fonts.com blog
Archive for October, 2011

by Allan Haley

ITC announced three new typeface families in the issues of Volume Thirteen of U&lc. In addition, four new additions to the Families To Remember series were published and the Milestones series continued with a feature article on Monotype’s Stanley Morison. Examples of great illustration also continued to enliven the publication.

The ITC Goudy Sans®, ITC Gamma® and ITC Slimbach® typefaces made important debuts in the pages of U&lc. With the announcement of ITC Slimbach, ITC introduced a new typeface designer – as well as a new typeface family – to the graphic design community. Robert Slimbach’s self-stated goal in drawing his first commercial typeface was “to design a contemporary text typeface with a progressive look; a typeface which was a balance of innovation, clarity and legibility.” From this beginning, Slimbach has become one of the luminaries of the craft of type design. He has won many awards for his typefaces, including the rarely awarded Charles Peignot Award from the Association Typographique Internationale, and repeated TDC2 awards from the Type Directors Club.

ITC Gamma takes its name from the third letter of the Greek alphabet. Coincidentally (or not), ITC Gamma is the third ITC release from the type designer Jovica Veljovic. His earlier ITC Veljovic® and ITC Esprit® typefaces were based on classic roman letterforms. Such is the case with ITC Gamma, but the crispness and obvious calligraphic influences of Veljovic’s previous typefaces have been replaced with softer, more studied, shapes.

One of the most original and distinctive sans serif typefaces of the early 20th century was drawn by Frederic Goudy. In 1929, the Lanston Monotype Company challenged Goudy to create a sans serif different from the norm. Drawing from Roman lapidary inscriptions, Goudy crafted a type design that was less formal than existing sans serifs, with a cursive italic rather than the more common obliqued roman.

In many ways, Goudy’s sans serif was more modern than the geometric designs of the time. Well-known typographer and typographic historian Robert Bringhurst wrote, “ITC Goudy Sans is the spiritual father of several recent sans serifs, including Erik Spiekermann’s FF Meta® and ITC Officina™ Sans typefaces – and like them, it is not quite as sans as the name suggests.”

The ITC Goudy Sans family has had four distinct “growth spurts” over the years. Goudy originally created the three designs of heavy, light, and light italic for metal typesetting. Many years later, Compugraphic Corp. revived Goudy’s original work for photocomposition. Several improvements were made to the original design, and three more faces were added to the family. In 1986, ITC re-released the design under a license agreement with Compugraphic, and the family was enlarged again to its present size of four weights and corresponding italics.

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

Low Resolution:

Volume 13–1 (Low Res).pdf (16.3 MB)

Volume 13–2 (Low Res).pdf (16.2 MB)

Volume 13–3 (Low Res).pdf (16.2 MB)

Volume 13–4 (Low Res).pdf (14.5 MB)

High Resolution:

Volume 13–1.pdf (69.9 MB)

Volume 13–2.pdf (70.9 MB)

Volume 13–3.pdf (77.3 MB)

Volume 13–4.pdf (69.7 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

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

Avenir® 55 Roman
Futura® Bold
Avenir® 95 Black, Ext.
Neue Helvetica® 55 Roman
Neue Helvetica® 35 Thin
Avenir® 85 Heavy
Univers® 57 Condensed
Neue Helvetica® 75 Bold
Neue Helvetica® 77 Condensed Bold
Garamond 3 Regular
Garamond 3 Italic
Bauer Bodoni® Black Italic
Sackers™ Gothic Heavy
Sackers™ Gothic Medium
Avenir® 65 Medium
Trade Gothic® Condensed Bold #20, Ext.
Avenir® 35 Light
Neue Helvetica® 45 Light
Neue Helvetica® 87 Condensed Heavy
Trade Gothic® Condensed Bold 20
Trade Gothic® Bold
Helvetica® Condensed Bold
Neue Helvetica® 25 Ultra Light
Futura Medium
Neue Helvetica® 57 Condensed
Administer BookItalic
Avenir® 95 Black
Linotype Univers® 620 Condensed Bold
Linotype Didot® Bold
Linotype Didot® Roman
Linotype Univers® 420 Condensed
Linotype Didot® Italic
Neue Helvetica® 67 Condensed Medium
Linotype Univers® 320 Condensed Light, Ext.
Futura® Book
Univers® 47 Condensed Light Oblique, Ext.
Trade Gothic® Roman
Avenir® 45 Book
Futura® Heavy
Futura® Bold Condensed
Futura® Medium Condensed
PMN Caecilia® 75 Bold
PMN Caecilia® 85 Heavy
Neue Helvetica® 45 Light, Ext.
Trade Gothic® Bold 2
PMN Caecilia® 76 Bold Italic
ITC Avant Garde Gothic® Book
Neue Helvetica® 65 Medium
Monotype Grotesque® Condensed
Neue Helvetica® 37 Condensed Thin
Neue Helvetica® 47 Condensed Light
Neue Frutiger® Light
Trade Gothic® Bold, Ext.
Neue Frutiger® Bold
Neue Frutiger® Book
ITC Legacy® Serif Bold Italic
Neue Helvetica® 55 Roman, Ext.
VAG Rounded™ Bold
Rockwell® Bold
Trade Gothic® Condensed 18
Univers® 67 Condensed Bold Oblique
Avenir® 55 Roman, Ext.
Trade Gothic® Extended Bold
Felbridge™ Regular
Neue Helvetica® 77 Condensed Bold, Ext.
Cochin® Roman
Neuzeit® Office Bold
Neuzeit® Office Regular, Ext.
VAG Rounded™ Black
ITC Avant Garde Gothic® Medium
Neue Helvetica® 63 Extended Medium
Neue Helvetica® 53 Extended, Ext.
Frutiger® 65 Bold
Neue Helvetica® 73 Extended Bold, Ext.
DIN Next™ Bold
Frutiger® 55 Roman
Trade Gothic® Bold #2, Ext.
DIN Next™ Regular
ITC Avant Garde Gothic® Bold
VAG Rounded™ Light
Trade Gothic Next Regular
Helvetica® Bold, Ext.
Helvetica® Bold
Trade Gothic® Condensed #18, Ext.
Neue Helvetica® 65 Medium, Ext.
DIN 1451 Engschrift
DIN Next™ Condensed Bold
Frutiger® 45 Light, Ext.
Neo Sans Regular, Ext.
ITC Avant Garde Gothic® Demi
Palatino® Sans Arabic Regular
Avenir® Next Demi
Trade Gothic Next Condensed Bold
Eurostile® Next Regular
Eurostile® Next Extended Regular
Trade Gothic® Light
Eurostile® Next Extended Bold
Eurostile® Next Extended Semibold
Eurostile® Next Semi Bold, Ext.
Gill Sans® Book


by Allan Haley

The prestigious typographic organization, Association Typographique Internationale (ATypI), has hosted just two typeface design competitions in its 54-year history. The first, Bukva:raz!, was held 10 years ago. The results of ATypI’s second typeface design competition, Letter.2, were just announced this week.

The goals of Letter.2 were two-fold: to promote typographic excellence and to provide a wide-angled view of the best typeface design of the last decade.

The competition jury met Oct. 1–2 in Buenos Aires to make its selections. Out of the 561 typefaces submitted, 53 were selected for recognition – five of these were from Monotype Imaging’s typeface libraries.

Our winning typefaces include the Egyptian Slate™, Mundo Sans™, Neue Haas Grotesk™, Pirouette™ and Veljović Script™ designs.

Rod McDonald had the first sketches for the Egyptian Slate typeface design in the works even before the original sans serif, Slate™ branch of the family had been released. He discovered that the openness of the letterforms in the sans serif Slate allowed him to add strong slab serifs without losing any of the character of the original design. To maintain visual parity between the two designs, McDonald had to change the basic weights of the new design and make adjustments on virtually all the characters to compensate for the added visual weight of the serifs.

McDonald drew the roman designs and collaborated with Carl Crossgrove of Monotype Imaging to create the italic counterparts.

Carl Crossgrove began working on Mundo Sans in 1991, prompted by his admiration for several humanist sans typefaces. For the heavy weights in the family, he drew inspiration from traditional hand-lettered signage, with its heavy sans caps, slightly flaring stems and humanist skeleton.

Crossgrove didn’t intend Mundo Sans to be revolutionary; rather, he sought to create “a design with subtle pen ductus, a wide range of weights, and a fluid, unobtrusive italic.” His aim was to keep the design clean and distinctive for display use, while still being understated and suitably proportioned for text composition.

The digital revival of Neue Haas Grotesk, as designed by Christian Schwartz, restores the essence and nuance of the original, iconic 1950s family.

Neue Haas Grotesk, which was to become the Helvetica® typeface family, was available as hand-set metal type in sizes ranging from five to 72 points. Each size required a different font, and each incorporated subtle design differences in order to achieve optimal reproduction of the typeface. However, as machine-set typesetting overtook handsetting techniques, changes were made to the design to simplify production – but at the expense of aesthetic nuances. Over the years, various revisions of the Helvetica design improved the breadth and depth of the family but did not address the design nuances of the original Neue Haas Grotesk. These are now recaptured in Schwartz’s revival.

The Pirouette design is based on the characters in a logotype Ryuichi Tateno created for a 1999 packaging design project. In creating the logo, Tateno experimented with overlapping swash italic letterforms. These experiments continued beyond the logo project, taking on a life of their own – eventually becoming the Pirouette typeface.

The Pirouette family has six different elements. Pirouette Text, a finely drawn italic, is intended for passages of text copy. Pirouette Regular is more formal, with elaborate swash capitals, and is ideally suited to larger sizes. The characters in Pirouette Alternate, Pirouette Separate 1 and Pirouette Separate 2 are additional decorative letters that can be used with copy set in Pirouette Text or Pirouette Regular to create more ornate typography. The last member of the Pirouette family, Pirouette Ornaments, is a collection ornaments that can used individually or in groups to enliven a page. They can also be set in sequence to create elegant borders.

Veljović Script is based on the informal brush-drawn calligraphy of its designer, master calligrapher Jovica Veljović. Veljović Script’s letters generally do not connect, although Veljović drew several that will overlap, reflecting his calligraphic style. The typeface family includes four weights: light, regular, medium, and bold. Veljović Script is a multilingual family, supporting both Latin and Cyrillic scripts.

Each of the Veljović Script fonts contains hundreds of alternate and swash characters. The resulting typeface has much of the flexibility, versatility – and certainly the beauty – of calligraphic lettering. While remaining highly legible, there is a vibrancy in Veljović Script that is found in few typefaces.

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

At first take, it may be surprising to hear that a website of a government agency is an early adopter of Web fonts. But when you consider the FCC’s goal of promoting innovation in communication services and facilities, it makes sense.

Established in 1934 as an independent U.S. government agency, the Federal Communications Commission regulates interstate and international communications by radio, television, wire, satellite and cable in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and U.S. territories.

The commission’s website features background information on the FCC, a newsroom, reporting tools and a series of resources for working with the FCC. The site’s use of the Trade Gothic® family not only makes the text distinctive, but also keeps text machine readable and sizable, helping FCC.gov achieve elegance and accessibility.

FCC 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 Vikki Quick

“You don’t have an ounce of rhythm in your entire body! You should get out of here, go home, put on some Mozart, dance around for an hour, then try this again.”

Those were the words of a calligraphy teacher berating a student in front of a class some 40 years ago. No, the student was not Steve Jobs. But as you read, you’ll undoubtedly recognize a connection that explains Jobs’ affinity for type, and how he opened it up to the world and then some.

The story begins with Lloyd J. Reynolds, who founded a calligraphy program back in 1949 at Reed College in Portland, Ore., the same school Jobs would briefly attend years later. At the time when Reynolds ran the program, his class was the hottest ticket on campus, achieving standing-room-only status. So how could this course, which was taught until 1984, captivate students so powerfully? No other one-credit elective seemed to engage its attendees to the same degree.

According to an excellent article from the August 2003 edition of Reed magazine, from which much of this post is based, the “rise, reign, and fall of calligraphy at Reed is a tale of charisma, discovery, Zen, jealousy, spirituality, body vs. mind, the hand linked to the heart, a Trappist monk, the white paper between the lines – and, yes, above all it is the legacy of one brilliant, caring and cranky teacher: Lloyd J. Reynolds.” His course stretched beyond calligraphy to include typography, book design and printmaking using woodcuts. A passionate instructor, Reynolds sometimes blurted cutting remarks, like the ones at the beginning of this article.

Working for a brief time at a greeting card and sign company earlier in his career, Reynolds once said, “I asked questions about the letters and got no answers. There was technical skill there but no substance. There had to be more than empty mechanical knowledge.” Reynolds absorbed himself in calligraphy. Although he was self taught, he eventually became one of the best calligraphers in the country.

Reynolds became known for professing far beyond calligraphy, tying in the whole of the human condition and reaching into philosophical realms. As his students created works that could serve real purposes, he pushed them to extend themselves and to see below the surface. Imagine a room full of 20-year-olds, focused on the rhythms of their pen strokes while Reynolds took them on mental journeys spanning themes from Michelangelo to Zen Buddhism.

Reynolds spoke of change. He questioned why people feared or denied it when change also brought things that people value most. “Change being what it is,” he once said, “we’re going to lose everything anyhow; so what do we have to lose? Why don’t we, then, drop the hostilities and just live?”

Of course, change came to Reed College’s calligraphy program. Steve Jobs dropped in on the course in the early 1970s, but Reynolds had already left.

Reynolds retired at the beginning of the decade after his wife died. To take his place, he hired Robert Palladino, a former Trappist Monk and monastery scribe. Reynolds saw that Palladino believed clearly there was more to calligraphy than drawing letters.

Jobs famously described what he learned from his calligraphy class at Reed during his Stanford University commencement speech in 2005. “Throughout the campus every poster, every label on every drawer, was beautifully hand calligraphed.” He went on to say, “I learned about serif and sans serif typefaces, about varying the amount of space between different letter combinations, about what makes great typography great. It was beautiful, historical, artistically subtle in a way that science can’t capture, and I found it fascinating.”

In that same speech, Jobs recalled that when connecting the dots of one’s life, you can only look backward. He said if he hadn’t dropped in on Palladino’s calligraphy class, he never would’ve introduced the Macintosh computer with multiple typefaces or proportionally spaced fonts. Jobs said that while the course seemed impractical at the time, it turned out to be one of the most priceless experiences of his life.

Although they probably never met, Jobs and Reynolds had much in common. Each found professions where they excelled and loved unconditionally.  Each was relentlessly driven. Each used their gifts to make connections and do great things, despite being at times cantankerous. In one case, the whole world benefitted, and in the other, a small student community became profoundly impacted.

If it weren’t Lloyd J. Reynolds, who died in 1978, Steven P. Jobs may never have had the opportunity to make typography matter to the world. Likewise, there’s most certainly someone out there today who never met Jobs, someone who’s a lot like him who will take the same passion and somehow change the world, again.

 


by Johnathan Zsittnik

If you’re currently using Web fonts or are closely following the Web font movement, you’re aware of the role that a vistor’s operating system and browse plays in the display of a Web page using Web fonts. Because of the various approaches to font rendering taken by OS and browser providers, type appears differently between OS and browser combinations. This should be a consideration for Web designers when deciding which typefaces to use and how to use them.

To help aid this process, we’ve added an OS and browser preview feature to Fonts.com Web Fonts. To try it out, go to any product page and click the “Browser preview” tab. You’ll be presented with a waterfall image of the font displayed using a particular OS and browser. Use the OS and browser dropdown menus to go directly to the combination of your choice or use the arrow controls to scroll through each preview image. The tool currently provides previews for the following OS environments and browsers. Which others would you most like to see next? Let us know!

OS environments

  • Windows XP (font smoothing)
  • Windows XP (ClearType)
  • Windows 7 (ClearType)
  • Windows 7 (DirectWrite)
  • Mac OS X

Browsers*

  • Firefox 5
  • Firefox 7
  • Chrome 12
  • Safari 5
  • Internet Explorer 8
  • Internet Explorer 9

*Some browser options are available only with certain OS combinations.

Fonts.com Web Fonts Browser Preview

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

The Bayer Advanced line of lawn and garden products are designed to effectively protect and nurture lawns, gardens and homes with less effort. The brand recently launched a photography competition where entrants competed for a $10,000 lawn makeover.

The competition website, ultimate-yard-makeover.com, sports a gallery of the winning photographs and links to a Facebook page where visitors can participate in a similar photo contest. Text blossoms in the Neue Helvetica® family, used throughout the site.

Bayer-Advanced Ultimate Yard Sweepstakes

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

Design is at a critical inflection point as a practice, thought process and force for change. “Pivot,” this year’s AIGA Design Conference, in Phoenix (October 13–16) will explore the shifts prompting this change – and help prepare its more than 1,500 attendees for the complexities of the future.

Three intensive days of inspiring speakers, practical workshops and in-depth discussions, will provide perspective on the changing design industry and actionable insights on how to increase value to clients and how to improve business prospects. Monotype Imaging is proud to be part of what should be an extraordinary experience.

We will be one of the major sponsors of Command X: Season 3, a design reality show featuring seven up-and-coming designers, all under the age of 26, who step into the spotlight and have the chance to break into the industry in front of peers, heroes and potential employers. Throughout the conference, contestants will take on a series of design challenges to complete and present on the main stage within 24 hours. The Linotype® Originals OpenType Library (valued at $12,000) will be one of the main prizes.

Allan Haley, director of words and letters at Monotype Imaging will deliver a presentation titled Bach, Fonts and Rock ‘n’ Roll on Friday afternoon.

Typography is often inspired by great music – from Bach to Springsteen and scores of musicians in between. Both typography and music can be classical, improvisational, raucous, lyrical, offbeat, soothing or loud. They also share some basic concepts: counterpoint, rhythm, syncopation, dissonance and harmony. Haley’s presentation will pair the work of Charlie Parker, Green Day, Mozart, Buddy Guy and more, with award-winning typography their music could have inspired. Great typography that has roots in music will be analyzed, scrutinized and decoded. Attendees will learn why, and how, music can be the perfect catalyst for creating typography that sings with magnetism and verve.

Later that evening, Haley will also deliver his Type Quiz. This year’s quiz will have all new questions – and it will be even more fun and rewarding than ever before. There will be more prizes and a series of questions for those that don’t care that five-point type was once called “pearl.” And, if you know your typographic stuff, winning the varsity section will score you the grand prize of the complete Linotype® Originals OpenType Library of more than 1,700 fonts and “Typophile of the Year” bragging rights. In addition, over 60 other cool prizes – from t-shirts to books, to type pillows, to complete typeface families – will be given out to just about anyone who knows Bodoni from second-base.

On Saturday morning, Eli Wilkie and Carl Crossgrove, of Monotype Imaging, will lead the Building Brand in the Digital Age: Web Font Services workshop.

Technology brings collective challenges of building, maintaining, growing and delivering a unified customer experience. A task made increasingly more complex and demanding by real-time advances and multi-channel interactions. Building and maintaining brand awareness has never been more difficult and complex.

This workshop will show attendees how to deliver richer communications with Web typography using Web fonts, including how to select fonts and manage layout across different platforms and browsers.

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 Bill Davis

Fonts.com Web Fonts continues to expand our collection of prestigious and important typefaces. Today we are pleased to announce the addition of 376 Web fonts from the URW++ Font Collection.

URW++ now available at Fonts.com web fontsURW++ is based in Hamburg, Germany and has a rich history in digital typeface manufacturing. The URW++ font collection features an impressive range of original and licensed fonts of historical importance, and a diverse palette of font styles for designers to choose from. This initial set of fonts represents some of the most popular fonts in the URW++ collection:

The Corporate™ A, Corporate™ S and Corporate™ E typeface series was originally designed by Prof. Kurt Weidemann as a set of corporate branding typefaces for Mercedes-Benz (Daimler). This trilogy of fonts covers serif, sans serif and slab serif designs, and includes a wide range of typefaces styles — including small caps options — and extensive language support.
Corporate ASE web fonts
The Nimbus Sans Novus™ family is a versatile sans serif workhorse. It is based on the original drawings from Linotype’s Stempel type foundry.

The URW Garamond™ design is a beautiful take on this classic typeface family. Developed by the URW Studio in 1983, URW Garamond has an extensive range of weights to choose from.

We will continue to add URW fonts in the coming weeks. If there are any URW fonts in particular that you would like to see us offer, please let us know!


by Matt Brinkerhoff

Earlier this year, we expanded the Fonts.com Affiliate Program to commission affiliates who refer paid subscriptions to our Fonts.com Web Fonts service. Based on the enthusiastic response, we’ve expanded the program once again with a new ways for affiliates to generate commissions: now affiliates will receive $1 USD for every free plan subscription they refer.  If you are an existing affiliate, you don’t need to change anything to take advantage of these new terms. Your existing links will track all orders on both Fonts.com and Fonts.com Web Fonts (webfonts.fonts.com).

Those interested in joining the Fonts.com Affiliate Program can sign up here. Upon joining, you’d discover a large variety of creative, from simple text links, to banner ads, to a comprehensive datafeed of our entire catalog that can be incorporated into your product search results.

Here’s a quick look at the products and services in the program and their corresponding commissions:

  • Desktop Font Purchase on Fonts.com — 15% of total transaction
  • Fonts.com Web Fonts 30 day subscription — 50% of initial transaction
  • Fonts.com Web Fonts annual subscription — 5% of  initial transaction
  • Fonts.com Web Fonts Free subscription — $1 USD

We’re very excited to extend this opportunity to both our new and existing affiliates! Learn more about the Fonts.com Web Fonts Affiliate Program.

Matt Brinkerhoff
Matt Brinkerhoff holds a bachelor’s degree in E-Business from Champlain College and has experience in user experience, multivariate testing, design and Web development. Through his work as a freelance designer, Matt developed an affinity for typography years before joining the team.


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