fonts.com blog
Archive for August, 2012

by Allan Haley

New Fonts – Lots Of New Fonts – And A Leap Into The Digital Age

Volume 23, Number 2 of U&lc asks the question, “Is the availability of 50,000 to 60,000 digital fonts too many?” That was in the fall of 1996. In the 16 years since then, that number has probably quadrupled – and new fonts are still being released daily. While the desktop revolution of the mid 1980s democratized the making of fonts, it was the Internet that made it practical. Prior to the Internet and Web font stores, it would have simply been impossible to display, market, and sell this many fonts. ITC added their share of new typefaces (over two dozen) in the pages of U&lc, Volume 23.

ITC Kallos, by Phill Grimshaw, was announced in Volume 23, Number 1. Grimshaw was passionate about both disciplines of letterform creation: calligraphy and typeface design. Although he drew many display typefaces, ITC Kallos was his first design aimed at both text and display uses. He went on to design ITC Klepto, ITC Obelisk, ITC Rene Mackintosh and several other typefaces before his untimely death in 1998.

The revival of Eric Gill’s Golden Cockerel typeface family was announced in Volume 23, Number 2, along with a suite of six display typeface designs from Phill Grimshaw, Jill Bell, Frank Marciuliano and J.R. Cuaz. (The preceding links will take you to showings of all the typefaces from these designers.)

U&lc Volume 23 Number 3 was the “auteur” issue; a term applied to cinema directors who had strong signature styles that usually emerged from taking complete control of a project, from authoring the screenplay to overseeing the final edit. This concept has been broadened to denote an artist in any medium whose particular style and conceptual control make the work distinctive and influential. The auteurs covered in this issue were Pablo Picasso, Saul Bass, Philippe Starck, Peter Greenaway, Fred Woodward and Richard McGuire. The articles, though somewhat dated, are excellent views into the lives of six exceptionally creative artists.

ITC continued to add to its display typeface offering by announcing 13 new designs in Volume 23, Number 3: ITC Aftershock, ITC Belter, ITC Braganza, ITC Freddo, ITC Juanita, ITC Kokoa, ITC Lennox, ITC Musica, ITC Out of the Fridge, ITC Riptide, ITC Static, ITC Temble, ITC Vintage and a bevy of dingbats and symbols in its “DesignFonts” collection.

In providing these posts – and the PDFs – we’ve discovered that we are missing a couple issues. Volume 18, Number 2, was the first. However, thanks to Simón Cherpitel, who kindly donated his copy, we will make this issue available soon – along with Volume 23, Number 4, which is missing from today’s post.

This will be the penultimate post in this series about U&lc. At the end of Volume 24, U&lc was downsized from its tabloid format to a more, in the words of its editor, “conventional 8.5 x 11 inches.” The downsizing was done for several reasons – most of them financial. The problem was that in doing so, U&lc also became more conventional. Previous issues of U&lc were powerful design statements that bristled with energy. The small issues – not so much.

Click the PDFs below to find out what else was in (most of) U&lc Volume 23.

Low Resolution:

Volume 23–1 (Low Res).pdf (8.6 MB)

Volume 23–2 (Low Res).pdf (18.2 MB)

Volume 23–3 (Low Res).pdf (5.9 MB)

Volume 23–4 (Low Res).pdf (currently unavailable)

High Resolution:

Volume 23–1.pdf (42.3 MB)

Volume 23–2.pdf (95.2 MB)

Volume 23–3.pdf (30.3 MB)

Volume 23–4.pdf (currently unavailable)

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

The United States Golf Association is both a steward of golf’s history, as well as an advocate for its future. The governing organization of the game, the USGA (and their website) provides an exhaustive slate of resources for both beginner golfers and seasoned veterans alike.

The organization’s site features the Memo typeface family, utilizing it for navigation, headlines, and subheads. The face is well-suited for the accessible subject matter the USGA site presents — the Memo family is decidedly well-read without being stodgy, and sophisticated without being ostentatious. The typefaces present a professional visual cachet without the overtly historical aesthetics of Old Style typography—it’s a well crafted amalgam, capturing the spirit of both new and old forms.

The Memo family is available in 8 styles – ranging from light to bold weights — for both desktop use, as well as use through the Fonts.com Web Fonts Service.

Ryan Arruda
Ryan Arruda is the Web Content Strategist at Monotype Imaging. Ryan holds a bachelor’s degree in film studies from Clark University, and an MFA in graphic design from RISD.



by Ryan Arruda

A type designer with Monotype Imaging, Terrance Weinzierl has developed retail designs, as well as custom treatments for companies such as Microsoft, Google, and Ubisoft. Two of Terrance’s recent designs – JMC Engraver and Feldman Engraver typefaces – were released as companion fonts to Nancy Sharon Collins’ new book The Complete Engraver. You can download them for FREE from Fonts.com.

Terrance recently shared with us some insight into his type design practice:

Favorite text on typography
Karen Cheng’s Designing Type found me at just the right time, when I was a beginner.

Personal design luminary
It’s hard to narrow it down to just one person. I like the type from Gill and Frutiger, but I’m also inspired by the story of Frank Lloyd Wright and Goudy, continuing after devastation.

Favorite era of design history
At the moment, I love Art Deco and the decades surrounding it.

Learned to design type
I started to teach myself type design in college, but most of my training has been from Steve Matteson and other generous colleagues at Ascender and Monotype.

Design mentors
In chronological order: my mother, a toy designer; my high school art teacher Richard Guimond; my typography professor Michelle Bowers; most recently, type designer Steve Matteson.

Longest a typeface has taken to design
My hobby project with JMC Engraver and Feldman Engraver took two years (on and off the shelf).

Shortest time to design a typeface
I’ve made a few tiny, custom fonts that only had a few glyphs in them, so one day!

Favorite typographic resource
Typophile has a wealth of knowledge and arguments recorded. I think Twitter has taken over, though. Follow some type junkies and you’ll get more links than you can possibly handle.

Habitually challenging glyphs to design
I find Greek lowercase difficult to draw. Italics too. The ampersand can be fussy. It took some practice to conquer the S’s.

Favorite pursuits outside of type design
I enjoy movies and dining out quite a bit. I love Netflix. Video games have also been an enduring hobby, from the original NES up to my PS3. I’m also addicted to tech news, like The Verge. I put software launches on my calendar. I’ve cut back recently as type is taking more of my hobby time over.

Typefaces folks might know you for
Probably the Comic Sans Pro extension, if I had to choose. 99 percent of my work is on custom typefaces. I’ve spent a lot of time working on the Segoe design for Windows Phone and Windows 8. Most of my blood, sweat, and tears doesn’t get seen in the retail market.

Favorite type classification to design
I haven’t even drawn a design in many classifications yet, so it’s hard to say, but I’ve been enjoying drawing brush scripts lately.

Percent of type design that’s art vs. percent that’s science
Difficult question. Maybe 80/20? Could you argue that a private press design is more artful than usual? Probably. Is the Bell Centennial typeface more scientific than usual? Probably.

Your typeface families that pair especially well
Try  JMC Engraver and Feldman Engraver, and then ask me again in 10 years.


Common personality of your typefaces

The typefaces I’ve done that weren’t custom are organic and sometimes wacky. I’m working on a serious humanist sans that you’ll see soon.

Most underrated letterform or glyph
The pilcrow, or paragraph symbol, can be awesome. It’s just not used very often anymore. Now, it’s almost like a software Easter egg. ¶

Aspiring type designers should possess
Patience. Type design routinely requires a lot of patience. It may take a while to draw smooth curves, and there is a technical learning curve with building fonts. Have thick skin too.

What typeface classifications should they study?
I think the lessons in geometric sans serifs are important. The subtle tapers, overshoots, optical adjustments will apply everywhere. Study Old Style serifs to embrace detail variation. Look at calligraphy and script to see how writing instruments influence shape. Also, figure-ground relationships are very important.

Favorite medium to see your typefaces
I love seeing the Segoe, Droid Sans and Open Sans typefaces being used everywhere, even though I only contributed to those big projects. My favorite party trick is telling someone with an Android or Windows Phone: “I worked on those fonts.”

Endeavors which hone type design skills
Drawing, not just type, but anything. Observing type in use. Setting type.

Most egregious typographic error in common practice today
I’d have to agree with Jim Wasco, script in all caps is nasty. Not using kerning when available is ludicrous.

Recommended online design resources
There are so many out there that come and go. I never have enough time to read everything. Ilovetypography.com is excellent, and I like Brand New.

Ryan Arruda
Ryan Arruda is the Web Content Strategist at Monotype Imaging. Ryan holds a bachelor’s degree in film studies from Clark University, and an MFA in graphic design from RISD.



by Ryan Arruda

Vizify is a new online service offering users the ability to create visual biographies. Instead of the standard, soporific online resume, Vizify offers an interactive and aesthetically bold alternative: a personalized visual narrative that employs engaging typography as its cornerstone.

The Vizify homepage features a main headline set in the black weight of the VAG Rounded typeface, while subheads employ the family’s bold weight. The use of the VAG Rounded family complements the site’s visual ethos exceptionally well — both type and image on Vizify are friendly, engaging, and playful.

Anchoring the rest of the site’s typography is the Trade Gothic typeface family. Headlines are set in the robust Trade Gothic Bold #2 face, in all caps, while subheads read handsomely in a title case treatment using the roman weight of the family.

Vizify’s website is a perfect illustration of the Trade Gothic family’s utility; known most prominently for its strong and sober typographic applications, paired with bright colorways, the family provides a glimpse of a subtly blithe personality.

Vizify Homepage

Ryan Arruda
Ryan Arruda is the Web Content Strategist at Monotype Imaging. Ryan holds a bachelor’s degree in film studies from Clark University, and an MFA in graphic design from RISD.



by Allan Haley

Martin Wait suffered from Dyslexia. He once wrote, “Although I can read, the words do not go in.” One might think that a type designer that has difficulty with words would also have difficulty designing typefaces. While this was clearly not the case with Martin, sadly we will not see new designs from this proficient and prolific designer. Martin Wait passed away on August 5th.

Because reading and spelling were very difficult for Martin, he struggled in school. While he excelled in many classes – including art – he performed dismally in English and classes that required reading. Dyslexia was not a recognized problem when he began his education in the 1950s. If a student struggled with reading, there was little additional help available. Secondary school was even more difficult, and Martin barely graduated. His art teacher, however, suggested that he attend art school. Later Martin wrote, “When the metal work teacher heard about this, he wanted me to go to a metal work school. My dad was a metal worker and he struggled to make a living. This influenced my decision to try art. At my interview the teachers liked my work, but when they saw my English results they seemed lost for words. Fortunately my English grades did not stand in the way, and I was accepted.”

The school was Lister Technical College – and Martin flourished. His first job out of college was for an ex Lister graduate. “His name was Ken Houghton,” Martin wrote. “He wanted to train me in lettering and illustration. As time went by, it became clear that lettering was going to be the way ahead for me. Ken gave me a good start in a career that would earn me a living throughout my working life.”

Martin went on to work at other design and lettering studios – mostly as a freelance designer – and eventually found a home working for Letraset. It is through the Letraset’s dry-transfer lettering sheets, and later fonts that ITC released, that Martin’s alphabets became commercial typefaces.

Martin’s designs are intended for display applications, and range from the lighthearted and frisky Artiste, to the quietly elegant Balmoral. Recently, Martin had been designing typefaces for Monotype Imaging. The Julietrose family – named after his first granddaughter – is the first of these designs. WilliamLucas, named for his grandson, followed. Wellington, a much more stately design, finished shortly before Martin’s death, will be released later this year.

Martin may have struggled with words – but he excelled in giving us the tools to set them with charm, grace and beauty.

Click here to learn more about Martin Wait and his typeface designs.

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 July 2012:

Neue Helvetica
Futura
Trade Gothic
Neue Frutiger
Avenir Next
Frutiger
Helvetica
Avenir
Gill Sans
DIN Next
Univers
ITC Avant Garde Gothic
PMN Caecilia
New Century Schoolbook
Neo Sans
Trade Gothic Next
Linotype Univers
Memo
Times
Frutiger Next
Harmonia Sans
Arial
Neue Helvetica Arabic
Garamond 3
DIN 1451
Linotype Didot
ITC Officina Sans
VAG Rounded
Twentieth Century
Slate
Monotype News Gothic
Yakout
Frutiger Serif
Century Gothic
Soho
Bauer Bodoni
Rockwell
Sackers Gothic
ITC Lubalin Graph
Glypha
Calibri
Soho Gothic
Eurostile LT
ITC Garamond
Aachen
Laurentian
MHei
Egyptian Slate
Agilita
Plate Gothic MT
Optima
ITC Franklin Gothic
Heisei Kaku Gothic
Cachet
Plantin
Clearface Gothic MT
Clarendon
Monotype Garamond
Futura T
Akko
ITC American Typewriter
M Hei Simplified Chinese
ITC Conduit
Serifa
ITC Officina Serif
Klint
Abadi
Monotype Grotesque
ITC Stone Informal
ITC Legacy Serif
M Hei Traditional Chinese
News Gothic
Stymie
Neue Helvetica eText
TB Kaku Gothic
FB Cham Blue
Neuzeit Office
Neue Haas Grotesk
Ocean Sans
Amasis
Monotype Modern
Eurostile Next
Camphor
Bell
Adelle
MSung
Baskerville
ITC Franklin
Georgia
Bembo
Gazette
Consolas
Andale Mono
Droid Sans Mono
Museo
Calvert
P22 Underground
Wiesbaden Swing
Rotis Sans Serif
Mitra


by Allan Haley

The basis for the Koorkin typeface family was a custom font proposal gone awry. “Many years ago I worked on a typeface to brand a new product,” recalls George Ryan, Koorkin’s designer. “The design request, however, was withdrawn before I got much done on the face. I don’t think the product ever saw the light of day,” he continues. “As, I normally do, I saved my sketches. When I recently stumbled on them by accident 10 years later, I remembered there was a lot about the design I liked.”

Ryan first quickly drew the letters for Koorkin with a felt-tip marker, ensuring that shapes were free-flowing and spontaneous. The result is a playful, full-bodied handwriting script with fluid forms and bold proportions. Koorkin is a delightful confectionery of a typeface design, awash with swashes and deliciously long ascenders and descenders. While strokes are virtually monotone in weight, an ample x-height combined with generous counters guarantees that, even though a handwriting script, Koorkin ranks high on the legibility scale.

To give the design added character, Ryan also created a suite of swash and alternate characters that are available in OpenType format. “I added many ligatures and alternate versions of key characters to the character set,” says Ryan. “For instance, a word with an ‘ee’ combination can take advantage of a ligature I designed rather than using two of the same e’s to do the job. As a result, a word such as ‘breeze’ will have three slightly different e’s in it – making the copy look truly handwritten.”

With all this personality, Koorkin is at home in such diverse places as posters, restaurant menus, social announcements and product brochures.

The complete Koorkin family is available as desktop fonts from the Fonts.com, Linotype.com and ITCFonts.com websites. It is also available as dynamically downloadable Web fonts.

Click here to learn more about the Koorkin family, and click here to purchase the fonts.

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 Allan Haley

New Fonts – Lots Of New Fonts – And A Leap Into The Digital Age

Prior to 1995, ITC released about four new typeface families per year. From the summer of 1995 to the spring of 1996, nearly 40 new ITC families became available, along with a suite of Cyrillic extensions to existing designs, swashes and ornaments for the ITC Bodoni family, and a bevy of symbol fonts – all in the pages of U&lc, Volume 22. Articles on Web and video typography also peppered the pages of Volume 22, and the designers of a couple of issues had fun playing with the U&lc logo on the cover.

In addition to announcing six new display typeface designs, Volume 22, Number 1 contained two articles about books on CD (the beginning of e-publishing) and a roundup of early websites for children. It also featured the first ad for the Creative Alliance, an endeavor by the Type Division of Agfa (the precursor to Monotype Imaging) to build its own exclusive typeface library. Many of the typefaces in the Creative Alliance have since found their way into the ITC and Monotype typeface libraries. Oh, and on page 48, there is an ad for Graphic Solutions, a newsletter that I published for about three years – and that taught me how difficult the publishing business can be.

Volume 22, Number 2, continued to address the issues of publishing in a digital age and provided some guidance in designing with HTML – this was when the Times New Roman and Courier typefaces were considered the basic text designs. Chip Kidd also wrote about designing the cover of Nicholas Negroponte’s book, Being Digital, an analog solution for a hardcopy book on the future of digital technology, which is now online. Announcements for 21 new ITC typefaces (10 typeface families) filled many of the remaining pages of Volume 22, Number 2.

Volume 22, Number 3 was dedicated to “Graphics and the Cinema.” The issue also ushered in over 20 new ITC display typefaces, Cyrillic fonts for the ITC Franklin Gothic, ITC Korinna and ITC Flora typeface families, the ITC Humana super family, and a collection of swash and ornament characters for the ITC Bodoni family. ITC continued to look to the future of typography in several articles about type in film and video.

Volume 22, Number 4 focused on education and contained a wide range of articles, from advice for schools on preparing students to create meaningful digital content to a story about four educators in Japan who used experimental methods to teach students about sensitivity to the elements of design. New typeface releases included six new single-weight display typefaces, two new families and three ITC Goony ’Toons image fonts.

Click the PDFs below to find out what else was in U&lc Volume 22.

Low Resolution:

Volume 22–1 (Low Res).pdf (9.9 MB)

Volume 22–2 (Low Res).pdf (10.6 MB)

Volume 22–3 (Low Res).pdf (11.1 MB)

Volume 22–4 (Low Res).pdf (9.5 MB)

High Resolution:

Volume 22–1.pdf (48.3 MB)

Volume 22–2.pdf (58.5 MB)

Volume 22–3.pdf (58.8 MB)

Volume 22–4.pdf (50.8 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.