fonts.com blog
Archive for November, 2012

by Ryan Arruda

Located in Two Rivers, Wisconsin, The Hamilton Wood Type Museum is an exceptional collection of printing history. Including over a million pieces of wood type in its care, the museum features a fully functioning studio not only for printing with wood type but also for creating it as well.

However, the museum is unexpectedly being forced from its present home. Perhaps needing to vacate its space in less than three months, this is both a monumental physical and financial feat – your help is urgently needed to assure the museum can continue its mission as a bulwark of typographic history.

One of the many delights the archive provides is that it is indeed a living museum; not simply host to relics to be looked upon, the museum fosters a deeper understanding of the forebears of contemporary type by conducting workshops for artists and scholars alike. Such opportunities of hands-on, tactile experimenting with type cultivates not only an appreciation for the true craftsmanship involved in type design, but also a respect for those vibrant analog methods of making.

Whether you are a designer, a typographic enthusiast, or simply intrigued by printing history, please consider supporting the Hamilton Wood Type Museum in its time of need. Your donations will help to assure that the museum can preserve its rich artifacts, and safely relocate to a new home. More importantly, your donation will help to further facilitate the study, appreciation, and utilization of wood type, a true treasure of design history and practice. Click here to donate and learn more.

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 three decades, Timberland has been a premier designer of foot and outdoor wear. Employing over 5,000 people, Timberland products are sold in specialty stores worldwide, including through their own retail locations.

The company’s website features an excellent implementation of display typography: overlaid upon photographs, a rotating carousel of large headlines are set in the bold weight of the ITC Lubalin Graph family, while supporting text employs the Bold Condensed No. 20 weight of the Trade Gothic collection.

Both faces are exceptionally structural in their design, yet quite complementary. ITC Lubalin Graph – with roots in the Herb Lubalin–inspired ITC Avant Garde Gothic family – possesses an overt kindly charm.

Subheadings are set in Trade Gothic Bold Condensed No. 20. Despite being a slightly more stoic typeface, the diminutive use of the family on the Timberland site prevents it from undoing ITC Lubalin Graph’s cheerful disposition.

ITC Lubalin Graph is available in 18 styles, from a delicate extra light weight, to a industrial strength bold. A condensed width featuring the same weights round out this versatile collection. The Trade Gothic family is available 14 styles, and is comprised of  both regular, condensed, and extended widths. In addition to online use, both type families are available for desktop licensing through Fonts.com 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 Bill Davis

Last month, I was honored to give a presentation at the ATypI Hong Kong 2012 Conference titled “Solving the Challenges of Asian Web Fonts.”

To view my ATypI presentation on Slideshare, click here http://slidesha.re/XUpldI

The Fonts.com Web Fonts service features the widest language support including many non-Latin scripts (Cyrillic, Greek, Thai, Arabic, Hebrew, Armenian and Devanagari) and East Asian fonts (Simplified and Traditional Chinese, Japanese and Korean). Our experience in being the first to support this broad range of languages and scripts has allowed us to gain insights into early adoption of non-Latin and Asian Web fonts by Web designers and developers.

The main benefits of Web fonts, no matter the language or geographic market for your audience, are:

  • Establish typographic consistency
  • Improve user experience
  • Eliminate the use of text as graphics, improve workflow
  • Enhance SEO, accessibility

technology adoption cycle with web fonts

When we surveyed the most visited websites across the globe, we found that 10 to 15 percent are already using Web fonts. But for East Asian languages and scripts, only a handful has started to deploy Web fonts. Why is that?

Consider the two primary challenges for developers of Asian websites:

  • Website design issues
  • Asian Web font file sizes

Most Asian websites are very text intensive, using large amounts of text at small sizes with very little use of white space like most “western” style websites. Web fonts can benefit headlines and replace images. For smaller amounts of text, system fonts have typically been used but now more typographic options are becoming available to designers.

Asian web sites

The second challenge for Asian website designers is how to overcome the huge file sizes. Chinese, Japanese and Korean fonts can range in size from 2MB to 10MB. Linking to multiple font files of this size is not an option for most developers due to latency concerns.

cjk web fonts dynamic subsetting

The best solution is dynamic subsetting – where a small Web font file is built and downloaded on the fly (using the characters only found on each page). Fonts.com Web fonts deploys dynamic subsetting on all its Asian Web fonts, so fonts get downloaded in milliseconds and not minutes. To learn more and see an interactive demo of Dynamic Subsetting, visit http://fontsubsetter.com/.

With all the positive attention that Web fonts are receiving globally, I believe that this is the year non-Latin and Asian Web fonts take off!


by Allan Haley

Monotype Imaging and Fonts.com are pleased to sponsor the Webfontday and beyondtellerrand, two typographic conferences being held in Germany this month. Toshi Omagari, typeface designer at Monotype, will present at the Webfontday in Munich on Nov. 10.

Nadine Chahine, Arabic specialist for Linotype and Monotype, will be delivering the opening speech of the beyondtellerrand conference taking place in Düsseldorf on Nov. 19–21.

 

Webfontday 2012: Toshi Omagari on “Web Fonts for Non-Latin Scripts

Toshi Omagari, a typeface designer at Monotype, will examine “Web Fonts for Non-Latin Scripts.” Today, Web font technology allows designers to work with thousands of fonts available for website design. Yet this is true mainly for Latin alphabets. Toshi will address the challenges of implementing non-Latin Web fonts. He will also discuss how to work with specific browsers and scripts when implementing non-Latin Web fonts. Toshi’s work involves multilingual typography and font development for world languages and scripts, including Greek, Cyrillic and Mongolian.

Saturday, Nov. 10 at 2.30 p.m.
Halle 27, Hirschgartenallee 27, Munich

 

Beyondtelleerrand

beyondtellerrand: Nadine Chahine on “Eye Movement and Typeface Legibility

Nadine Chahine, award-winning Lebanese type designer working as the Arabic specialist for Linotype and Monotype, will present “Eye Movement and Typeface Legibility.” Through her Ph.D. research, Nadine undertook Arabic legibility studies and its role to improve literacy in the Arabic world. During her presentation, she will cover the different factors that can affect reading and eye movement control. Her work investigates the effects of the visual characteristics of text on reading, and offers a new definition of legibility that is rooted in the research of eye movement in reading.

Monday, Nov 19 at 10:00 a.m.
Capitol Theater, Dusseldorf

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

Design Thinkers Typographic Quiz

Monotype’s Nadine Chahine and Allan Haley will host “Design Thinkers Typographic Quiz” as part of this year’s DesignThinkers2012 conference, which will be held Nov. 8–9 in Toronto at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre.

Together, Nadine, an Arabic specialist for Monotype subsidiary Linotype, and Allan, Monotype’s director of words and letters, will try to stump—and educate—audience members on the finer points of typography.

Better than school, the Typographic Quiz will pose a series of questions about type, type history and the typographic arts. If you know the right answer—and are quicker to give it than those around you —you’ll win a cool prize.

The educational part? After each correct response Nadine and Allan will provide valuable and insightful information about the question–and the answer. For example, did you know that the first italic fonts contained only lowercase characters: no caps, no numbers, no punctuation?

Looking for a challenge? Want cool, free, type stuff? Test your “metal” at the Design Thinkers Typographic Quiz.

Engaging with the Middle East

Thursday, Nov. 8, 11:15 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

On Thursday, Nov. 8, Nadine also will present “Engaging with the Middle East,” a look at the challenges of brand consistency across different scripts and cultures.

How does one translate “modern” in Arabic? What is the visual translation of “chic” in the Middle East? Every culture and script brings to the table a new set of expectations and collective memories. Nadine will focus on how to establish dialogue with the Middle East while looking at design trends and considering cultural factors.

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

Jovica Veljovic was living in the former Yugoslavia when Aaron Burns, the president of ITC, met him in the mid 1980s. Upon seeing the young calligrapher’s work, Burns immediately realized that he was in the presence of exceptional talent and encouraged Veljovic to take up typeface design. The ITC Veljovic typeface family was first of many he drew for ITC.

In his storied career, Veljovic has gone on to develop typefaces for Adobe and Linotype – as well as ITC. Although he spends much of his time today teaching typography and type design near his home in Hamburg, Veljovic has continued to draw new typeface designs. All started out as brush and pencil sketches.

None of Veljovic’s designs were first imagined as constructed outline drawings. It was only after the basic shapes and proportions were finalized in brush form, that Veljovic would construct letters as digital outlines.

Early Sketches for Agmena

“For me, it is important to begin a new typeface by drawing with a brush or pen,” says Veljovic. “This is especially true when I am making a new text typeface. The first text faces grew out of calligraphic writing and I think it is important to maintain this tradition.”

Agmena Swash Italic Sketches

The Agmena family, announced this week, is no exception. The first sketches for the design were roughed-out by Veljovic with a broad-edged brush. These became the basis for more refined drawings, which were then transferred to the computer for yet further development. The end result is a distinctive family of four weights – each with complementary italics – based on calligraphic, Renaissance “old style,” design traits and proportions.

Agmena

The complete Agmena family is available as desktop fonts from Fonts.com, as well for Web use through the Fonts.com Web Fonts Service.

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

One of the goals we had when the new Fonts.com debuted in May was to make visiting the site a truly engaging visual experience. In addition to providing typical type specimens, we wanted to also incorporate expressive typography at the heart of the homepage.

As you’ve probably noticed, each month Fonts.com features four new images on its masthead, all showcasing a different typeface available on the site. These large main graphics – known as hero images – are meant to expressively present the character and nuance of not only our new releases, but best-selling and hidden gem type families.

In addition, another goal of the new site design is to celebrate the type and design community across the spectrum – each month we feature guest designers providing their interpretation of one specific type family. Whether established pros, or up-and-coming young guns, we wanted the opportunity to inspire our customers with typographic compositions from folks creating some of the most well-crafted design work today.

We’re happy to announce that we’ve created an archive of all 28 hero images which have debuted on Fonts.com so far this year. This will be a living collection, constantly updated with information on which typefaces are featured, links to purchase them, as well as links to the sites of the talented designers who we’ve had the pleasure to work with.

The image used as this post’s header was designed by Monotype Imaging’s Creative Director – Dennis Michael Dimos – and is the hero offering for Linotype’s handsome new Agmena family. On the Fonts.com homepage you’ll also find image designs from Nancy Harris Rouemy – who showcased the flowing, graceful flair of the Reina family – as well as John Passafiume, who crafted an amazing drawn version of the stately ITC Edwardian Script collection. Rounding out November’s designs, Alex Perez presents a dimensional treatment of the robust, slab serif Lexia family.

We hope you enjoy and are inspired by all of the hero images we post – keep an eye out for more as we debut four fresh designs each month!

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 nearly 80 years, MGM has been a staple of motion picture creation and distribution. Founded in 1924, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc.’s oeuvre has spanned not only generations of moviegoers, but also the gamut of film genres; the company is responsible for seminal Hollywood classics such as Gone With the Wind and The Wizard of Oz,  as well as contemporary releases, such as the upcoming James Bond installment – Skyfall – which it co-produced.

The MGM website features the Albertina typeface family: the medium weight for main navigation, as well as the typeface’s bold weight for sub navigation. Originally designed by Chris Brand as a metal type offering, designer Frank E. Blokland utilized Brand’s original drawings as the cornerstone of this digital interpretation of the family. As a dignified old style design, Albertina is a befitting typeface for a company with such a rich cultural heritage as MGM.

Albertina is available through the Fonts.com Web Fonts Service in regular, medium, and bold weights, each with a matching italic design. For desktop licensing, Albertina is also available as a suite of complementary small caps designs.

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 Johnathan Zsittnik

By now, you may have heard of our SkyFonts service. If not, SkyFonts is a first-of-its-kind font rental service that allows you to try fonts for a few minutes for free, or rent fonts using credits for a day or a month. SkyFonts was created with two primary goals. First, we wanted to provide designers with a better way to experiment with type before making a purchase. Second, we wanted to introduce a rental model that would allow designers to pay for type only as long as they needed it.

SkyFonts debuted in private beta last month and the feedback has been incredibly enthusiastic and positive. You’ve expressed interest in both trialing and renting fonts through SkyFonts and we’re excited to unveil new features and font releases that will improve both aspects of the service. We’ve accepted over 1,000 participants into the beta – just a fraction of the applicants. We’ve kept the test group small to allow us to keep up with the feedback. But if you’re still waiting to get in, good news awaits! We’re preparing to open the proverbial floodgates on the beta. Stay tuned to your inbox. Your invite isn’t far off.

Rent Avenir fonts on SkyFontsWe have even better news for those already participating in the SkyFonts beta. We’ve just released over 350 fonts to the service giving us a selection of more than 2,000 quality fonts. We pulled some of the biggest names from our Monotype and Linotype collections, so you’ll see some familiar faces. Highlights include Monotype’s Abadi, Neo Sans, Rockwell and Soho families and Linotype’s Avenir, Eurostile, Frutiger and Univers designs.

Visit SkyFonts.com to sign up for the free beta and to try your hand at renting fonts.

Allan Haley
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

Here’s a ranked listing of Fonts.com Web Fonts’ top 100 most used Web fonts for October 2012:

Neue Helvetica
Trade Gothic
Helvetica
Neue Frutiger
Univers
Gill Sans
Avenir Next
Futura
Avenir
Frutiger
DIN Next
ITC Avant Garde Gothic
Linotype Univers
Neo Sans
Trade Gothic Next
PMN Caecilia
Agilita
Arial
New Century Schoolbook
ITC Garamond
Linotype Didot
ITC Franklin Gothic
Monotype News Gothic
Frutiger Next
Century Gothic
Garamond 3
ITC Lubalin Graph
Rockwell
Twentieth Century
Abadi
VAG Rounded
Adelle
Optima
ITC Officina Sans
ITC Century
DIN 1451
News Gothic No.2
Trade Gothic Next Soft Rounded
Bauer Bodoni
Eurostile LT
Soho
ITC Conduit
Neue Helvetica Arabic
Laurentian
Sackers Gothic
Harmonia Sans
Frutiger Serif
Soho Gothic
Biome
Univers Next
Times
ITC Fenice
Museo Sans
Yakout
Neue Helvetica eText
Memo
Eurostile Next
Neue Haas Grotesk
Glypha
Georgia Pro
Calibri
MSung
Futura T
Sassoon Sans
Slate
ITC American Typewriter
Candara
Helvetica World
Clarendon
Albany
Rotis II Sans
Heisei Kaku Gothic
Novecento
Akko
Cachet
ITC Officina Serif
Sabon
Iridium
Monotype Grotesque
Neuzeit Office
News Gothic
Bembo
Monotype Garamond
Plantin
Amasis
ITC Blair
Compacta
ITC Legacy Serif
Aeris
Museo Slab
Basic Commercial
Franklin Gothic
Aachen
Egyptian Slate
Serifa
MHei
Camphor
Bodoni LT
Georgia
Baskerville

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.