fonts.com blog
Archive for December, 2010

by Allan Haley

After a 10-year hiatus, Hermann Zapf began designing typefaces again in 1976 – and the first were announced in volume three of U&lc.

The Palatino®, Optima®, and Melior® typefaces are just some of the designs Zapf created early in his career. These typefaces were designed for Linotype at a time when type foundries chose not to cross-license their designs. Since his designs were – and still are – a vital component of any well-planned typographic offering, Linotype’s competition commonly produced virtual clones of Zapf’s typefaces to provide to their customers. After seeing this happen time and again, Zapf concluded that it was not intelligent – or profitable – to continue his career designing typefaces for others to plagiarize. In the mid-1960s, Zapf stopped designing commercial typefaces. Over a decade passed before a new typeface of his was released.

Zapf’s re-emergence into type design began when Aaron Burns founded International Typeface Corporation in 1971. The company was built on the principle that it would license typeface designs on a non-exclusive basis to any company that agreed to a relatively basic and straightforward business relationship. Three years later, on a cool October morning, Zapf visited Burns in his New York office. At their meeting, Burns was able to convince Zapf of the soundness of ITC’s business philosophy.

Upon returning home to Germany, Zapf wrote to Burns of his intention to design a new text typeface – which he would offer to ITC. In Zapf’s words, “The system worked out by ITC is the only way to get better conditions for type designers. So I will… carefully prepare my alphabet proposal for my new relationship with ITC…. The design will be a blending of Melior, Bodoni, and Walbaum as a special text face to which we may later add swash characters for display.” The blended design eventually became the ITC Zapf Book™ typeface family, which was released in the spring of 1976. The relationship with ITC continued, with Zapf designing the ITC Zapf International™ and ITC Zapf Chancery™ typefaces in 1976 and1978 and creating the ITC Zapf Dingbats® suite of characters in 1979.

Click below, and you will be rewarded with downloadable files of the third volume of U&lc where you can read about Herman Zapf’s then new typeface releases – and feast on all the other great typographic treasures.

Enjoy!

Low Resolution:

Volume 3–1 (Low Res).pdf (13.2 MB)

Volume 3–2 (Low Res).pdf (16.0 MB)

Volume 3–3 (Low Res).pdf (12.0 MB)

Volume 3–4 (Low Res).pdf (12.3 MB)

High Resolution:

Volume 3–1.pdf (57.5 MB)

Volume 3–2.pdf (69.9 MB)

Volume 3–3.pdf (53.7 MB)

Volume 3–4.pdf (59.0 MB)

Editorial note: For ease of access we have made an index page containing links to the previous U&lc releases which can be found here.

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 Allan Haley

There’s certainly no lack of interest in Web typography. In fact, interest seems to have grown dramatically over the last several months. As a result of this increased level of interest, I was recently asked by the folks who publish HOW and Print magazines to put together a Web based presentation on the subject. (They call it a “DesignCast.”)

I gave the presentation yesterday evening – and can now share it with you. If you click on the appropriate link below (depending on whether you use a Mac or Windows machine), you will be shown the presentation. (It runs about an hour.)

Mac version:  http://bit.ly/fEKyeP

PC Version:  http://bit.ly/hGfcSX

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

Great talk by Stefan Münch at TEDxBerlin about the importance of web fonts for branding.


by Bill Davis

Today marks a new chapter in my 30+ year career in fonts. I am back at Monotype Imaging after a seven year journey, and yes it feels great to be back!

You see, today Monotype Imaging announced the acquisition of Ascender Corp, a specialized font development company I helped co-found. At Ascender, I was responsible for building our font websites including AscenderFonts.com and FontsLive.com, and also GoudyFonts.com, our tribute to Fred & Bertha Goudy.

Like many of the visitors to Fonts.com and readers of this blog, I have a love for type and typography that runs deep into my soul. I first discovered my attraction to type in graphic arts classes in high school, then honed my passion at the Rochester Institute of Technology. I had to join the International Typographical Union for my first summer job at an advertising typography shop, where I had the amazing experience of setting type in hot metal, with PhotoTypositors and AlphaType typesetting equipment. The best feeling was proofing an advertisement for a customer in the afternoon, then seeing it in the newspaper the next morning (and critiquing the quality).

While I don’t consider myself to be old, I certainly have seen the technology of type evolve in fascinating ways over the past 30 years. Especially the past decade! With Web fonts, we have an entirely new chapter being written in type and typography. It is wonderful for both the designers and developers of fonts, and for those who consume type, as Web fonts will unlock the creative palette of font choice on the Web, in e-books and in other HTML-based publications.

I couldn’t think of a better team of people to be associated with than the folks here at Monotype Imaging who also run Fonts.com. They share the same passion for high-quality fonts and creative expression that I do. Thanks for your time in reading this post, and I look forward to contributing more articles on type, technology and other topics in the future.


by Johnathan Zsittnik

In this new blog series, we’ll take a look at a few of our favorite sites designed using Fonts.com Web Fonts.
1Wound.com
“1” is a brand of spray-on wound dressing. The product packaging features a clean, contemporary look where typography takes center stage. With very few design elements outside of the type, it was critical that the DIN Next™ typeface, chosen for the product logo and packaging, also be used on the site. With this in mind, the BLYSS agency of Switzerland designed a site that is clean, attractive and supportive of the 1 brand.

1 Primary Wound Dressing

Frontmedia.co.uk
Frontmedia is a digital design agency specializing in engaging, accessible websites, elegant design and smart technical solutions. The Frontmedia website distinguishes itself with a striking portfolio and a nice pairing of the Rockwell® and ITC Goudy® Sans typefaces.
Frontmedia

 

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 Steve Lee

The top 5 languages used online are English, Chinese, Spanish, Japanese, and Portuguese. Perhaps more surprising is the fact that 22.6% of Internet users have Chinese as their primary language. Web support for world languages is increasingly being recognized as a key success factor for global enterprises. That’s why we think the promise of Web fonts as a global solution rests on language support.

One of the biggest challenges for Web font providers is to support as many languages as possible. Certain world scripts, such as non-Latin writing systems like Chinese, Japanese and Korean, extend the challenge further because of their large numbers of characters and the burden this places on delivering text quickly to your screen. When you land on a Web page, you expect that the text should display instantly, no matter what the language.

The problem is that large font file sizes can cause slower page load times. To overcome the font size vs. speed issue, different approaches for different fonts that support different languages are needed. The goal is to deliver fonts as quickly as possible and hide the complexity from the user. Fonts.com Web Fonts offers lightning fast delivery for over 40 major languages, including those with gigantic character sets like Chinese, Japanese and Korean. So, how do we do it?

Dynamic Subsetting
Looking closely at Chinese, Japanese and Korean fonts, they each can have thousands of characters, from 10,000 to 30,000 or more. The average Chinese Big5 font with 13,000 characters is about 8MB. A Unicode 6 font has 109,449 characters and can require more than 50 MB. That’s where our Dynamic Subsetting comes in.

We are able to deliver fonts that contain ONLY the characters used on the page, thus dramatically reducing font file size. Our patent-pending invention called Dynamic Subsetting accomplishes this. Here’s how it works: a JavaScript code is placed in the target HTML page, which parses the page and reports back to the Web font servers which fonts and which characters are used on the page. This operation is done in a local machine; a simple POST back is rather uncomplicated and small in terms of size. The process is instant. Upon receiving the fonts and character information, the font servers generates the fonts containing only the required characters.

Without Dynamic Subsetting, text set in three East Asian fonts could require a 30 MB download. Dynamic subsetting reduces the font to just the characters needed to render the page. In this example, the combined file size of three East Asian fonts could be shrunk to under 100K – only 0.3% of the original size. Without Dynamic Subsetting, Web fonts are almost off limits to Chinese, Japanese and Korean fonts.

With Dynamic Subsetting and Web fonts, it’s now possible to overcome several language support challenges that have existed since the dawn of the Web. International portals like Facebook, Twitter and Google can now leverage a variety of Unicode fonts to support world languages online without worrying about which system fonts exist on recipient computers. Another great example are Gaiji characters. Gaiji are non-standard characters that are found in people’s names in countries such as Japan, Taiwan and China. These characters are not available in standard character sets, but are very important for government agencies and large global enterprises. Web fonts which include these characters can be deployed to solve this problem. Similar problems can now be addressed with WGL4 fonts for Pan-European characters, Japanese Ruby characters, Chinese Bopomofo and Chinese Pinyin.

For the first time in the history of the Web, countless culturally and educationally important characters can finally move into the digital age. In these examples, Web fonts don’t just match the language support provided by system fonts, they exceed it, providing a new set of language support capabilities. Web fonts have arrived, and with Fonts.com Web Fonts web designers can now deliver better looking Web sites with improved language support. A truly beautiful global solution.

Great type makes sites stand out