fonts.com blog
Archive for October, 2012

by Johnathan Zsittnik

Today Monotype announced the acquisition of Design By Front, makers of Typecast – a browser-based tool for designing Web pages with Web fonts. Design By Front has been a valued partner of the Fonts.com team and we couldn’t be happier to have them as part of the family.

We welcome a talented group of individuals with intimate knowledge of creative markets and the challenges Web designers face. Over the past year, we’ve worked closely together. We’ve helped integrate our Fonts.com Web Fonts service into Typecast and participated in its private beta. We’ve also collaborated on speaking sessions and interviews about Web typography. This move ensures that these collaborations will continue, and we think you’ll like the outcome.

Typecast TeamTypecast was born out of the desire to make Web fonts easier to use. We’ve shared that aspiration at Fonts.com, yet our focus in achieving this goal has been limited to the usability of our own Web font service. With Typecast in the fold, we can ensure Web fonts are easy and fun to use throughout the entire design process – from ideation to implementation.

Typecast allows designers to work more efficiently with Web fonts. So it only makes sense that we make this powerful tool readily available to Fonts.com Web Fonts subscribers. While we won’t disrupt Typecast’s compatibility with other services, we also intend to make it easier for Typecast users to select our own Web fonts.  We believe this relationship will benefit users of Typecast and Fonts.com Web Fonts. We also hope it will help inspire more designers to choose Web fonts for their next project, resulting in a more beautiful and readable Web.

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

This week we were pleased to see that our friends at Design by Front ushered Typecast, a browser-based tool for designing Web pages with Web fonts, into public beta. We’ve been big fans of Typecast since its introduction into private beta one year ago. With a beautifully and thoughtfully constructed UI, Typecast is a joy to use. More importantly, the application succeeds in its mission of making Web fonts easier to use.

TypecastTypecast allows users to position and manipulate live text directly within the browser. This provides a more accurate preview of how text will appear when part of a website. It also simplifies the design workflow by reducing dependencies on static images when creating website mockups. Users can select Web fonts from several services including Fonts.com Web Fonts for use in their designs.

One of our favorite aspects is the ability to incorporate some of the typographic finer points that have typically been reserved for print design. Web designers can make adjustments to kerning, line spacing, coloring and shadowing or insert OpenType features such as ligatures and small caps with ease.

Typecast is free to use while in beta. We encourage you to give it a shot. The Typecast team is looking for feedback, so be sure to let them know what you think.

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

At Fonts.com, we’ve always prided ourselves on the vast selection of fonts we offer. Today that selection improves with the fonts of one of our closest and longest standing partners. We’re very pleased to announce the release of Adobe fonts to our Fonts.com Web Fonts service.

Adobe Web FontsThis initial batch includes the most recognizable designs from the Adobe Originals collection including the Chaparral, Minion, Myriad and Adobe Caslon families among others. Over the years, these families have served as the typographic foundation for countless brand identities and design projects. Now our customers can easily extend these brands and projects to the Web.

Adobe Garamond Web FontEach of these fonts has been hand-tuned for optimal screen quality by Adobe’s team of type experts, ensuring they’ll look every bit as good on screen as they do in print. More Adobe fonts are on their way. If you’d like to see the release of a particular family prioritized, let us know in the comments section.

Adobe Caslon Web FontYou can browse the selection of Web fonts from the Adobe foundry page by clicking the ‘WEB FONTS’ tab. They are also available in our inventory of hand-tuned fonts adding to a selection of more than a thousand of our highest quality designs. These typefaces are available immediately to all our Standard and Professional plan subscribers. So what are you waiting for? Go ahead and add one to your project.

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 Ryan Arruda

First established in 1958 as International House of Pancakes, IHOP is a national restaurant chain known for their food, friendly atmosphere, and iconic blue A-frame buildings. While their namesake pancake dishes and breakfast specialties are perhaps most well-known, IHOP serves all manner of fare in over 1,500 restaurants — with locations in all 50 states.

The IHOP website extensively features the Helvetica Rounded Bold designs. While the Helvetica family consists of typefaces normally heralded as being beautifully neutral, the rounded strokes of its compatriot transform the otherwise unemotional design into one bursting with jovial liveliness. Headlines and subheads are set in the regular width of the typeface, while the site’s top navigation employs the condensed version. The use of white Helvetica Rounded Bold type upon a bright blue background provides the site additional levity – echoing the family friendly atmosphere of its locations, both type and image render the IHOP website warm and inviting.

Fonts.com features six rounded styles of Helvetica — bold, black, and bold condensed, each with a matching oblique. The entire breadth of the Helvetica family is available in 34 styles for Web use through the Fonts.com Web Fonts Service, and for desktop licensing as well.

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

For over 25 years lettering artist Rob Leuschke has produced a wide array of elegantly crafted typefaces; from stately formal scripts to more expressive handwriting-based designs, Rob’s calligraphic acumen is evident throughout the typographic oeuvre released through his TypeSETit studio. Having both taught calligraphy across the world, as well as created over 200 fonts over his career, Rob recently shared with us some insight into his practice:

Personal design luminary
I have several; John Stevens, Michael Clark, Hermann Zapf, to name a few.

Favorite era of design history
For typographic design, the classic faces of the 18th century comes to mind, but I think present day is the most exciting with all the diverse work coming forward.

Learned to design type
Having more of a hand-lettering background, I’m self-taught using computer software.

Design mentors
My graphic design professor at Mizzou, William Berry. He saw my potential and love for calligraphy and pushed me into hand lettering even though I wanted to be a graphic designer. Berry passed away in 2010.

Longest a typeface has taken to design
It’s been 3.5 years on a font family that still isn’t finished. It’s a book face with which I am less adept. I may never release it.

Shortest time to design a typeface
Babylonica took me about 2 days. That’s because I did the work on watercolor paper, scanned the images in and had few adjustments to make on the glyphs. Most fonts take weeks.

Favorite typographic resource
It used to be publications like U&lc. But really, there is so much to see on the web. The Type Studio, for example. Or just do a search, it’s all there.

Habitually challenging glyphs to design
I often have trouble with the uppercase J because it seems to lack character for me, but it really depends on the font.

Favorite pursuits outside of type design
I play a lot of Texas Hold ‘Em, but I’m not very good, so I don’t play for money. I also like to cook (and I AM good at that, but haven’t found a way to make money at it). I recently began brewing my own beer; some brews are good, and others are not so much. I’m sure there’s no money in it for me [laughs].

Typefaces folks might know you for
Corinthia, MonteCarlo, Allura, Waterbrush, Inspiration, Love Light, Passions Conflict.

Favorite type classification to design
If you know my work, you know I’m most comfortable with calligraphic designs and contemporary scripts.

Percent of type design that’s art vs. percent that’s science
Certainly mathematical science plays a part, especially in traditional book designs, but personally, I rely on the hand-lettering-design side for my work. If I had to give percentages for my work: 10% science, 90% art.

Your typeface families that pair especially well
I think you can take nearly any of my calligraphic scripts and pair them with a very Roman serif like Gideon. MonteCarlo is also quite nice with any sans serif face.

Most underrated letterform or glyph
For me, it has to be the ampersand. There are so many design possibilities, from the simple “et” to crazily swashed treble clef.

Aspiring type designers should possess
It helps to be OCD [joking]. You absolutely must have patience, extreme attention to detail, and a complete love for letter forms.

What typeface classifications should they study?
I think it’s best to study the historical forms first. Go all the way back to the ancients to learn why or how forms evolved.

Favorite medium to see your typefaces
It’s fun to see my work on television. York Peppermint Patty uses Ambiance for its slogan, “Get the sensation!”

Endeavors which hone type design skills
Gosh, that’s an interesting question. I’m not sure how it really translates, but I like to watch well made films. I enjoy trying to understand how or why a director did a shot a certain way. I suppose that falls under the category of style, or attention to detail.

Most egregious typographic error in common practice today
Since I do mostly scripts, I think it’s important not to overwork swashes, and keep in mind that the end-user may not use the same character sets for which you are designing a swash. Ascenders and descenders can often crash into other characters if you are not careful.

Also, I think curves should be smooth and elegant rather than contain pinches or abrupt changes in direction. A form should look like it was drawn with a french curve, without forced changes in direction. The exception is when ALL of the curves have these anomalies, which makes them an intentional design decision.

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 Domenic Barbuzzi


A Brief History

With the start of the Fonts.com Web Fonts service, the FOUT (flash of unstyled text) phenomenon was a wide-spread problem. To remedy this issue we added code to our JavaScript implementation.

Our first method included hiding the visibility of elements on pages that used Web fonts. We then crafted a more efficient and cleaner method of preventing FOUT – we use a single class to hide only the text for elements using Web fonts. We then strip that class’s properties when the Web fonts are ready to display. One thing to note is that the class is left on these elements in the DOM; however, without properties, the class has no meaning and is invisible to visitors, save for those using some manner of developer tools.

Back to the Present

Since the introduction of Web fonts, broadband connections have grown more common, and browsers have matured in handling embedded fonts. So has the Fonts.com Web Fonts service. We have adjusted our JavaScript in two key ways:

  1. FOUT-prevention is disabled by default
  2. Now there are configuration options that can be set before loading our JavaScript in order to turn FOUT-prevention back on and traverse through the DOM to remove the mti_font_element class

The goodies

Below is a sample usage of the FOUT configuration options. To utilize them, simply define the options before including the SCRIPT tag for your Web fonts project. If any of the options are omitted, their default values will be used instead.

<script type="text/javascript">

// create the configuration object
var MTIConfig = {};

// assign the variable to enable FOUT prevention
// default value -> false (prevention disabled)
// true -> enable FOUT prevention
MTIConfig.EnableCustomFOUTHandler = true;

// assign the variable to remove ‘mti_font_element‘
// this is only valid if FOUT prevention is enabled
// default value -> false (class is left on elements)
// true -> remove class when FOUT prevention finishes
MTIConfig.RemoveMTIClass = true;

</script>

 


by Ryan Arruda

With nearly 600 locations across the Mid-Atlantic, Wawa is a chain offering not only typical convenience store staples, but also assortments of freshly made sandwiches, soups and salads.

Wawa’s website features the ITC Officina Sans family exclusively for its display typography. Headlines, subheads, and navigation are set in the typeface’s bold weight, while the website’s footer and breadcrumb trail utilize the book weight.

Designed by Erik Spiekermann, ITC Officina Sans is a friendly sans serif typeface; warm and genial, Spiekermann’s design conveys information clearly without appearing too mechanical or didactic.

ITC Officina Sans is available for desktop licensing, as well as for Web use through the Fonts.com Web Fonts service. In addition to book and bold weights, ITC Officina Sans is also available in medium, extra bold, and black styles.

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

U&lc ceased print publication in the fall of 1999. Over its almost 27 years in hardcopy form, it inspired, informed and delighted readers. In the process, U&lc won over 100 awards for design and typographic excellence from the AIGA, Society of Publication Designers, Type Directors Club, and many other prestigious organizations.

U&lc’s tenure was marked by powerful – sometimes brash and always stirring – typographic design. The publication bristled with life and energy. The graphic design community – in addition to illustrators, photographers and calligraphers – eagerly anticipated each issue. However, even though U&lc was celebrated for its strength and dynamism, it was also fragile.

U&lc was dependent upon the understanding and financial support of someone who truly understood the value of the publication. Aaron Burns, one of the co-founders of ITC and the genius behind U&lc, was that person. Burns was also a savvy and gifted marketer. Decades before terms like “pragmatic marketing” and “buyer persona profiles” became popular, he understood that the best way to market a product or service was to reach out in an engaging and personal way to the ultimate consumers of those products and services. ITC licensed typeface designs to font providers – but Burns knew that his ultimate customers were graphic designers. Burns also knew that not all good marketing efforts can be directly linked to bottom line profits. At over one million dollars a year (in 1970s and 1980s money) U&lc was expensive to produce – and it’s advertising sales didn’t come close to paying for the publication. Burns, however, understood the true business value of U&lc and was fond of saying, “We don’t make money with U&lc – we make it because of U&lc.”

When Burns sold ITC in the late 1980s, its new owners presented themselves as smart business people. Maybe they were, but they were clueless about the value of U&lc. All they saw were its costs – and diligently sought to eliminate them. Over the next few years, this led to reducing the publication’s page count, then to downsizing from U&lc robust tabloid dimensions to a modest 8.5 X 11 inches, and ultimately to the cessation of publication.

U&lc was a vehicle to announce new ITC typefaces and showcase old ones, in addition to serving as a palette for virtuoso typography from the likes of Herb Lubalin, B. Martin Pedersen, Ellen Shapiro, Roger Black, Push Pin Studio, Pentagram and Why Not Associates, just to name a few. U&lc rejoiced in exceptional typographic design. Although there have been many attempts, no publication as been quite like it. To this day we continue to receive requests to provide back issues and re-publish particularly exceptional articles – which is why we scanned the issues we had, and undertook this series of blog posts.

Unfortunately, we do not have every issue of U&lc. We’re missing a couple. We are, however, getting those that are missing, and will add them to the PDFs we have already made available.

It has been a joy for me, these last couple of years, to walk down U&lc’s memory lane with you. I hope that you have enjoyed receiving the issues and reading the posts, as much as I have enjoyed bringing them to you.

The illustrations accompanying this post are the covers of the last big issue of U&lc and the first small one.

Click the PDFs below to find out what is in our remaining collection of U&lc issues.

Low Resolution:

Volume 24–1 (Low Res).pdf (6.6 MB)

Volume 24–2 (Low Res).pdf (19.5 MB)

Volume 24–4 (Low Res).pdf (4.7 MB)

Volume 25–1 (Low Res).pdf (5.0 MB)

Volume 25–3 (Low Res).pdf (5.6 MB)

Volume 25–4 (Low Res).pdf (6.1 MB)

Volume 26–2 (Low Res).pdf (5.6 MB)

High Resolution:

Volume 24–1.pdf (34.5 MB)

Volume 24–2.pdf (96.4 MB)

Volume 24–4.pdf (19.2 MB)

Volume 25–1.pdf (18.3 MB)

Volume 25–3.pdf (21.5 MB)

Volume 25–4.pdf (25.6 MB)

Volume 26–2.pdf (23.3 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 Bill Davis

American Printing AssociationSteve Matteson, Monotype Imaging’s creative type director, will present “Discovering the Goudy Legacy” at the 2012 APHA Conference – the 37th annual conference presented by The American Printing History Association (APHA), Oct. 12–13, at Columbia College Chicago, Center for Book and Paper Arts.

Frederic W. Goudy was a prolific American book and type designer. He is famous for his prodigious output, designing more than 100 typefaces between 1896 and 1941, which was considered the golden age of printing. His wife, Bertha M. Goudy, a self-taught book designer and compositor, was one of America’s pre-eminent female graphic designers. On Nov. 6, 1933, Time Magazine published “Art: Type Couple,” on the growing influence of the Goudys in typography and design. In “A Tribute to Bertha M. Goudy,” written by Frederic Goudy and composed by Matteson, Goudy wrote that his wife “enabled me to attain a measure of success which I could not have achieved without her.”

Matteson’s presentation will explore the impact this duo had on the state-of-the-art of graphic communications, printing, type design and typography. He’ll discuss how they lived, entertained and worked together. Matteson has an extensive background in the history of typography, design and printing. His work can be found everywhere from Android mobile products to e-readers such as the Barnes & Noble Nook device. He lectures frequently about the Goudy legacy and has created numerous Goudy revivals including the Friar Pro, Bertham Pro, and Goudy Ornate MT typefaces.

Saturday, Oct. 13 at 11:00 a.m.
Columbia College Chicago, Center for Book and Paper Arts
Register online or download the registration form.


by Ryan Arruda

With more than a 100 locations across the United States, Ruth’s Chris Steak House is known for its premium culinary offerings. The restaurant’s website features large, dramatic photographs showcasing their decidedly well-composed dishes.

However, also interesting is the site’s restrained use of of typography; this aspect is not simply an oversight, but a quiet counterpoint to the image-laden layout of the website. The navigation of the site is set in the Novecento family, designed by Jan Tonellato for Synthview. Top navigation is set in the family’s medium weight of Novocento Wide, while the side nav is set in demibold. This entire sans serif family (it also is available in regular, condensed, and narrow widths, too) has a certain friendliness to it — in contrast to the overtly neutral letterforms of, say, grotesque typefaces.

When the site’s side navigation expands, secondary text is set in Linotype’s Trade Gothic Next Soft Rounded family, designed by Akira Kobayashi. As its namesake implies, the Trade Gothic Soft Rounded designs feature more tempered letterforms than its original Trade Gothic forebears. However, the Trade Gothic Next Soft Rounded family still retains a composed demeanor and subtle sense of authority. Within the content of the site, the same complementary format is present—Novocento for headlines, Trade Gothic Next Soft Rounded for body copy.

The Novecento designs are available in 32 styles, and the Trade Gothic Next Soft Rounded in 9, all 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.


 

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