fonts.com blog
Archive for June, 2012

by Bill Davis

We are proud to announce the availability of the Bitstream Type Library as Web fonts from Fonts.com. This collection of fonts includes a popular range of classic text faces, elegant script fonts and expressive display fonts.


Iowan Old Style – designed by John Downer 

The Bitstream Type Library dates back to 1981 when Bitstream was formed as the first independent digital font foundry. Under the guidance of Matthew Carter and Mike Parker, and with the assistance of David Berlow and others, the Bitstream Type Library established itself as a solid resource in the early days of desktop publishing.


Eroxian BT – designed by Eduardo Manso

Today the Bitstream Type Library contains an impressive range of fonts that are great for both print and on-screen projects. Each of these fonts were screen optimized by Monotype’s font development team specifically for use as Web fonts.


Zapf Elliptical 711– designed by Hermann Zapf

With over 900 fonts to choose from, we hope you will find these Bitstream fonts a welcome addition to enhance your typographic palette.

View the Bitstream fonts on Fonts.com

 


by Ryan Arruda

Founded in 1968, Intel has been at the forefront of technology development for over 40 years. The company brought the first microprocessor to market in 1971, and continues to be a leader in computing technologies today.

The Intel website features a customized version the Neo Sans typeface family exclusively, employing light, regular, and medium weights. While a typeface sharing the DNA of both a square and geometric sans might, at first blush, seem detrimental to readability, the use of multiple weights stages a dynamic and pleasant visual hierarchy.

In terms of the aesthetics of the letterforms, Sebastian Lester—who designed the Neo Sans family in 2004—characterizes the typeface as “legible without being neutral, nuanced without being fussy and expressive without being distracting.”

You can certainly appreciate that sentiment while browsing through the many layers of Intel’s website; the Neo Sans typeface family provides subtle cues of the ever-forward mission of the company without seeming like visual hyperbole.

Featuring a robust selection, also including bold, black, and ultra weights, Neo Sans is available in 24 varieties through the Fonts.com Web Fonts service.


by Allan Haley

New Fonts, New Technology and Predictions For The Future

The pages of U&lc Volume 21 ushered in a typeface family extension, two new complete families, four single-weight display designs, eight Cyrillic family additions and a suite of fonts that took advantage of a new technology. Volume 21 also predicted the future of typeface design, and announced ITC Design Palette, a digital distribution center that preceded the Internet – but not by enough.

Friz Quadrata was used by graphic designers for almost 30 years before Thierry Puyfoulhoux drew its italic complement that was announced in Volume 21. Two typeface families, ITC Bodoni and ITC Edwardian Script, were also announced in the same Volume. The latter, by Ed Benguiat, found influence in the flowing character shapes drawn with a steel-point pen. Varying the pressure on this writing instrument – rather than the angle of the nib – produces thick and thin strokes.

ITC Bodoni was one of the most carefully researched and accurate interpretations of Bodoni’s typefaces ever attempted. The process involved two trips to Parma, Italy; hundreds of hours of research; and thousands more hours carefully designing fonts using one of the original copies of Bodoni’s 1818 Manuale Tipografico as a benchmark for accuracy. The complete story is told in Volume 21, Number 2. It’s worth a read.

Cartoon graphics from the 1960s influenced David Sagorski’s ITC Snap and ITC Juice typefaces, while Michael Stacey’s ITC True Grit and ITC Wisteria were revivals of designs found in an old lettering book.

The Cyrillic typefaces were a second edition of designs from ParaGraph, and included designs for both text and display applications. ParaGraph continues to provide ITC with new Cyrillic designs to this day.

ITC announced the availability of twelve fonts that took advantage of Apple’s new TrueType platform called “TrueTypeGX.” Heralded as “smart fonts,” GX fonts were predicted to revolutionize graphic communication. ITC’s offering included small caps, fancy initial letters and a bevy of biform, swash and other alternate characters. Some of these are still available today in OpenType fonts.

The 8-page feature, “Timeless Typefaces,” in Volume 21 Number 2, collected the opinions and predictions of 21 type design luminaries. The predictions – and photos of the starts of the typographic community from 18 years ago – are great fun.

The idea behind ITC Design Palette was that it would make design tools like fonts, photographs, Iine-art and design software plug-ins available “24–7” at a click of a button. Sounds like the Internet, doesn’t it?

Trouble was, ITC Design Palette had nothing to do with the Internet. It was a box containing over a hundred CDs that sat on a designer’s desk. The CDs’ content could be browsed through an interface and downloaded to the designer’s computer desktop. When the content was licensed, ITC Design Palette would send a message over phone lines to a billing center that sent out monthly invoices. It seemed like a good idea at the time, but the growth and scope of the Internet made ITC Design Palette obsolete before any devices were delivered.

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

Low Resolution:

Volume 21–1 (Low Res).pdf (9.6 MB)

Volume 21–2 (Low Res).pdf (12.3 MB)

Volume 21–3 (Low Res).pdf (10.3 MB)

Volume 21–4 (Low Res).pdf (8.7 MB)

High Resolution:

Volume 21–1.pdf (45.8 MB)

Volume 21–2.pdf (59.1 MB)

Volume 21–3.pdf (49.6 MB)

Volume 21–4.pdf (41.3 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 Ryan Arruda

Type Designer Q&A

With over a dozen of his typefaces available on Fonts.com, Carl Crossgrove crafts intelligent designs which possess decidedly unique – as well as varied – personalities. His recently released Biome typeface family, which Carl describes as “both futuristic and organic, with a sense of calm,” is available in 46 varieties and is quickly rising on the Fonts.com New Best Sellers List.

Carl recently shared with us insight into his design practice:

Favorite text on typography or design
Fine Print On Type

Favorite era of design history
Right now!

Pursuits outside of type design
Architecture, gardening, industrial design.

Typefaces folks might know you for
Mundo Sans, Beorcana, Biome, Curlz

Shortest time a typeface has taken to design
2 Weeks.

Longest a typeface has taken to design
14 Years.

Carl Crossgrove Typeface Designs

Habitually challenging glyph to design
Ampersand. But it’s also a lot of fun.

Your typeface families that pair especially well
Mundo and Beorcana.

Favorite examples of your typefaces in use
Mundo used in Swedish Gourmet magazine;
Reliq carved into pumpkins for a music event.

Common personality of your typefaces
There is always a pen-written influence.

Aspiring type designers should possess
Infinite patience, limitless attention to detail.

Endeavors which hone type design skills
Figure drawing, multilingual literacy, other industrial design –  especially automotive.

Most underrated letterform/glyph
h. Sits right next to g, who gets all the attention. But h does so many jobs, and so well! Sometimes they collaborate, as in ghost.

Most egregious typographic error in common practice today
Non-proportional scaling to solve a design problem.

Recommended online design resources
I Love Typography, Typophile, Grain Edit, Core77

 


by Ryan Arruda

From June 21 – June 25, leaders in design disciplines will converge for HOW Design Live – Boston, an expansive symposium of discussions, workshops, and studio tours geared to creative professionals of all stripes. Monotype Imaging is proud to be a sponsor of this year’s conference and will also be an active participant in the scheduled speaking engagements.

On Saturday, June 23, Allan Haley, Monotype Imaging’s Director of Words & Letters, will present Typographic Lessons From The Young Guns, a survey on the young designers who are creating thought provoking, powerful and, at times, stunning typography that is sure to spawn future design trends.

The following day, three of Monotype Imaging’s type experts will present Typographic Hat Trick — Three Designers, Three Perspectives. Dan Rhatigan, Monotype Imaging’s UK Type Director, will deliver Sodachrome, An Experimental Typeface with a Colorful Twist.  Sodachrome, a typeface designed to take advantage of the possibilities — and even the potential pitfalls — of overprinting inks. Originally intended for silkscreen printing, the challenge was to develop something that could only work if printed in color. Dan will profile the development of a pair of fonts that combine to create two entirely new designs when merged.

Jim Wasco, Monotype Imaging’s Senior Type Designer, will present Elegy and Aachen, Extreme Diversity in Typographic Voice. Jim will contrast his work to design an elegant Specerian script typeface with his recent extensions of a classic heavy-weight display typeface.

Steve Matteson, Monotype Imaging’s Creative Type Director, will be presenting E-Text Typefaces, the Next Step in Good Typography. Discussing his work creating new typefaces for reading on screen, Steve will explore why typefaces designed for print are not necessarily the best choice for the web or digital environments.

HOW Design Live – Boston is certain to be engaging, as well as eye-opening, so make sure to register soon. Also, don’t forget to stop by the Monotype Imaging exhibitors’ booth and say hello!


by Bill Davis

Not all fonts are created equal. Some are designed specifically for headline sizes while others are meticulously crafted for use at smaller sizes for reading paragraphs of text. So when building websites, what is the best way to find fonts to meet your particular needs?

At Fonts.com, we’re pleased to provide new tools to let you discover fonts based on their on-screen quality attributes and usage. “Web Font Quality” and “Recommended Use” are two new classifications available to you as part of a font search.

WEB FONT QUALITY
The first thing to understand is that fonts are rendered differently across operating systems (Mac OS X, Windows, Android, etc.) and across versions of browsers (IE, Firefox, Chrome, Safari).

Web font rendering in Mac OS X and Windows
The above illustration shows that fonts can look different across browsers and operating systems.

As a Web designer, it’s important to proof your work in different browsers and platforms, to ensure the fonts you select will meet your quality needs. We have created two categories to designate the quality of Fonts.com Web fonts:

  • Screen Optimized
  • Hand Tuned

“Screen Optimized” fonts are those that have been processed by Monotype Imaging’s font development team through a set of proprietary tools to ‘hint’ the fonts for optimal rendering in Windows browsers. Windows uses two common methods of rendering fonts: ClearType and ClearType with DirectWrite. Both of these use special ‘hints’ programmed into the font to adjust the pixels used to display fonts. Our propriety hinting tools allow us to generate enhanced quality Web fonts that can be superior to the standard tools commonly used by type designers.

“Hand Tuned” fonts represent the crème de la crème of Web fonts. Our font experts manually program each of these fonts to improve their display on screen, especially at small sizes. We spend hours on each font, hand tuning their appearance by focusing on the finer details of each character in a font. Hand Tuned Web fonts will have a level of quality that is expected of fonts used at small text sizes.

Web Fonts on Fonts.com - Browser preview and quality/usage options
For each Web font, we provide a variety of ‘browser shots’ that captures how a particular font looks in various systems and browsers.

RECOMMENDED USE
Another new sort classification is “Recommended Use.” We have created this to help you select fonts that will work best in these general size settings:

  • Paragraph
  • Headline

“Paragraph” fonts can be confidently used at sizes from 12 to 24 pixels on screen. Paragraph fonts typically have a family with multiple weights and styles available. For example, regular, italic, bold and bold italic. Many families include weights like light and medium as well. Paragraph fonts all feature Hand Tuned Web font quality and have been tested for use at reading sizes on screen.

“Headline” fonts are for use at 24, 36, 48 pixels and higher. These are fonts that are best used at the larger sizes associated with headlines and include script and display font styles. Headline fonts also have extreme weights including ultra light and heavy or black. Care should be taken when using Headline fonts at smaller sizes than the recommended minimum.

The new Fonts.com includes great features for searching and discovering fonts, especially our high quality Web fonts!

Using the "refine" option in Font Search

In the search window, you can refine your search by adding additional criteria. In the above example, we have added “Web Font Quality” to refine the search, and you can instantly see the result of fonts that are Hand Tuned and Screen Optimized.

We hope you enjoy these new features on Fonts.com to discover the best quality Web fonts available for you to use in your next project.

 


by Allan Haley

The Biome typeface family is not a new design. It is, however, a very special design – and it is new to the Monotype typeface library. Biome is also a much larger family than when it was first released by Carl Crossgrove two years ago. Now a super family of impressive proportions, Biome is clearly worthy of a second look.

“For a number of years, I’ve tried to imagine letterforms with outside contours that follow the shape of a grotesque but with inside contours that follow the shape of something more open and humanistic,” recalls Crossgrove. “Eventually, I found a formal entry point for an experiment: subtract the inside counter form from the outside shape.” Crossgove’s experiment in the 1990s was the beginning of a several-year project that eventually produced the Biome typeface family. Crossgrove describes the final design as “both futuristic and organic, with a sense of calm.”
The first release of Biome was limited to seven weights of “wide” proportions – with complementary italic designs. Since then, Crossgrove has enlarged the family to incorporate seven additional weights of “normal” and “narrow” proportions. The completed family now weighs in at 21 roman designs with 21 corresponding italics – a collection large enough to satisfy the needs of a bevy of design projects.

“Clearly a display design,” says Crossgrove, “the round corners and soft shapes of Biome lend themselves not only to ‘futuristic’ applications but also to more sporty, slick and masculine ones.
When first announced in the summer of 2010, Crossgrove published a detailed and thoughtful examination of the Biome family – and the design process – on the I Love Typography website. It’s a good read.

The complete Biome 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 – and license – the Biome family.

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 Ryan Arruda

Perhaps best known for its iconic glue, Elmer’s Products, Inc. has created adhesive products – along with office supplies – for home and school for over 60 years.

The Elmer’s website features both the Helvetica Bold Condensed and Helvetica Black Condensed Oblique typefaces, used for headline text and product category subheads.

While members of the Helvetica typeface family are championed for the neutrality of their letterforms, perhaps it’s fitting for a heralded adhesive manufacturer to use a face whose neutrality belies an evident strength and sturdiness.

However, while rooted in strength, the two Helvetica faces in use on Elmer’s website do not feel heavy-handed – the bright colorways (and use of oblique variants) buoy the typefaces with a sense of motion, lightening the visual weight of the text.

Customer Spotlight: Elmer's

Great type makes sites stand out