fonts.com blog
Archive for September, 2011

by Johnathan Zsittnik

As the official website of Switzerland tourism, MySwitzerland.com provides a variety of resources to prospective travelers. Website visitors can pour through options for Swiss destinations, accommodations and transportation – or simply learn more about the country.

The website brings the look and feel you’d expect from anything Swiss-made; perhaps making the creative brief the easiest ever created. “Color palette? Let’s go with red and white.” “Typeface? Hmm, let’s see if Neue Helvetica® will work.” The definitive Swiss typeface is used in the masthead and throughout the site, courtesy of Fonts.com Web Fonts.MySwitzerland website using Web fonts

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 Johnathan Zsittnik

Maytag is well-known not only for its durable appliances but also for its commercial-grade parts. When assembling its latest website design, the manufacturing giant once again invested in high-quality parts – this time, assembling headlines with the Neue Helvetica® typeface family.

Laundry and kitchen appliances take center stage on the site’s home page. Accompanying headlines reinforce Maytag’s reputation for quality while Neue Helvetica Bold Extended ensures the message comes through loud and clear.

Maytag Website

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 Johnathan Zsittnik

While much of our time goes to releasing and optimizing our collection of Web fonts, we’re always working hard to add new features to the Fonts.com Web Fonts portal. Today, we’re happy to unveil a couple of our most requested features: annual subscriptions and German language support.

Our new annual subscriptions are perfect for those who are no longer just experimenting with Web fonts and are ready to take the leap. Choosing an annual subscription will reduce the frequency of billing for you and your clients while providing a nice price break. An annual subscription is just over eight percent less expensive than a year’s worth of 30-day subscriptions.

You may have also noticed that Fonts.com Web Fonts now speaks Deutsch. German is the most preferred language of our users (behind English) so this should come as good news to our friends in Germany, Switzerland and other parts of the world. The site will automatically display in English or German based on the language preference in your browser. You can also manually specify the language or toggle between languages by clicking the name of the language displayed in the right hand side of the navigation. Fonts.com Web Fonts German Home Page

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 Johnathan Zsittnik

Yesterday, we opened up the call for entries to the 2011 Web Font Awards. If you’re just learning about it for the first time (and haven’t already guessed), the Web Font Awards is a design competition for websites using Web fonts. Entrants compete for two prizes. Our Community Choice winner goes to the site with the highest rating on webfontawards.com. Anyone can rate a site by creating a free account. Let your voice be heard. Our Judges’ Choice award will be determined American Idol-style by a live panel of judges at the Future of Web Design New York conference in November. Our winners will receive a hefty take that includes a trip to the Future of Web Design London conference in 2012, an iPad® 2 device, a subscription to Fonts.com Web Fonts and other prizes.

If you’re familiar with the Web Font Awards, let me catch you up on what’s new with this year’s competition.

New breed of entrants
A lot has changed in a year. While we’re still in the early phases of adoption, there are far more users and many more recognizable brands leveraging this exciting technology than just one year ago. Visit webfontawards.com frequently to see who.

Increase the power of your vote
Everyone has a vote in our Community Choice award, but not all will be created equal. Make sure yours carries as much weight as possible! In order to stimulate engagement in the competition as well as fair voting practices, we’ve built in some controls that will allow you to increase your influence. Those who contribute designs, vote frequently, vote fairly and share info with us that tell us you’re not a robot, will be rewarded by having their votes worth more.

Share your site
Web Font Awards sharing widgetIf you contribute your design, you’ll find code for a handy promotional widget on your contribution page. Add the code to your own site to present a snapshot of your entry and its current rating to your visitors and encourage them to rate your site. Each submission page also includes a host of sharing tools to promote entrants through the social avenue of your choice.

Once again, we’d like to thank our friends at Carsonified for helping us put on the Web Font Awards as well as our media partners, HOW, Creative Review, Slanted and Novum and our many sponsors.

We hope you enjoy the competition. Now get out there and submit, rate, and enjoy!

 

2011 Web Font Awards

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 Chris Roberts

Here’s a ranked listing of Fonts.com Web Fonts’ top 100 most used Web fonts for August 2011:

Neue Helvetica® 87 Condensed Heavy
Administer BookItalic
Univers® 57 Condensed
Neue Helvetica® 77 Condensed Bold
Avenir® 85 Heavy
Garamond 3 Regular
Helvetica® Condensed Bold
Futura® Bold
Garamond 3 Italic
Bauer Bodoni® Black Italic
Neue Helvetica® 35 Thin
Sackers™ Gothic Heavy
Sackers™ Gothic Medium
Neue Helvetica® 55 Roman
Neue Helvetica® 57 Condensed
Neue Helvetica® 75 Bold
Avenir® 35 Light
Avenir® 65 Medium
Avenir® 55 Roman
Neue Helvetica® 45 Light
Trade Gothic® Bold
Futura Medium
Trade Gothic® Condensed Bold 20
Trade Gothic® Condensed Bold #20, Ext
Avenir® 95 Black
Neue Helvetica® 25 Ultra Light
ITC Legacy® Serif Bold Italic
Avenir® 95 Black, Ext
Futura® Book
Linotype Didot® Bold
Linotype Didot® Roman
Linotype Didot® Italic
Neue Helvetica® 67 Condensed Medium
Linotype Univers® 420 Condensed
PMN Caecilia® 75 Bold
Linotype Univers® 620 Condensed Bold
Futura® Bold Condensed
Neue Helvetica® 47 Condensed Light
PMN Caecilia® 85 Heavy
Linotype Univers® 320 Condensed Light, Ext
PMN Caecilia® 76 Bold Italic
Futura® Medium Condensed
Univers® 47 Condensed Light Oblique, Ext
Futura® Heavy
Neue Helvetica® 37 Condensed Thin
Monotype Grotesque® Condensed
ITC Avant Garde Gothic® Book
Avenir® 45 Book
VAG Rounded™ Black
Neue Helvetica® 45 Light, Ext
Neue Helvetica® 65 Medium
Avenir® 55 Roman, Ext
Rockwell® Bold
VAG Rounded™ Bold
Neue Helvetica® 55 Roman, Ext
Trade Gothic® Roman
Felbridge™ Regular
Neue Helvetica® 63 Extended Medium
Trade Gothic® Extended Bold
Neue Helvetica® 53 Extended, Ext
Helvetica® Condensed Bold, Ext
Neue Helvetica® 73 Extended Bold, Ext
Frutiger® 65 Bold
Neue Frutiger® Light
Eurostile® Next Regular
Eurostile® Next Extended Regular
Eurostile® Next Extended Bold
Neue Helvetica® 65 Medium, Ext
Eurostile® Next Extended Semibold
Eurostile® Next Semi Bold, Ext
ITC Avant Garde Gothic® Medium
Frutiger® 55 Roman
ITC Avant Garde Gothic® Bold
ITC Avant Garde Gothic® Demi
Trade Gothic® Light
Neue Frutiger® Bold
Neo Sans Regular, Ext
Trade Gothic® Bold, Ext
Neue Frutiger® Book
Univers® 67 Condensed Bold Oblique
DIN Next™ Regular
Helvetica® Light, Ext
Trade Gothic® Condensed 18
Helvetica® Rounded Condensed Bold
Palatino® Sans Arabic Regular
Frutiger® 45 Light, Ext
Neue Frutiger® Regular
Cochin® Roman
Helvetica® Condensed
Trade Gothic® Condensed #18, Ext
Neo® Sans Arabic Regular
VAG Rounded™ Light
ITC Lubalin Graph® Book
Neue Helvetica® 67 Condensed Medium, Ext
Avenir® Next Demi
Avenir® 35 Light, Ext
Neue Helvetica® 75 Bold, Ext
Neue Frutiger® Medium
Helvetica® Bold, Ext
Frutiger® 65 Bold, Ext


by Allan Haley

Ed Gottschall’s editorial column in Volume Twelve number One of U&lc stated, “… As ITC moves through its 15th year, it is appropriate to consider how the world of typography has changed since 1970 and where we believe it is heading by the year 2000.” Gottschall goes on to write about how he believes that millions of people in offices around the world will be using typefaces like the Helvetica® or ITC Garamond™ designs, instead of typewriter faces. While Gottschall was correct about that prediction, he could not have known that Monotype Imaging would also acquire ITC in 2000.

In Volume Twelve Number Four, Gottschall provided an additional view into the future in his “ITC’s Technology Update.” In the article, he writes about over two-dozen companies that were on the cutting-edge of technological change in graphic communications. Of these, only six are still in business. Apple® was one of the six – but it was only given four lines of copy in the 1985 article.

Three new typefaces were also announced in the pages of Volume Twelve, the ITC Mixage™, ITC Élan™ and ITC Esprit™ designs. They are all around today.

Steven Heller, who was recently awarded Smithsonian Institution’s National Design Award for “Design Mind”, and attended the White House luncheon hosted by Michelle Obama, along with fellow NDA winner – and Lifetime Achievement recipient – Matthew Carter, was one of the contributing writers to Volume Twelve. Heller continued to contribute to U&lc for many more years.

Click the PDFs below to find out what else was in U&lc Volume Twelve.

Low Resolution:

Volume 12–1 (Low Res).pdf (15.3 MB)

Volume 12–2 (Low Res).pdf (16.7 MB)

Volume 12–3 (Low Res).pdf (16.1 MB)

Volume 12–4 (Low Res).pdf (17.0 MB)

High Resolution:

Volume 12–1.pdf (69.3 MB)

Volume 12–2.pdf (77.1 MB)

Volume 12–3.pdf (73.8 MB)

Volume 12–4.pdf (76.3 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 Vikki Quick

I’m at ATypI, the type conference being held in Reykjavik right now, and I’m struck by the diversity of the presentations. Type is being dissected at every angle, from looking at new methods for manipulating font outlines during the typeface design process to discussing the “issues and perspectives in cross-cultural typographic communication.” Of particular interest was one talk, “The Subtle & Peculiar Lessons We Learned from Google Web Fonts Users” – the focus of this post.

Dawn Shaikh, senior user experience researcher at Google, and Mark Tobias Kunisch, also from Google and the lead user experience designer for the Google Web Fonts project, spoke about what they learned from a study conducted last winter on Web fonts users. Data was gathered from more than 50 Web fonts users, ranging from novice to experienced users.

Dawn Shaikh and Mark Tobias Kunisch of Google discuss a study on Web fonts users.

The study revealed that users are more likely to be dabbling in Web fonts than fully committing to them. Users are looking for high-quality fonts, “lots and lots” of fonts and complete font families for body copy. Users want to be able to input their own custom text to see how a font will look, and they want a fast, easy implementation, a try-before-you buy model, and the ability to print the fonts on paper to show to clients. Comparing fonts side by side is important to users, and they also like to be presented with font suggestions, but not subtle ones where they might be missed and not obvious ones that can feel condescending. Users want their Web font service to be a beautiful website that showcases fonts, with excellent organization of the fonts that work on all platforms, all browsers, all devices, all the time. Users also want an easy way to download fonts.

What do users not care about? The study showed that users don’t care about detailed statistics on font usage, or information about the font designers. The study also revealed that users aren’t looking for international fonts, although Dawn thinks a wider study with more international participants would change that view.

What are users concerned about? In the case of open source fonts, users are concerned about quality, missing characters and incomplete families. Users are concerned there are not enough high-quality typeface families that can perform well in mobile devices.

Further, users are also concerned about tagging. They’re suspicious because they’re not sure why a font would be tagged as “old-fashioned” or any other subjective or unclear term that may mean different things to different people. When selecting fonts, users currently favor narrowing a search and then viewing the designs – a filter then scroll approach.

What are some of thoughts on paying for fonts? Study participants had first tried Google Web Fonts for free and most had trial accounts with other services and go back and forth. There were mixed views on paying for Web fonts using a subscription model or as a single transaction. Users relate to the simplicity of a one-time charge but see it as limiting, since subscription plans provide access to a wide range of fonts at any time.

Users are unsure as to how to determine the value of Web fonts or how to measure their return. Users are also scratching their heads about how to educate their clients about Web fonts.

The study helped to shed light on what’s working – and what’s not – and has helped Google to employ user-centric methods to create a new user interface for browsing, selecting and using Google Web Fonts. The fact that Google is sharing results means the whole Web font community can benefit. It also confirms we’re still at the beginning of this shift in designing for the Web.

Click here to learn more about Google’s Web fonts research.

 


by Mark Larson

When the University of the West of England was founded in 1595 (as the “Bristol Society of Merchant Venturers’ Navigation School ”), the font selection they had to choose from was quite a bit smaller than it is today, to say the least. However, when it came to their recent website update, they not only had a vast selection to choose from, but they took the opportunity to implement Web fonts.

Because the university’s mission is to “make a positive difference to our students, business and society”, the university’s website is, in effect, the face of that mission. With than in mind, they chose to use the VAG Rounded™ typeface throughout the navigation elements and headlines on the website. The type’s rounded ends make text appear more informal, imparting a friendly appearance, while still maintaining a professional demeanor.

University of the West of England

University of the West of England


by Mark Larson

Fonts.com Web Fonts is committed to providing the largest and widest selection of Web fonts available, which is why we are continually adding to our already impressive collection. Today, we’re pleased to announce that we’ve added a number of new collections that provide hundreds of new fonts to our Web Font Service. The new collections are:
Calligraphics — The foundry of California-based designer Paul Veres, featuring Gargoyle, a friendly display face.

MyChristie — The collection of UK-based illustrator and typeface designer Christie Podioti that includes Noisetoy, an experimental display design with a touch of art deco.

PeGGo Fonts — Founded in 2002 by Pedro González. Their font Legan follows the classical Trajan pattern, including Greek Trajan uppercase letters used at Trajan’s Column.

PintassilgoPrints — Features the works of Ricardo Marcin and Erica Jung, whose typefaces are drawn to have a handmade feel. The Amarelinha handwriting font is condensed and casual in appearance.

Sardiez — Independent type foundry run by Sergio Ramírez, whose interest in type design is fueled by the possibilities that can be achieved through typographic experimentation. Systopie, a family of four typefaces, is a squared sans design with a futuristic look.

Suomi — The foundry of Tomi Haaparanta, who is recognized for his typefaces offered through Linotype, Monotype, ITC, and T-26. His Titillation design works well for titling and in display settings where space is at a premium.

Grummedia — Features the designs of Graham Blakelock, including Fifteen 36, a design inspired by 16th century Venetian roman book texts.

Ray Cruz — An independent designer, his Bandolera typeface is a curvaceous display face designed to compliment Cruz’s Bandolero design.

Boover Software — New releases from Boover include a series of fraction fonts.

Nice Price Font Collection — A selection of fun and expressive designs with affordable desktop versions available.

We’ve also added new fonts to our Monotype, Linotype and ITC collections:
Monotype Imaging — New additions include Augusta, an elegant calligraphic design drawn by Julius de Goede.

Linotype — Includes additional typefaces from some of Linotype’s most popular families, such as Helvetica, Neue Frutiger Cyrillic and an Arabic version of DIN Next.

ITC — The ITC Adderville typeface includes rounded stroke ends and a skewed baseline contact that creates an illusion of dancing feet.


by Allan Haley

In addition to creating the Electra® typeface family – and many other important typeface designs in the early part of the last century – William Dwiggins also fashioned a couple of alter egos. He employed them to comment on his work and the state of the typographic arts. The most well known was Dr. Hermann Püterschein, a transplanted German of irrefutable typographic knowledge and taste. Another was Kobodaishi, a patron saint of the lettering arts and great Buddhist missionary in ancient Japan. It was Kobodaishi that Dwiggins turned to for guidance in the drawing of Electra.

“I told him,” wrote Dwiggins, “what I was doing and said that it would help if he could give me a kind of an idea what the type style was going to be in the next 10 years – what was going to be the fashionable thing, etc.” Among other bits of advice, Kobodaishi told Dwiggins, “take your curves and streamline ’em. Make a line of letters so full of energy that it can’t wait to get to the end of the measure.”

Dwiggins clearly followed Kobodaishi’s counsel. Electra is a design that radiates energy. Although Electra falls within the “modern” or “neoclassical” family of type styles, it is not based on any traditional model, nor is it an attempt to revive or reconstruct any historic typeface.

Jim Parkinson’s newest typeface, Parkinson Electra, an interpretation of Electra just announced on Fonts.com, has more than a similar appearance to the earlier version. In the design process, Parkinson felt as if he was getting advice on how to interpret the original’s shapes and proportions. It wasn’t the mythological Kobodaishi, however. It was Dwiggins, himself.

“As I was working on (the design) something unusual happened,” recalls Parkinson. “I was no longer just interpreting a typeface. I felt like I was beginning to understand Dwiggins’ thought process. It was almost as if I knew the man.”

Parkinson Electra is not a remake of Dwiggins’ design. The newer typeface is slightly heavier than the original, and its serifs are more delicate. Parkinson’s design also has a softer quality and spaces somewhat tighter. Parkinson Electra does, however, exude the energetic aura of the original.

The Parkinson Electra family is available as desktop fonts from the Fonts.com, Linotype.com and ITCFonts.com websites. It is also available as Web fonts from WebFonts.Fonts.com.

Click here to learn more about Parkinson Electra.

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.