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Charcoal is a sans-serif typeface designed by David Berlow of Font Bureau during the period 1994–1997. Charcoal was the default menu font in Apple Computer’s Mac OS 8 and 9, replacing Chicago as part of the new Platinum interface. In Mac OS X, it was replaced with Lucida Grande as the menu typeface. Charcoal is designed for high legibility, even at smaller point sizes, displayed on computer monitors. While similar in design to realist sansserifs, Charcoal has a distinctive organic quality. The letterforms have a high x-height, a vertical axis, and maintain generous counter-form in and around the letterforms. Descending characters, g, j, p, q, and y are shallow, compensating for the high x-height, and allowing for reduced leading in text. While designed primarily for monitor display, Charcoal has had considerable popularity in print, including in letterpress printing.

CD EG F HOR S ) I MPQ V 16 9( ,+ “ Y T K ‘ 3 ; 8 ! 5 J L N U XZ24 70 . ? =-: Virtue is a free TrueType font of similar design sometimes used as a surrogate on non-Apple systems.

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