fonts.com blog
Archive for August, 2010

by Allan Haley

The first rule of choosing display typefaces is to make an appropriate choice – appropriate to the delivery vehicle, content and reader.

Appropriate to Delivery Vehicle

The most appropriate display typeface for a small print environment will probably be a different design than one that is best for a large print environment. And neither of these might be appropriate for display copy on screen or in slide presentations.

The best font for presentation graphics, for example, is a sans serif (because it is more legible than a serif design), bold weight (to enable a high level of visibility) of somewhat condensed proportions (to obtain the maximum number of words in the smallest space).

Typefaces for on-screen use should also have large x-heights and open counters. Large x-heights will take the best advantage of the limited screen pixels. The more decorative a design, however, the more problematic it becomes for Web sites and blogs. Very fancy or ornamental designs such as the Arriba-Arriba™ or ITC Wisteria™ typefaces might make excellent choices for posters and brochures, but they would probably not be the best choices for display type on screen. Slightly less fancy – but equally commanding – designs like the Dreamland™ and Pueblo™ typefaces would be better choices.

A few great display typefacesA few great display typefaces

A few great display typefaces

Newspapers, which are almost always read under less than ideal circumstances, require sturdy, industrial strength designs such as the Egyptian Slate™ or ITC Franklin™ typefaces for headlines, while a catalog for women’s clothing would do better with a more supple design like ITC Berkeley Oldstyle™ typeface. The same Berkeley Oldstyle, however, might not be the best choice for a web page banner, while the ITC CuppaJoe™ design might be.

Appropriate to Message

A catalog announcing a new line of Hawaiian shirts should use different typefaces than a brochure for women’s lingerie; and announcements for a new, quarterly law journal report will be best served by yet different typefaces.

For that Hawaiian shirt announcement, a combination of the ITC Puamana™ and DIN Next™ typefaces might be a good choice. The women’s lingerie might benefit from headlines set in the Pouty™ script typeface and text copy using part of the ITC Galliard™ family. The law journal? Try heads in the bold weight of the Felbridge™ typeface and text in the ITC Legacy™ Serif typeface family.

Appropriate to Audience

It’s a pretty safe bet that counter-culture display faces like ITC Panic™ and ITC Schizoid™ designs will not appeal to an over-60s reader or that the Elegy™ or Diotima® Classic typefaces would resonate with a potential customer for skateboards. Typefaces like the Artistik™, Neuland™ and ITC Kick™ typefaces can be great display choices – but probably not for the readers of the quarterly financial reports of an international banking firm.

Allan Haley
Allan Haley is Director of Words & Letters at Monotype Imaging. Here he is responsible for strategic planning and creative implementation of just about everything related to typeface designs.



by Johnathan Zsittnik

The Web Font Awards
Today Monotype Imaging announced the Web Font Awards – a design competition for websites using Web fonts. When the competition opens up next month, Web designers will be able to submit their creations for feedback, self-promotion and prizes. Visitors to the site will be able to rate and discuss the contributions. The Web Font Awards will aim to promote and aid the adoption of Web fonts. In that spirit, the competition has been opened to users of any Web font technology (as long as the site uses real fonts).

What excites me about the Web Font Awards is the opportunity to see some of the best design that’s being done using this new tool. A competition like this provides a level playing field – allowing the best designs and designers rise to the top no matter how recognizable their brand may be or how much traffic their site receives. In the few short months since the start of our Fonts.com Web Fonts beta, we’ve had thousands of users pour in to help test our service. We’ve received much feedback which has helped us to improve the service and line up many more enhancements to come. The beta has also provided some of our first glimpses of Web fonts in use. As you might expect, implementations by our heaviest users and closest customers have been the most visible. We expect that the Web Font Awards will shine a light on some great work that may have otherwise not received its due.

I hope this encourages those that are already using Web fonts reason and opportunity to share their creations with a greater audience, while providing those who haven’t started designing with Web fonts, one more reason to give it a shot.

Johnathan Zsittnik
Johnathan Zsittnik is the eCommerce Marketing Manager at Monotype Imaging. Johnathan holds both a bachelor’s degree in marketing and a master’s degree in business administration from Bentley University.



by Allan Haley

Communication Arts, an important U.S. graphic design magazine, will be hosting its inaugural juried competition that celebrates the best use of typography as the primary visual element in design and advertising, plus new typeface designs, calligraphy and handlettering. Jurors include Stephen Coles, type director at the FontShop and editor of Typographica; Allan Haley, director of Words & Letters at Monotype Imaging and past president of the New York Type Directors Club; and Ellen Lupton, designer, curator, critic and author.

The selected entries will be distributed worldwide in the Communication Arts Typography Annual and on commarts.com, assuring important exposure to the creators of this outstanding work. If you are a typographer, graphic/Web designer or especially if you are a type designer, lettering artist or calligrapher, you might want to consider entering this competition. The selected entries will be distributed worldwide in the Communication Arts Typography Annual and on the magazine’s Web site, commarts.com. This will assure important exposure to those who might take advantage of your services or license your fonts.

Allan Haley
Allan Haley is Director of Words & Letters at Monotype Imaging. Here he is responsible for strategic planning and creative implementation of just about everything related to typeface designs.