegraph’s Alice Vincent. His remark to this unexpected success was, “Maybe my royalties will go up!”

ITC Benguiat – as seen in Stranger Things

Benguiat has watched his wish come true as his royalties increased while the Stranger Things series became increasingly popular. His career would truly not be the same without this sacred typestyle. It has been the face of many successful logos and brands and will hopefully be seen for years to come.



“Ed Benguiat.” The Type Directors Club, www.tdc.org/awardwinners/ed-benguiat/.


Vincent, Alice. “Stranger Things: Meet the Design Genius behind TV’s Most Talked about Title

Font.” The Telegraph, Telegraph Media Group, 4 Aug. 2016, www.telegraph.co.uk/on-demand/0/stranger-things-meet-the-design-genius-behind-tvs-most-talked-ab/.