fonts.com blog
Archive for December, 2011

by Allan Haley

After 14 years of issues in just black and white, in 1988, color finally appeared on the pages of U&lc. It was only used on the first and last four pages of the publication, and its implementation was pretty timid – but it was a start. There were also four typeface release announcements in U&lc’s Volume Fifteen and a coterie of articles bejeweled with exceptional typography and brilliant illustrations.

After years of requesting, negotiating and downright pleading, we were finally given the OK to use color in the pages of U&lc. While we reveled in the ability to finally use more that just black ink, the first implementation of color could only be described as sedate. Future issues of U&lc, however, would take full advantage of the new capabilities.

The first of the “Letter” series, which traced the history of the letters in the Latin alphabet, appeared in Volume Fifteen, Number One, and the ITC typeface review board was announced in the following issue. Actually, ITC had a review board to help determine what typefaces were added to its typeface library from the very beginning but, because of growing reader inquiries about how ITC determines what typefaces to produce, we thought that it would be good to introduce the board members and explain the review process to the readers of U&lc.

Four sets of typefaces were also announced in the pages of Volume Fifteen: the ITC Panache®, ITC Jamille® and ITC Stone® families from Vince Pacella, Mark Jamra and Sumner Stone; and a suite of the first ITC Arabic typefaces from Mourad Boutros. Sumner Stone and Mourad Boutros continue to design typefaces for ITC and Monotype Imaging.

While U&lc featured the work of many illustrators in its pages, the drawings of Murray Tinkelman tended to show up with marked frequency. This was because Tinkelman is not only a terrific illustrator but also drew on some particularly intriguing topics for his work. His drawings of fellow illustrators, graphic designers, for the “Varoom, Varoom, Varoom, Varoom. Pussycats on Bikes?” article in the first issue of Volume Fifteen, is a case in point.

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

Low Resolution:

Volume 15–1 (Low Res).pdf (13.9 MB)

Volume 15–2 (Low Res).pdf (14.3 MB)

Volume 15–3 (Low Res).pdf (13.9 MB)

Volume 15–4 (Low Res).pdf (12.7 MB)

High Resolution:

Volume 15–1.pdf (61.9 MB)

Volume 15–2.pdf (69.1 MB)

Volume 15–3.pdf (65.0 MB)

Volume 15–4.pdf (61.2 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 Johnathan Zsittnik

Celestial Seasonings was born in 1969, long before the boon of all-natural foods and goods. Some 40 years later, the company has developed an extensive and popular line of all-natural herbal teas and is among the largest and most recognizable specialty tea manufacturers.

Celestial Seasoning’s online home uses a large rotating carousel to showcase an assortment of teas that includes green, chai and herbal varieties. The Signature™ typeface was a suitable choice for navigation and other text elements, as it harmonizes with the lettering of the logo and the organic tone of the site’s visuals.

Celestial Seasonings Uses 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 Allan Haley

Axel Bertram’s Rabenau™ typeface family – over 20 years in the making – masterfully combines neoclassical, baroque and calligraphic design traditions. Rabenau is harmonious, versatile and rich in typographic refinement.

Bertram has developed alphabets for magazines, television, branding – and even typewriters. However, none of these designs has been available commercially, as all of them are custom typefaces drawn for specific projects or corporate clients. In the mid 1990s, in addition to his on-going freelance projects, Bertram began work on a personal venture, which has culminated in the Rabenau typeface family.

Gestation, Evolution, Collaboration

Initially, Bertram intended simply to create a typeface for his own use in book design and related projects. Over several years, as he used the typeface, Bertram continued to refine character shapes and proportions, subtly adjusting individual letters. He reconsidered the structure of every detail, from counters and stroke terminals to serifs, in the interest of making the design appealing for a wide range of applications.

Well into the project, Bertram began working closely with calligrapher and type designer Andreas Frohloff, a collaboration that ultimately expanded Rabenau into a family of 16 designs – completing the transformation from a labor of love, to personal statement, to commercial product.

A Family For All Seasons

Bertram and Frohloff have given Rabenau a broad repertoire of weights and styles. The regular, book, semibold and bold weights each have italic complements. Four condensed designs, in addition to three very bold “poster” weights and a “shadow,” give the family remarkable versatility. Pronounced stroke contrast is maintained throughout the heavier weights, providing a distinctive sparkle, even at large sizes. Rabenau’s large x-height, bracketed serifs and ample proportions also ensure exceptional performance at small sizes.

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 Bill Davis

If you’re a designer, developer or publisher and deal with multilingual text, chances are the Arial® Unicode™ MS design is your “go-to” font. With around 50,000 glyphs, this workhorse font supports almost every popular language or script used around the
world. So if you need one font to display practically any language, you can depend upon Arial Unicode MS.

Arial Unicode MS Bold font

For years, our customers have been asking for a genuine bold weight so they wouldn’t have to resort to a “fake” bold. Today, we are happy to announce that Arial Unicode MS Bold is finally available!

Designers, developers and publishers can now use the regular and bold weights together to establish typographic hierarchy, such as in headlines and subheads, or lists, reports, user interfaces or many other applications. We have licensed Arial Unicode to hundreds of companies who have deployed it in everything from airline ticketing systems to server-based reporting tools.

Arial Unicode Fonts

Both fonts contain all the characters, ideographs and symbols defined in version 2.1 of the Unicode Standard, the character encoding system defined by the Unicode Consortium. These are not small fonts – these heavyweights of the multilingual world weigh in at 18 to 22 MB each.

Please note that in order to access Unicode-encoded complex script fonts (such as Arabic, Hebrew, Indic and Thai) you must have an appropriate application program. For example, OpenOffice or Microsoft Office® for Windows® platforms (Office for Mac® systems does not currently support complex script fonts). Adobe Creative Suite® users must have the Middle Eastern version, or a plug-in such as IndicPlus™ software to properly use the complex script glyphs in the font.

We hope you enjoy our new and improved Arial Unicode MS font family, two “kitchen sink fonts” that can be used to great effect when working with multiple language documents.

 


by Bill Davis

Over 15,000 Web fonts served!Am I the only one old enough to remember when McDonald’s used to have signs showing the number of burgers served? They actually had someone go up on a ladder to change that number! Those were the days…

The Fonts.com Web Font Service just surpassed a major milestone, as now we are pleased to offer over 15,000 Web fonts!

But this new release  is not just about the number of fonts, but rather the impressive range of high-quality typefaces from our many type foundry partners. This new release includes fabulous script and display fonts, important text font families and additional multilingual fonts supporting Extended Latin, Cyrillic and Greek.

Our hat’s off to the Fonts.com Web font production team on reaching this milestone! Developing Web fonts is a painstaking process that involves a lot of manual effort to prepare and proof each Web font as part of our rigorous Quality Assurance process. Every Web font is “hinted” for optimal display on screen through our proprietary tools, subsetted into various language options to reduce their file size and then reviewed in various browsers and operating systems.

This new update features a wide range of popular fonts from an impressive array of type foundries including:

We invite you to explore our catalog today and see the extensive, growing collection of Web fonts.

 

 


by Johnathan Zsittnik

The notion of browser-based Web designs has gained considerable momentum over the past year. I sat down with Chris Armstrong to discuss the many benefits of starting in the browser that have many Web designers rethinking their workflow.

Chris Armstrong of TypecastJZ: What are the problems you see with the traditional Web design workflow?

CA: The traditional Web design workflow tends to give too much priority to flat comps like those done in Photoshop. It assumes that a flat comp can communicate the right design effectively but it doesn’t show you the whole picture. Applications like Photoshop and Fireworks are great for ideation and exploration, but we really need to test those ideas and work within the realistic constraints of the browser. You can get something that looks good but it’s only when you prototype that those awkward questions like, “What happens when that H1 goes onto two lines?” are asked.

JZ: What projects have you worked on where these problems were particularly apparent?

CA: I recall one project where we delivered pixel perfect comps, but when the client saw the prototype, he wasn’t happy that they weren’t as tight as the comp. Our developer was doing a great job, but he had 101 things to think about and the subtle typographic details that really hold the design together got lost in translation. It was a
lot of work to go back and add that finesse afterward. That project led us to determine we needed to get the typographic foundation right at the beginning and build from there so that we always have a basic level of quality. –And the designer needs to be the person who does this.

JZ: How does designing in the browser address these issues?

CA: Designing in the browser makes it easier to test your design decisions against different types of content, and see how a site is going to adapt to different device sizes. Because it’s composed of HTML and CSS – the raw materials of the Web – you know that if you can get it to work well here, it’s likely to work in the wild. Designing in the browser also forces you to consider the edge cases, and cater for them to avoid nasty surprises – things like the font not rendering well in a Windows environment.

JZ: How has this approach impacted the way you work with your clients?

CA: It allows us to work more closely with our clients to evolve their content. Showing them how a design renders in the browser helps us have the right conversations early in the process. It helps the client understand the constraints of the medium and give more informed feedback.

JZ: Do you still see a role for Photoshop and other drawing applications in the design workflow?

Absolutely. Applications like Photoshop and Fireworks are great for sketching and ideation. Designers are so comfortable with them; they’re like using pen and paper. But we need to spend less time ideating and more time testing and iterating those ideas against real content, within the realistic constraints of the browser environment.

JZ: What led to you developing your own application (Typecast) for designing in the browser?

CA: We got tired of waiting for someone else to do it.

JZ: You’re just about ready to debut Typecast to a broader audience. What’s next for the application?

CA: At the moment we’re focusing on getting the basics right – setting hierarchy, color, contrast. But, in the future we want to do all we can to make it easy to create a complete set of elements, to create good vertical rhythm and help with things like swapping between pixels and ems, and introduce effects. The goal is to provide the tools you need to provide a complete design system for your site.

JZ: Do you have a favorite typeface or one in particular that you’ve been using frequently as of late?

CA: I’m loving Avenir. I just love the elegance of it.

Typecast is a tool for designing in the browser with Web fonts and real content. It includes many of the most popular typeface families from our Fonts.com Web Fonts service and is currently in private beta. Apply for an early look at Typecast on Typecastapp.com.

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