Mac Fonts Originally Named For Main Line Towns

The typography designers named the fonts after stops on the Paoli Local commuter train line.

The Philadelphia blog Philebrity recently dug up a neat bit of trivia about the early days of Apple Computer.

Andy Hertzfeld and Susan Kare, both from suburban Philadelphia, were responsible for designing fonts for Macintosh computers in the 1980s. They named their creations after stops on the Main Line commuter train.

The names might have stuck, but Steve Jobs had other plans.

According to a 2004 post on folklore.org, Kare said:

Andy Hertzfeld and I had met in high school in suburban Philadelphia, so we started naming the other fonts after stops on the Paoli Local commuter train: Overbrook, Merion, Ardmore, and Rosemont.

Walter Isaacson's biography of Steve Jobs confirms the tale and explains why the names were changed. On page 131, Isaacson writes:

Jobs found the process fascinating. Late one afternoon he stopped by and started brooding about the font names. They were "little cities that nobody's ever heard of," he complained. "They ought to be world-class cities!" The fonts were renamed Chicago, New York, Geneva, London, San Francisco, Toronto, and Venice.


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