Archive for January, 2012

by Bill Davis

Who says fonts aren’t newsworthy? Last year we had a little fun on April 1 and chose that date to announce the new Comic Sans® Pro font family. Recently we learned that this particular release placed number six on the list of top 20 most-viewed press releases for during 2011.

Yes, the Comic Sans Pro press release was read by more people than:

  • Steve Job’s resignation letter
  • Google’s plans to acquire Motorola Mobility
  • ExxonMobil’s discoveries in deepwater Gulf of Mexico.

Of course there was a lot of other Tom Foolery going on last April 1st, including Google’s font shenanigans — if you searched for “Helvetica” the results were displayed in Comic Sans. Now tell me again, who says fonts can’t be fun?

I love Comic Sans Pro - font sample


by Allan Haley

You may notice something different in the last two issues of U&lc Volume Sixteen. The table of contents, that normally ran on page one of each issue, is moved back several pages to make way for advertising. Letraset, primarily known as the premier provider of dry transfer lettering the 1970s and 1980s, had acquired ITC just a couple of years earlier – and the ads were for the company’s new line of design software and plug-ins.

I remember the general manager of Letraset in North American at the time telling me that fonts were a “mature” product with little hope for growth. “The future,” he said, “is in software. ITC’s main function will be to serve as a conduit to provide graphic designers with Letraset design software.” He didn’t realize that fonts were also quickly becoming software available to a much wider audience than he imagined. Which is why the folks that founded Monotype Imaging purchased ITC, and its typefaces, in 2000, even though it was abandoned by Letraset and reduced to a shell of its former self. Today, new typefaces are added to the ITC Library on a regular basis and it’s fonts are seen in everything from websites to smart phones – in addition to traditional hardcopy environments.

Along with the increase in advertising, U&lc continued its tradition of announcing new ITC typefaces. After many years and very many requests, a suite of italic designs was announced for the ITC American Typewriter™ family. Two new scripts, the ITC Flora™, and ITC Isadora™ designs by Gerard Unger and Kris Holmes respectively, were also announced in the same issue. The ITC Giovanni™ family, from Robert Slimbach, was first shown in Volume Sixteen Number Three, and a revival and extension of William Morris’ Golden Type by a team of young designers, Helge Jorgensen, Sigrid Engelmann, Bildende Künste and Andy Newton, as the ITC Golden Type™ family was announced in Volume Sixteen Number Four.

Also featured in the pages of Volume Sixteen were articles on the lettering artist, Michael Doret, a retrospective by Steven Heller of the Broadway caricaturist Al Hirschfeld – and a piece that provided insight into the Japanese love of Roman letters.

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

Low Resolution:

Volume 16–1 (Low Res).pdf (12.9 MB)

Volume 16–2 (Low Res).pdf (11.4 MB)

Volume 16–3 (Low Res).pdf (12.1 MB)

Volume 16–4 (Low Res).pdf (12.5 MB)

High Resolution:

Volume 16–1.pdf (62.5 MB)

Volume 16–2.pdf (60.9 MB)

Volume 16–3.pdf (62.7 MB)

Volume 16–4.pdf (65.2 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

Club Nintendo is a rewards program for Nintendo players and enthusiasts. Members earn “coins” that can be exchanged for games, downloads and other goodies by registering products and taking surveys.

The site features many of Nintendo’s most recognizable personalities. Mario certainly takes center stage, but the Avenir® typeface family gets its share of the spotlight. Avenir Black ensures headlines come across loud and clear, while the typeface’s humanistic traits keep text in line with the fun, informal tone of the Nintendo brand.

Take a closer look at Club Nintendo by following this Link… err, this link.

Club Nintendo 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 Bill Davis

As moderator of a recent AIGA Chicago panel, “The New Web Typography,” I was reminded of how many designers and developers are still looking for a quick primer on Web font basics.

If you were one of the 120 designers in attendance, then you heard from the diverse range of panelists about the need to know more about the fundamentals of Web fonts. Our panel of experts – a Web developer, a Web engineer, and a type designer – offered insights into why the basic rules of Web fonts differ from the traditional world of system fonts.

Whether you’re a traditional graphic artist, a Web designer or developer, here are the top three “need to know basics” of Web fonts. For those who would like to see the AIGA Chicago presentation, check out the slide show at

Web Fonts presentation at AIGA by Bill Davis

What Web font tips would you add to this list? What questions do you have? E-mail me at and please let me know.

1. Font Licensing
Can you take your desktop fonts and load them on a Web server?

For Web fonts, you have to secure the rights. For instance, you can’t take a system font and put it up on the Web just because you have the license to the system font. This point was amplified by each of the presenters. Some fonts on your computer may have been installed with an application, such as Adobe® Creative Suite® software. So you have to be careful and check the font licenses to ensure you have the right to use them on the Web.

You will find that there are some system fonts that are not yet Web fonts. The list of new Web fonts grows each day. However, if the font is exclusive to a foundry and not available through resellers, you may need to check with that foundry as to whether and when the Web font version will be available.

2. Font Quality
How do you choose print fonts that will look good on a screen?

Testing. Often designers ask about the best ways to determine font quality. The answer is testing. As you select fonts, you also need to build out Web pages in order to view your font choices on screen and across multiple Web browsers.

Recently we added a browser preview feature to the Web Fonts service. This allows you to see how fonts appear in different browsers, and with different operating system font-rendering settings.

3. Font Selection
How do you show clients different Web fonts during the creative stage of a Web design without having to buy each font?

There are different answers based on the Web font solutions you use. For example, the Web Fonts professional tier entitles you to 50 desktop downloads per month. This gives you the ability to use, play with and test fonts as part of your subscription during the client comp phase. The alternative is to make an investment in the desktop fonts so you can use them not only for Web design comps, but for any kind of print and Web project.

by Alan Tam

Monotype Imaging’s Web Fonts team and Google have been brainstorming ways to make Web fonts better. Our main focus has been on file size. The idea is simple. Smaller Web fonts are faster Web fonts. Faster is better.

Looking to reduce Web font file sizes, the Google Web Fonts team began working closely with us to discuss the advantages of our patented MicroType® Express (MTX) algorithm. The results led to the joint conclusion that in order to truly maximize the value of this technology, it needs to be adopted by Web browsers and font tools. Thus, we decided that the greatest benefits would be achieved by sharing MTX with the entire Web community. As a result, Monotype Imaging has agreed to make the MTX format, as described in our W3C submissions, available to the public at no cost, subject to the terms of a license which can be found at: Further details on the contributed technology can be found at

Our ongoing collaboration will lead to a significantly better user experience, including:

  • Page load speed – with smaller font files, Web fonts used in your branded content will load faster than ever!
  • Font rendering quality – smaller font files enable greater screen optimization of Web fonts for noticeably better display quality across a variety of device screens.
  • Font features – smaller fonts enable more room for OpenType® features.
  • Cross platform performance – With Monotype Imaging and Google working with the W3C, the Web community and other browser vendors on adopting Web font compression technology, you will see enhanced performance of your Web font content across browser platforms. In other words, you’ll be able to deliver great experiences to your audiences regardless the browser.

Initially, Monotype Imaging and Google will focus on font creation tools. Currently, Microsoft’s Internet Explorer® browser supports EOT (Embedded OpenType) font files which make use of MTX compression. Open source tools needed to make EOT files can now be extended and improved. Beyond these efforts are several other interesting prospects including the possibility of adoption by additional browsers. Learn more about this collaboration.

We are excited to continue our collaboration with the Google Web Fonts team and to see how the Web community might make use of this technology. More to come!

by Chris Roberts

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

Futura® Bold
Neue Helvetica® 55 Roman
Neue Helvetica® 35 Thin
Neue Helvetica® 75 Bold
Neue Helvetica® 45 Light
Univers® 57 Condensed
Avenir® 85 Heavy
Futura® Bold Condensed Oblique
Garamond 3 Regular
Garamond 3 Italic
Bauer Bodoni® Black Italic
Avenir® 35 Light
DIN 1451 Engschrift
Sackers™ Gothic Heavy
Sackers™ Gothic Medium
Trade Gothic® Bold
Avenir® 65 Medium
Helvetica® Condensed Bold
Linotype Univers® 620 Condensed Bold
Neue Helvetica® 25 Ultra Light
Futura® Medium
Trade Gothic® Condensed Bold 20
Avenir® 95 Black
Linotype Univers® 420 Condensed
Linotype Didot® Roman
Linotype Didot® Bold
Avenir® 55 Roman
Neue Helvetica® 65 Medium
Univers® 47 Condensed Light Oblique, Extended
DIN Next™ Condensed Bold
Linotype Univers® 320 Condensed Light, Extended
Futura® Book
Linotype Didot® Italic
Neue Helvetica® 67 Condensed Medium
Neue Helvetica® 77 Condensed Bold
Trade Gothic® Roman
Laurentian™ Semi Bold Italic
Neue Helvetica® 63 Extended Medium
DIN Next™ Bold
Trade Gothic® Bold 2
Futura® Bold Condensed
Avenir® 45 Book
Futura® Medium Condensed
Neue Helvetica® 53 Extended, Extended
Neue Helvetica® 73 Extended Bold, Extended
Trade Gothic® Condensed 18
Futura® Heavy
PMN Caecilia® 85 Heavy
PMN Caecilia® 75 Bold
ITC Avant Garde Gothic® Book
Neue Helvetica® 57 Condensed
Trade Gothic® Condensed Bold #20, Extended
Neue Frutiger® Book
Neue Frutiger® Bold
PMN Caecilia® 76 Bold Italic
Neue Helvetica® 47 Condensed Light
DIN Next™ Regular
Neue Helvetica® 45 Light, Extended
Neue Frutiger® Light
VAG Rounded™ Bold
Monotype Grotesque® Condensed
Helvetica® Bold
DIN Next™ Condensed Regular, Extended
Neue Helvetica® 55 Roman, Extended
Trade Gothic® Bold, Extended
Neue Helvetica® 37 Condensed Thin
Trade Gothic® Next Regular
Futura® Book, Extended
Univers® 67 Condensed Bold Oblique
Helvetica® Bold, Extended
Avenir® 55 Roman, Extended
Rockwell® Bold
ITC Avant Garde Gothic® Medium
Trade Gothic® Extended Bold
VAG Rounded™ Light
Futura® Bold, Extended
Trade Gothic® Condensed #18, Extended
Neue Helvetica® 65 Medium, Extended
Felbridge™ Regular
Neue Helvetica® 46 Light Italic
Figural™ Book
Frutiger® 65 Bold
Neue Frutiger® Regular
Univers® 55 Roman
Baskerville Regular, Extended
Helvetica® Bold Italic
VAG Rounded™ Black
ITC Avant Garde Gothic® Bold
Gill Sans® Book
Neue Frutiger® Bold Italic
Frutiger® 45 Light
Univers® 45 Light
Frutiger® 45 Light, Extended
Avenir® Next Demi
Eurostile® LT Bold
Frutiger® 65 Bold, Extended
Neuzeit® Office Bold
Eurostile® LT Roman
Neuzeit® Office Regular, Extended
Trade Gothic® Bold #2, Extended

by Bill Davis

This week our Web font development team achieved another impressive milestone. We now have over 20,000 fonts available through Web Fonts!

20,000 Web fonts from Fonts.comAll our Web font releases go through an exhaustive process to ensure that all Web fonts render properly in all browsers on different platforms. We manually review every font, and use a series of proprietary hinting tools to make sure the on-screen rendering meets our quality standards.

This newest release features a wide range of type styles from over 20 different foundries:

This newest release provides Web fonts customers with a broad array of display, script and ornamental fonts, in addition to symbol and picture fonts. You can view all our new Web fonts at

Great type makes sites stand out