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Archive for the ‘Type for Mobile’ Category

by Rebecca Schalber

We were more than overbooked for the second event on the Brand Perfect Tour – and when I took a look around the fully occupied rows, it seemed that everyone managed to make it!

Alexander Schröder, Landor Associates

Alexander Schröder from Landor Associates opened the event by talking about brand strategies for digital media.  Today the communication of brands is a public affair that’s no longer under the control of the owner of the trademark. Holistic brand management means to manage the brand experience in terms of communication, structure and behavior which demands corporate engagement from the top down and engineering throughout the organization, not just in the marketing department. Read more from Alexander at his blog.

Phillip Clement from bemoko (multi-platform software and Web development) then took the platform to talk about the challenges of fragmentation where brands only function on certain devices. He mentioned the Financial Times app which works just fine on the iPad® device but not on the iPhone® device. Twenty percent of customers are okay with that, but most aren’t, so the brand experience is damaged. We learn that “dead ends,” which are rarely found on the Web, are still normal in the mobile domain.  Although there is a focus on the iOS® and the Android™ operating system, in addition to a few other major platforms, we’re unable to control to which extent operating systems and appliances penetrate the market. It’s always a moving target.  Also the number of browsers is increasing…

Nadine Chahine’s talk about type and usability in new media started with a focus on brand interaction which is essential for the user and therefore essential for the brand’s reach. Superbrands or “love marks” work on an emotional level, but how do you get there? Apple, for instance, stimulates the same part of its “disciples’” brains as religious images do in the brains of their believers. The answer is through distinctiveness, unity, simplicity, design, authenticity and being the fastest to get attention.

And what role does typography play in all of this? Typography is the voice with which everything is being communicated. If you mess this up, you risk rupture between what you’re trying to say and the way you’re saying it. In the worst case, bad typography can give you a headache…The consistency of a brand’s personality is exuded through typographic consistency…“You don’t change horses in the middle of the race!” says Nadine. Every typeface has a personality, and you should choose the personality which fits best to the brand.

Dan Reynolds, Linotype, at panel

Dan Reynolds, Linotype, at panel discussion

Johannes Schardt, Dan Reynolds, Louisa Heinrich and Alexander Schröder took part in the panel debate.

How important is interaction in the brand’s theme?

Alexander Schröder:  – “BMW is a good example – the average driver of the BMW 7-Series is suddenly no longer 70 but 49 years old – the original target group was lost as it was now only buying Mercedes! Ergo: You can no longer rest on what you used to know; you continuously have to adapt your brand to the present circumstances.”

The lion’s share of a brand identity consists of its color and type. If these remain consistent, they help the brand become very familiar. But a brand is an experience. A cool logo doesn’t help when a company appears to be, for example, unethical.

“The graphic game with the personality of the brand plays an important role but it isn’t everything,” says Dan Reynolds. After that came the heretical question, whether a logo in the Verdana® typeface would then be okay: “The question isn’t whether Verdana is good or bad but whether we still need it today or whether we want to focus our attention on other typefaces,” says Dan.

The conclusion is: It’s important to question your brand’s (digital) presentation constantly for appropriateness every day.

Louisa Heinrich from Fjord then delivered her take on “where the brand breaks.”

“Today the brand has come home via mobile appliances and is no longer controllable, thanks to Facebook and Co. Stop stressing out about consistency – start thinking about context around your brand, because only 10 percent of a conversation is coming from what I say. The other 90 percent are coming from my body language or the color of my eyes. So for me personally, context is also the business of my friends to which I’m linked, the place I’m at, what I need, where I’ll be going. Technologically speaking, it’s the appliance, the operating system, the access point…”

People want to have control; there’s a lot of static noise in the world. All day long, we’re considering which content seems relevant to us. And we no longer read everything. Whatever we find exciting, we share with our network. If you’re doing it right as a brand, you’re supporting this current phenomenon. But many brands which are using, for example, Facebook, are the equivalent to the so-called “party buggers” who are eavesdropping on the door and then come in yelling “but that’s not right!” It’s also important that the digital brand experience goes with the brand: If a brand like BMW, which is associated with fast cars does something digitally slow, the brand loses its authenticity.

Louisa’s conclusion is: 1. design for context; 2. design for a brand in action; 3. design digital DNA.

After lunch delegates joined three master classes.

Working in small groups in a workshop, “strategies for multiscreen interaction,” led by the Hamburg design studio, precious, the delegates got involved in designing a customer Journey for the family Reifberger. How were they going to organize their holiday? What inspires them? What needs do they have when being on holiday and what is happening after the holiday?

Subsequently, delegates developed a new digital travel service together called the “Travel Butler.” The Travel Butler is discreet, always there when you need it, competent, elegant and sophisticated. Which applications and features does the Travel Butler offer? How can you integrate at least three different devices in a holiday cycle? What makes sense on a smartphone, on a personal computer, on a tray or on TV? Which needs are being met with the application, which problems are being solved with it? And how does the application work? What could the interface look like?

Dan Reynolds explained the different challenges we face using type on the Web and the practical considerations for applying typography in different environments. Using a tool to quickly show how selecting a different typeface can completely change the balance and tone of a Web page, delegates experienced Web fonts first hand. You can try too at www.webfontspreview.com.

Fran Gruber & Alexander Polzin (left to right), Fork Unstable Media

Frank Gruber & Alexander Polzin (left to right), Fork Unstable Media

The final class was “Times New Romance” – typo diversity in the Web.  Alexander Polzin and Frank Gruber of Fork Unstable Media asked the question, “Do you only want to watch or program with us?” (The answer was watching…) was a trip into the world of Web fonts that illustrated the clear advantages of applying fine typography to communications and the challenges different rendering environments pose.

On to New York City next…

 


by Allan Haley

Herb Lubalin’s name is missing from the masthead of U&lc Volume Nine. He art directed all the previous issues up through the first in Volume Eight and lent a hand with the second – but passed away while it was being printed. Lubalin was a brilliant, iconoclastic advertising art director. Typography was always at the center of his work. It is where you start with Lubalin and what you eventually come back to. “Typography,” however, is not a word Lubalin thought should be applied to his work.

“What I do is not really typography,” he said. “I think of typography as an essentially mechanical means of putting characters down on a page. I design with letters. Aaron Burns calls it, ‘typographics,’ and since you’ve got to put a name on things to make them memorable, ‘typographics’ is as good a name as any for what I do.”

Lubalin was followed by a series of luminary “guest” designers who built on his powerful foundation, adding their own chapters to the story of U&lc. B. Martin (Marty, to friends) Pedersen was the first. His design brought newfound grace and elegance to the pages of U&lc. Pedersen also used color for the first time in the publication. It’s pretty amazing, when you think about it, that a publication about type, typography, calligraphy, photography and illustration could get by for eight years just printed in black and white. The cost of color printing was the obstacle, but as more and more articles cried out for color, aesthetics (and the persistence of Pedersen) won out in Volume Nine Number One.

Pedersen’s feature article “The Dream of Flying,” in Volume Nine Number One, is a design and typographic tour de force. If you look at no other article in the four issues of Volume Nine, spend some time with this one.

Four typeface families were also announced in the pages of Volume Nine: the ITC Cushing™, ITC Modern No. 216™, ITC New Baskerville® and ITC Caslon No. 224™ designs. ITC Cushing and ITC Modern No. 216™ are revivals of early twentieth century typefaces, the former from American Type Founders and the latter from the British foundry, Stephenson Blake. ITC New Baskerville was originally a Linotype® typeface but was licensed to ITC on an exclusive basis, and ITC Caslon No. 224 was designed as a text companion to the very successful ITC LSC Caslon No. 223™ display design.

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

Low Resolution:

Volume 9–1 (Low Res).pdf (13.9 MB)

Volume 9–2 (Low Res).pdf (15.3 MB)

Volume 9–3 (Low Res).pdf (14.8 MB)

Volume 9–4 (Low Res).pdf (15.9 MB)

High Resolution:

Volume 9–1.pdf (72.9 MB)

Volume 9–2.pdf (74.0 MB)

Volume 9–3.pdf (72.7 MB)

Volume 9–4.pdf (73.3 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 Vikki Quick

The New York arm of The Brand Perfect™ Tour is taking place on June 22 at The Ney Center at Young & Rubicam Group, 285 Madison Avenue, from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.  Launched in May, The Brand Perfect Tour is a series of global forums hosted in London, then Munich and now in New York City, which bring together brands, brand managers, directors, designers and developers in a unique exchange of communication and discovery. The Brand Perfect Tour is not a singular company, a specific brand, or any one profession or organization – it’s ALL of that. It’s an open exchange of ideas, strategies, processes and technologies designed to improve brand consistency and the user experience in the rapidly evolving digital landscape.  

Join us in New York to share knowledge and discuss the collective challenges of building, maintaining, growing and delivering a unified customer experience. A task made increasingly more complex and demanding by real-time technological advances, multi-channel interactions and the unpredictable fluidity in consumer trends and “click-thru” behavior.

More information on the event and speakers can be found here. Reservations for the Brand Perfect Tour can be made at http://brandperfect-tour.com.

Speakers include:

Chuck Bigelow, Rochester Institute of Technology

Dan Rhatigan, Senior Type Designer

Dennis Michael Dimos, Monotype Imaging

Doug Wilson, Film Director

John Oswald, Fjord

Julie Strawson, Monotype Imaging

Lee Aldridge, Young & Rubicam Group

Paul Owen, Landor Associates, New York

Rietje Gieskes, Landor Associates, New York

Steve Matteson, Monotype Imaging

Mike Lundgren, VML


by Julie Strawson

Imagine you’ve been tasked with delivering a design brief across multiple digital platforms. You’ve constructed a pristine template with evenly set grids and equally balanced guidelines. It looks perfect, but it only applies to print. How would it look on a mobile phone screen? You certainly can’t replicate it there. And what about the explosion in tablets? You quickly find it’s not as simple as you first thought. But you’re not alone – it turns out the ‘digital niggles’ associated with fonts are the most challenging aspect of digital design briefs today.

Monotype Imaging commissioned research with Opinion Research Bureau, which polled 600 designers, developers and creative directors located in the United States, United Kingdom and Germany to gauge their experiences of designing for combined print and digital briefs. Alarmingly, only one in five confirmed they have never experienced last minute bugs with typography and a staggering 70 percent said such complications impacted on the workflow of projects. The end results are higher costs, lower profitability and delays in getting the project out to consumers –issues no one wants to face.

So what’s the cure? Just use a different font? Compromise the brand’s integrity? Alienate existing audiences? Not a strategy many brands are keen to pursue and we’ve done the research to prove this approach doesn’t work. In 2009, a study carried out by Opinion Matters on behalf of Monotype Imaging found that from 2,000 UK consumers, nearly 92 percent would not give details to a site that had all the regular text in place but had a logo that contained a different font than what they were used to. This is a huge warning to brands – think carefully about typography or kiss goodbye to the consumers whose trust you’ve worked so hard to win.

So what’s the solution? It’s actually pretty straightforward: typography needs to be addressed from the very start of a project. Our research shows that although four out of five respondents received briefs that required them to implement typography for different media channels, almost one third still struggle to acquire the right brand assets and interpret the guidelines for digital media. This demonstrates two key things. Brands are embracing the opportunities offered by digital platforms which is great, but they’re struggling to present themselves reliably and consistently which is where all their hard work goes to waste.

To help combat this and create a forum to share knowledge about the wider challenges in design for digital media, Monotype Imaging has created the Brand Perfect Tour. This global roadshow combines a think tank with design master classes from leading experts to offer practical guidance on how to address design and typography on different media. The Brand Perfect Tour will be a driving force in spreading awareness in branding and marketing circles of best practices to ensure success when implementing brands across media.

Click here to download the ORB survey conducted in April 2011 as commissioned by Monotype Imaging.

 


by Bill Davis

Monotype Imaging is proud to join Font Bureau at a seminar devoted to Web fonts and Web typography hosted by AIGA Boston. The evening event is titled,“Designing with Web Fonts: The Evolution of Typography in the Digital Realm.”

Learn more about creative typography on the Web from a panel of experts including Web designers, developers, type designers and font technologists. The panel includes Monotype Imaging’s Vladimir Levantovsky, David Berlow (Font Bureau), Scott Dasse (Boston University Interactive) and Mike Swartz (Upstatement).

The event is open to the public and starts at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, May 24, 2011 at the Microsoft New England Research & Development Center in Cambridge, Mass.

For more information visit the AIGA Boston website.

AIGA Boston - Web Fonts Seminar


by Julie Strawson

After a year of R&D this week the Brand Perfect Tour launches in London. Featuring an amazing lineup of speakers and educators, the Brand Perfect Tour is designed to provide a forum for brands, creatives and developers to network, share knowledge, showcase best practice and debate what’s hot and what’s not about digital design and typography. The Tour will move on to Hamburg on June 14 and then to New York on June 22.

Rather than a formal conference format, the Tour is a think tank designed to stimulate discussion and debate about how to improve branded experiences in digital media. The agenda combines keynote presentations from leading brand managers and designers with a discussion session and design master classes on typography and user interface design.

The Tour was conceived by Monotype Imaging and realized with Tour partners Linotype, Creative Review, pitch, Design Made in Germany, Young & Rubicam Group, Fjord, bemoko and University of Reading.

To see the agenda and reserve your place for Hamburg or New York, please visit www.brandperfect-tour.com.


by Allan Haley

When new typefaces are released today, we expect them to be a full complement of designs and weights. It wasn’t that long ago, however, that typeface families grew much like your own: a little at a time – over a period of time. Such was the case with the ITC Tiffany™ and ITC Lubalin Graph™ typeface families.

ITC Tiffany and ITC Lubalin Graph were released in 1974. It wasn’t until 1981, however, (in U&lc Volume Eight Number 2) that their italic designs were announced. Why the delay? Because before the advent of design software, typefaces were drawn by hand – a time consuming and labor intensive process. ITC was a relatively small company and undertaking a new typeface design project was a major investment.

Which may beg the question as to why were the italics drawn at all. The answer is “technology.” More and more typesetting was being set digitally in the early 1980s – and it was a relatively easy process to digitally oblique a roman design to serve as a makeshift italic. The result did not look good to a typographer’s eyes, but that didn’t stop people from doing it.

The folks at ITC, however, were typographers – and it pained them to see their typefaces contorted and distorted into faux italic designs. Which is why ITC asked Ed Benguiat to draw new italic designs to complement the roman weights of Herb Lubalin, Tony DiSpigna and Joe Sundwall’s ITC Lubalin Graph and his own ITC Tiffany typeface.

The first “Directory of ITC Typefaces” (a specimen showing of all the typefaces released in the first ten years of the ITC’s existence) was also published in the pages of Volume Eight of U&lc – as was the announcement of the ITC Galliard™ family, a typeface design first released by another company. To find out what company first released Galliard – and to see what else was in the journal’s pages – click the PDFs below to download Volume Eight of U&lc.

Low Resolution:

Volume 8–1 (Low Res).pdf (22.0 MB)

Volume 8–2 (Low Res).pdf (17.0 MB)

Volume 8–3 (Low Res).pdf (15.2 MB)

Volume 8–4 (Low Res).pdf (14.7 MB)

High Resolution:

Volume 8–1.pdf (103.0 MB)

Volume 8–2.pdf (78.2 MB)

Volume 8–3.pdf (73.1 MB)

Volume 8–4.pdf (70.5 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 Allan Haley

Ed Gottschall, the editor of U&lc in the late 1970s and early 1980s, loved technology. Although he wore a suit and tie to work everyday, he was a certifiable geek. He also had a lot to be geeky about. During his tenure as editor, the manner in which typographic content was set, output, stored and managed was going through dramatic changes. To celebrate and explore this abundance of communications technology, Gottschall prepared his “Vision ’80s” supplement to U&lc in Volume Seven Number Two.

“Vision ’80s” was a major undertaking that pumped the journal up from 80 to 180 pages. In the supplement, Gottschall presented a cornucopia of technological developments for creating textual content – and predicted its future. In several instances his predictions were right on target; in others, not so much. “Vision ’80s” was a report on the state of the art of creating content – and Gottschall was a great reporter. Reporting and predicting, however, are two very different things. Still, “Vision ’80s” is an excellent view into the future of yesterday.

Along with technology, Gottschall was also interested in the calligraphic arts. Volume Seven Number One, contains a call for entries for a calligraphy competition with the winning entries to be shown in the pages of U&lc – and in an exhibition at the ITC Gallery. While the ITC Gallery is long gone, the winning entries can be seen in Volume Seven Number Four.

ITC also announced four new typeface families in Volume Seven of U&lc. The first weights of the ITC Franklin Gothic™ family were announced in the first issue; which was followed by the ITC Fenice™, ITC Century™ and ITC Isbell™ families.

Click the PDFs below to download Volume Seven of U&lc.

Low Resolution:

Volume 7–1 (Low Res).pdf (15.9 MB)

Volume 7–2 (Low Res).pdf (35.6 MB)

Volume 7–3 (Low Res).pdf (15.9 MB)

Volume 7–4 (Low Res).pdf (18.1 MB)

High Resolution:

Volume 7–1.pdf (70.4 MB)

Volume 7–2.pdf (157.1 MB)

Volume 7–3.pdf (73.7 MB)

Volume 7–4.pdf (85.9 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 Allan Haley

ITC was hitting its stride in the late 1970s. It was releasing a wide range of distinctive typefaces and U&lc had grown into a significantly influential journal – and not just about type and typography.

By the late 1970s, U&lc had a circulation of over 250,00 subscribers. ITC liked to think that there was also a significant “pass-along” readership, but most people tended to horde their issues – fearing that, if they got outside of their sight, they would be gone forever.

Graphic designers and art directors were the journal’s target audience. (This was before there were creative directors.) While graphic designers and art directors specified what typefaces were to be used in their projects, they also determined what photographs and illustrations might be used in those same projects.

As a result, illustrators and photographers were eager to have their work displayed in the pages of U&lc. And the editors of the journal obliged. The four issues of Volume Six showcased the work of no less than a dozen different illustrators and photographers. Some, like Jim Spanfeller and William Bramhall, became regulars in the journal. Others like, Frances Jetter and Janet Beller, received their first major exposure – while others, like Joan Hall and Richard Haas, were seasoned professionals.

Four diverse new ITC® typeface families were also announced in the pages of Volume Six. The ITC Clearface® family, a revival of an early American Type Founders design, was announced in the first issue. This was followed by the ITC Zapf Chancery® design, which went on to become one of the first commercial typefaces in the Apple operating system. The distinctive ITC Benguiat Gothic™ family was announced in the September issue and the ITC Novarese™ series by Italian designer Aldo Novarese (who also designed the Eurostile® family) finished out the year.

Click the PDFs below to download Volume Six of U&lc.

Low Resolution:

Volume 6–1 (Low Res).pdf (15.4 MB)

Volume 6–2 (Low Res).pdf (14.8 MB)

Volume 6–3 (Low Res).pdf (14.5 MB)

Volume 6–4 (Low Res).pdf (17.4 MB)

High Resolution:

Volume 6–1.pdf (75.1 MB)

Volume 6–2.pdf (71.5 MB)

Volume 6–3.pdf (72.9 MB)

Volume 6–4.pdf (78.9 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 Julie Strawson

Brand managers tell us the ideal scenario for a brand is to deploy consistent, pristine communications across all media: print, Web, mobile, TV, even into the home. But there are so many challenges for a brand to overcome to deliver a seamless journey that few are succeeding at present.

Once print was the principle platform to design for. Brand guidelines were created based on the requirements for printed material.  Now there are a plethora of digital platforms, browsers, tools and display formats and a different technical design ecosystem combining graphic designers, user experience designers and developers with little guidance on how to interpret their brand in these environments.

Reading Vincent Steer’s book Printing Design and Layout (first edition circa 1934) it strikes me that we’re at a similar inflexion point in the type industry now as it was then. In the 1930s competitive forces in the publishing industry and the growth of the advertising industry led to increased demand for different typeface designs. Printing technology demanded close attention to the then new art of typography to produce effective communications and increase sales.

The role of a typographer is to layout the message for optimum performance depending on the printing platform being used and the nature of the communication.

Today we have many different digital platforms to deal with and few typographers in the mix creating content. Achieving interactivity with a customer depends a lot on the discipline of typography.

Since font provision and support for typography varies so much on digital platforms taking brand typography forward is in itself a challenge. Web fonts have freed brands from the tyranny of system fonts giving yet system fonts still rule the fragmented mobile world.

While scratching the surface of the mobile market with the iPhone® device is relatively simple, capitalizing on the remaining 90 percent of the opportunity requires meticulous attention to detail in terms of planning language support and QA. It needs a truly global approach to development that begins with a consideration for typographic performance at the very start of a project, in the brand manager’s office, to be successful.

In the home, too, white goods are becoming the deepest consumer touch points yet. Whether deploying a digital user guide or relaying the latest TV commercial, there’s another opportunity here to delight and engage customers using light, on-brand content.

When considering brand consistency, consider all your touch points not each one in isolation.

Great type makes sites stand out