Archive for April, 2014

by David Harned

Dynamic Subsetting

Seems like things on the Web are always getting faster. With customers demanding more speed and an increasing percentage of traffic coming from mobile devices, speed is paramount. Improvements can be made by reducing the size of data that is transferred or by improving the efficiency of a system’s processes. We’ve employed both of these techniques to drastically boost our patent-pending dynamic subsetting technology. I’ll share some results later on. But for now, let’s just say we were very pleased – even startled – with the results and think you will be, too.

What is Dynamic Subsetting?

If your content is written in English, German, Spanish, French or other languages that use the Latin alphabet, you may be unaware of the challenges faced by those working with content in East Asian languages. While most Latin fonts have file sizes under 100KB, the broad character sets of the Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese, Japanese and Korean writing systems can push these fonts into the MBs – making Web fonts impractical for sites using these languages.Dynamic Subsetting

Dynamic subsetting resolves this issue by evaluating the content on the page and creating a font on the fly containing only the characters needed to display the content on the page. This process can cut the file size down to kilobytes. The technology uses our JavaScript publishing method – using a single line of code on your pages — and is included with your Web Fonts subscription .

Server-side processing changes

This technology has helped open up a world of typographic possibilities for those developing sites in Chinese, Japanese and Korean. Over the last few months, we have been working to make this experience better — we have refactored and optimized our systems, and have seen some amazing improvements including gains of over 90% on server-side processing with Traditional Chinese fonts. This equated to a 61% speed gain in download speed to the page.

Of course these figures are based on our internal testing, but we’re confident you’ll notice the improvement as well. Take a look:

If you’re already using dynamic subsetting, we invite you to share your experience in the comments.

by Allan Haley

Carl Crossgrove’s new Burlingame® family is a classic example of the subtlety type designers bring to typeface design. At first glance, Burlingame appears to be square sans design with understated humanistic overtones. A closer look, however, reveals myriad details that define the typeface.

BurlingameOne of the primary goals behind the Burlingame design is legibility. “Overall design traits, individual character shaping and even letterspacing were carefully considered in the design process,” says Crossgrove, senior type designer at Monotype. “While these considerations are part of every typeface I design, they took on an increased importance in Burlingame.”


The impetus for Burlingame was a branding proposal for a major gaming platform – which meant that the design had to perform well on a small screen. While it was not incorporated into a video game, Burlingame was eventually licensed for use in human-machine interface displays for automobiles. The process of fine-tuning Burlingame for its new home, however, imposed new legibility issues for the design.

“I modified the original Burlingame renderings based on findings from automotive user interface legibility research Monotype undertook previously,” explains Crossgrove, referring to an exploratory study sponsored by Monotype and conducted by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) AgeLab and the New England University Transportation Center, which examined the role typeface design may play in minimizing glance time – the time a driver takes away from watching the road to interact with in-vehicle displays.


Crossgrove carefully introduced design traits, such as the triangular cuts where strokes join, flat tips on sharp counters, and character bowls that he describes as “superelliptical” to improve character legibility. He also applied generous character spacing to enable clearer character definition. In addition, Crossgrove incorporated character designs from the German DIN 1450 initiative for barrier-free legibility. “There are characters such as the footed l and t, open c and s, and simple bowl and tail g,” says Crossgrove. “I included these, and many other traits into the Burlingame design, intending that they would aid in character recognition and easy reading.”

To help ensure legibility at small sizes and in modest resolution digital environments, Crossgrove made Burlingame’s proportions almost extended. Realizing, however, that there are many instances where economy of space (in addition to legibility) is required, he also drew a series of slightly condensed designs.


The Burlingame family is comprised of 36 typefaces – nine weights from thin to extra black with condensed counterparts – each with an italic complement. The designs are available for desktop licensing, as well as Web fonts through all Web Fonts paid subscription plans. As a special introductory offer, a sampling of the Burlingame family (Burlingame Light and Burlingame Condensed Black) is available at no charge. Simply load them into your shopping cart and check out. Want all 36 fonts of this great new design? Until May 7th you can get the complete Burlingame family for 50% off!

Learn more about – and license – the Burlingame family today.

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

Here’s a listing of the top 100 most used fonts from the Web Fonts service for March 2014:

Neue Helvetica
Trade Gothic
Avenir Next
Proxima Nova
Gill Sans
Museo Sans
Linotype Univers
Museo Slab
DIN Next
Century Gothic
ITC Avant Garde Gothic
Eurostile LT
Univers Next
ITC Lubalin Graph
ITC Legacy Serif
ITC Caslon No. 224
Neo Sans
ITC Century
VAG Rounded
Motoya Birch
Gill Sans Infant
Soho Gothic
ITC Legacy Square Serif
Linotype Sketch
Neue Frutiger
ITC Franklin Gothic
Swiss 721
Trade Gothic Next
Frutiger Next
PMN Caecilia
ITC Charter
Neue Helvetica eText
ITC Officina Serif
Bodoni LT
Bookman Old Style
ITC Officina Sans
ITC Conduit
Humanist 777
Linotype Didot
Rotis II Sans
Helvetica World
ITC Eras
Rotis Sans Serif
Adobe Garamond
Trade Gothic Next Soft Rounded
Brandon Grotesque
ITC American Typewriter Hellenic
ITC American Typewriter
C Hei 2 PRC
M Elle PRC
ITC Stone Informal
M Lady PRC
M Stiff Hei PRC
Droid Sans Mono
Monotype News Gothic
Adobe Caslon
Egyptienne F
ITC Fenice
Clarendon Text
Baskerville Classico
Caslon Classico
Monotype Goudy
Droid Serif
Twentieth Century
Comic Strip
Neue Helvetica Arabic
Droid Sans
Rotis Semi Sans

Great type makes sites stand out