Gerard Unger developed Swift™ between 1984 and 1987, with the intention of making a modern digital type for newspapers. The project was undertaken for the German firm Dr.-Ing Rudolf Hell GmbH. At that time, newspapers were produced on high-speed presses with low quality paper. Unger says Swift is "designed to be a survivor." It has chunky triangular serifs, sturdy connections at junctures, condensed forms with open counters, and a tall x-height. The work of William A. Dwiggins (1880-1956) was Unger's major design influence for Swift. Dwiggins was a American type designer for Mergenthaler Linotype who, as early as 1930, was focusing on legibility in the design of alternative fonts for newspaper printing. Swift has become a contemporary classic, and is now used more often for corporate identities and magazines than for newspapers. Austere and concise, firm and original, Swift is a typeface suited to almost any purpose. Swift™ Pro is the OpenType version, and includes a full range of styles and weights from light to extra bold. In 1990, Linotype AG merged with Dr.-Ing Rudolf Hell GmbH, forming the Linotype-Hell AG (today Linotype GmbH). Since then, Linotype has been the official source of all fonts that were originally designed for the Hell Corporation. Linotype has also improved the typefaces using new technologies, including OpenType.
Swift supports 107 different languages such as Spanish, English, Portuguese, German and French in Latin scripts. (Please note that not all languages are available for all formats.)