fonts.com blog
Archive for November, 2010

by Allan Haley

Two assassination attempts were made on U.S. President Ford in 1975. He survived both. The construction of the Trans-Alaska Pipeline also began in 1975 and The Rocky Horror Picture Show was released in American theatres. In the same year, the name “Micro-soft”  (for microcomputer software) was used by Bill Gates in a letter to Paul Allen.

U&lc also began its second year of publication in 1975. The Volume No. 2 issues are chock full of terrific examples of illustration, calligraphy, handlettering and, of course, typeface design.

The first issue published in 1975, featured the work of Lou Dorfsman, the designer who oversaw almost every aspect of the advertising and corporate identity for the Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS) in his forty years with the network. Highlighted was his “Gastrotypographicalassemblage,” the icon he conceived for the CBS cafeteria. Commonly referred to as “the wall,” the typographic construction was – at 33 feet in length and 8 feet in height – enormous. More than 1,450 letters converged to create the experience. It was a mélange of food-related words and objects – and a perfectly orchestrated typographic collage of appetite.

ITC announced six new typefaces in 1975, the ITC Newtext™, ITC Bauhaus™ and ITC Bookman™ families. (The latter has recently been updated as OpenType™ Pro fonts with all the alternate and swash characters of the original.) Also announced in the issues were the special ITC Cheltenham™, ITC Century™ and ITC Garamond™ designs.

Why is the latter trio of designs special? Because they were not intended to be the “free-standing” typeface families that they are today. Each was released in just Book and Ultra weights with complementary italic designs. They were intended to be used as display counterparts to the existing text versions of the Cheltenham, Century and Garamond designs from other type foundries. It wasn’t until later that ITC, under pressure from graphic designers requesting more designs, developed the additional weights and proportions for these typeface families.

The last issue in the Volume No. 2 series, proclaimed the winners of the first annual Upper and Lowercase International Typographics Competition. Today, this provides a peek at the best typography of 35 years ago.

Click below, and you will be rewarded with downloadable files of the second volume of U&lc.

Enjoy!

Low Resolution:

Volume 2–1 (Low Res).pdf (10.2 MB)

Volume 2–2 (Low Res).pdf (9.5 MB)

Volume 2–3 (Low Res).pdf (11.7 MB)

Volume 2–4 (Low Res).pdf (12.9 MB)

High Resolution:

Volume 2–1.pdf (45.5 MB)

Volume 2–2.pdf (47.5 MB)

Volume 2–3.pdf (49.7 MB)

Volume 2–4.pdf (59.7 MB)

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 Chris Roberts

We are focused on providing Fonts.com Web Fonts users with the best font selection, best language support, and best work flow solution. Today we introduced two new features, based on patent pending technology, aimed at improving the Fonts.com Web Fonts work flow. Our new “CSS Sucker™” and “Import/Export Project” features can be accessed by clicking on the “Import/Export” text link located at the top of the “Work on style sheet” page.

CSS Sucker
If you’ve created a Web fonts project, then you know the most time consuming step is adding CSS selectors. Uncovering all of the selectors hidden in existing CSS/HTML files can be a difficult task, especially if you’re using templates created by others. Then there is always the potential for human error as you hand key selectors into your project. What you really need is an automated tool that can suck in the selectors from your exiting CSS/HTML. Enter the CSS Sucker.

The CSS Sucker lets you automatically load into your project CSS selectors used in existing CSS/HTML files. Enter a URL or upload a CSS file, click the “Import” button, and the CSS Sucker will pull in and display your selectors. Next, simply choose the selectors that you want to use and click the “Add to Style Sheet” button. Click, click and done.

Import/Export Projects
When we were testing Fonts.com Web Fonts, we found that we often needed to reproduce the same projects in several different accounts. After doing this by hand a number of times, we realized that it was not a very fun activity, and prone to human error. We thought that our customers might end up facing the same challenge within their development and client/customer work flow environments. This was the impetus behind our “Import/Export Project” feature.

Released today, the Import/Export Project feature enables a quick and easy method for duplicating Fonts.com Web Font projects across multiple accounts.

Each project is assigned a unique “token”. A token can be used to import a project into any Fonts.com Web Fonts account.  The process is very simple. Paste the token into a field and hit one button. That’s it. Fool proof.

One interesting possible use of the Import/Export feature is theme/token pairings. Theme creators can distribute Fonts.com Web Fonts “import tokens” with their theme templates so that theme users can quickly and easily implement the web font component of the theme. Combine this with the recently announced Fonts.com Web Fonts affiliate program and theme designers could realize a new revenue stream.

We think these new feature will be huge time savers. Please comment below and let us know what you think.


by Johnathan Zsittnik

We’ve received an outpouring of excitement since introducing our Fonts.com Web Fonts service earlier this Fall. Now we’re offering a way for you to share in the success. We’re expanding our existing Fonts.com affiliate program to include our Fonts.com Web Fonts service. What does this mean for you? Refer a customer to Fonts.com Web Fonts. When the customer purchases a subscription, you earn 50% of the initial order. You’ll also earn 15% of any online orders you refer to Fonts.com.

If you own or operate a website that covers typography, Web design, graphic design or similar topics, this program will allow you to supplement your ad revenue and boost the profitability of your website. It also works well for agencies, freelancers and other designers building websites for clients. After building the website, simply export your Fonts.com Web Fonts project. Pass the project on to your client with an affiliate link to Fonts.com Web Fonts. When they subscribe, you earn the commission.

Upon joining the program, we’ll provide you with banners and show you how to create affiliate links that record transactions made by visitors you refer. Your affiliate links will also track sales on Fonts.com Web Fonts. So, if you refer someone to Fonts.com who purchases a Fonts.com Web Fonts subscription, you still earn your commission. The opposite is true as well. Already a member of the Fonts.com affiliate program? Don’t worry; you won’t have to change a thing. The new program terms incorporating commissions on Fonts.com Web Fonts subscriptions will automatically go into effect by November 10th.

Ready to give it a shot? Sign up here. Feel free to send any questions to affiliates@fonts.com.

Fonts.com orders

  • 15% commission on any online Fonts.com order referred, less discounts and taxes
  • 45 day renewable tracking period

Fonts.com Web Fonts subscriptions

  • 50% commission on the initial payment referred, less discounts and taxes
  • 45 day renewable tracking period

Key Features

  • Real-time online commission tracking system (available 24 hours a day)
  • Monthly commission payouts
  • Banners, search boxes, text links and product datafeeds
  • Support, statistics and suggestions to help maximize your results
  • 100% free of charge

Check out our affiliate program FAQ for additional details.

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

A Modern Classic Makes it to the Web

The Futura® typeface family was designed over 80 years ago as fonts of metal type. It was made available for phototypesetting equipment about 40 years ago, and as digital fonts a little over 20 years ago. Today, this important design has made yet another technological leap and is available via Fonts.com Web Fonts.

Many assume that Futura was developed at the Bauhaus and is the embodiment of that school’s teaching. The reality is, however, that Paul Renner, Futura’s originator, had no Bauhaus affiliation. Futura, in many ways, even runs counter to Bauhaus teaching, and was rarely used by Bauhaus designers.

As first drawn, Futura clearly embodied the ideologies of the Bauhaus movement. While the capital letters were patterned after Roman character shapes and proportions, its lowercase was a design experiment that took the “form follows function” philosophy to extremes. Many characters were constructed out of literal geometric and minimalist shapes. The end result was a set of glyphs that may have reflected Bauhaus teaching, but were typographically virtually useless.

Renner submitted his new design to the Bauer Typefoundry of Frankfurt, which accepted the work – with the stipulation that its staff designers could make a “few” modifications to the typeface. Bauer’s designers left Renner’s caps pretty much untouched, but felt obliged to spend considerable time on the lowercase. Here, they did an exemplary job of melding Renner’s philosophy with proven typeface design precepts. The end result was an immediate and overwhelming success in Germany. It wasn’t until after World War II, however, that Futura was introduced into the United Kingdom and the United States.

While Futura appears to be constructed out of strict geometric shapes, it is not. First, as monotone as they may appear, the stroke weights of the design do vary. The most obvious place is where curved strokes join a stem. Here, the strokes are tapered so that the intersection does not look too heavy. Diagonals are lighter in weight that vertical strokes, and horizontal strokes are lighter still. In addition, the inside diagonals of the ‘W’ are lighter than the outside diagonals. If you look very carefully you will also discover that the top and bottom parts of the ‘O’ are lighter than the sides – and that the top is just a bit lighter than the bottom.

In addition, characters like the ‘G,’ ‘H,’ ‘R’ and ‘P,’ which you might expect to be horizontally symmetrical, are actually somewhat high waisted.

Whether a “true” geometric design, or not, the Futura typeface family has proved itself a valuable typographic contributor for the better part of a century. And now, 45 fonts of Futura are available for Web font implementation.

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.