Archive for July, 2011

by Allan Haley

Gerard Unger, designer of the Vesta™ typeface family, once received an e-mail from a graphic designer who thought he saw serifs while reading text copy set in the typeface. “It has the weight contrast of a typeface with serifs,” says Unger, “which may have caused an optical illusion. The designer thought I had designed the missing link between sans serif and serif typefaces.”

Where most sans serif typefaces have strokes that are close to monoline, Unger chose to add some modulation to those in Vesta. He wanted to ensure the design would be applicable for use in long blocks of text copy and knew that this stroke modulation would aid the reading process. Both Vesta and its display companion the BigVesta™ design also benefit from open letter shapes, large counters and relatively flat curves that create a horizontal stress – all also aiding readability.

Vesta and BigVesta stem from two sources. “I took the lettering on the frieze of the little temple of Vesta in Tivoli as the starting point,” says Unger. His typeface was to be used for signage and an information system for the city of Rome during its Jubilee 2000 celebration, and Unger wanted to create a type design that would continue the 2,000-year Roman tradition of public lettering. His clients were intrigued by the design but decided they wanted a typeface with serifs instead. After all, Rome is often considered the birthplace of the serif. Unger’s new serif typeface became his Capitolium™ family.

While developing Vesta, Unger was also influenced by French sans serif typefaces of the 1940s and 1950s, designs that favored a marked contrast in character stroke weights.

Vesta is narrower than sans serifs typefaces that are commonly used. This makes Vesta a good choice for setting copy for periodicals and in other environments where high levels of character legibility and economy of space are important typographical goals.

The temple of Vesta, which dates back to the early first century B.C., holds typographic significance beyond Unger’s choice as a typeface name. According to James Mosley, author of “The Nymph and the Grot: the revival of the sanserif letter,” the temple of Vesta is the ancestral home of all sans serif typefaces.

Vesta and BigVesta are available in seven weights, ranging from an elegant light to an authoritative black – each with a complementary, cursive italic. To supplement the large Pro font character set, which supports most Central European and many Eastern European languages, the Vesta family also has small caps and old style figures.

Click here to learn more about Vesta and BigVesta.

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

What’s the latest weapon in the cola wars? Web fonts! Well, perhaps I shouldn’t go that far, but I can say that both Coke and Pepsi have launched sites leveraging the technology.

Coca-Cola’s Live Positively® campaign represents the company’s commitment to making a positive difference in the world. The website features ideas and programs for balanced living, protecting the environment and benefiting local communities. Coca-Cola bolsters the rounded typeface resurgence by delivering its message through the VAG Rounded™ design.

Coke's Live Positively Website using Web Fonts brings to Sweden the latest ideas, and stories from the Pepsi Refresh Project® – a campaign which funds ideas voted most likely to move our communities forward. The site looks ahead with the Futura® typeface, used for virtually all text across the site.Pepsi website using Web fonts

While the fact that the companies launched similar campaigns at the same time may raise eyebrows, it’s refreshing to see marketing dollars being directed at community enrichment. And I can’t think of a technology more appropriate than Web fonts to support programs aimed at driving change.

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.

Great type makes sites stand out