fonts.com blog
Archive for the ‘Type for Print’ Category

by Ryan Arruda

Happy New Year everybody!

As we march into 2014, we wanted to look back at some of our favorite releases from last year. Our most recent newsletter presents a roundup of designs that really knocked our typographic socks off. As a bonus, many of the families feature 30% off their complete family packs until January 10th. So you have to act fast!

Charcuterie

Charcuterie

Laura Worthington’s delightfully expansive Charcuterie collection — this family features a bevy of complementary styles and ornaments, 22 in total. It’s a great choice for adding a vintage, eclectic, and charming edge to your designs.

Metro Nova

metro_nova_04

The expertly crafted humanist sans Metro Nova family — Toshi Omagari’s expert update to a classic W.A. Dwiggins design released by Linotype.

Xenois

Xenois

The Xenois superfamily designed by Erik Faulhaber; consisting of 6 distinct styles — each with five weights and matching italics — this collection provides a comprehensive typographic system, at ease with tackling the most demanding branding or publication design projects. Save 30% off each of the complete subfamily packs: Xenois Sans, Xenois Serif, Xenois Slab, Xenois Semi, Xenois Soft, and Xenois Super.

We’re also featuring 30% off discounts on the complete family packs of the Avenir Next Rounded, Espuma Pro, Excritura, Grey Sans, Capita, Ciutadella families too!

These discounts will only last until this Friday, January 10th. Be sure to check them out and take advantage of some awesome deals!


by Ryan Arruda

Fontacular_Day5_Blog

As Fontacular barrels through its final day, we wanted to remind you all that there’s still time to take advantage of ALL the wild deals from this week. That’s right, Fontacular best sellers such as the Neue Haas Grotesk, DIN Next, Mercury Script, and Veneer families are STILL on sale. Gander at the Fontacular page to see what’s up for grabs. Remember: get these deals now, because come end of day today they’ll be gone!

We want to take this opportunity to thank all of you who joined us for Fontacular, we hope you had as fun a time as we did. Don’t be sad that Fontacular is coming to a close, be happy because it happened and you were there. We also want to thank our amazing partners, including TattlyMama’s SauceField Notes, and Typefight for providing awesome giveaways, as well as the amazing Fontacular design work from Brad Woodard of Brave the Woods.

Many of you have been asking how such a monumental and herculean event like Fontacular came to fruition. We wanted to give you a behind-the-scenes look of one facet of the event’s planning. Here are some Fontacular giveaway items that didn’t quite make the cut.

PlateImage

1. A series of fine porcelain plates commemorating historic typefaces.

2. Free fonts for life to those who tattoo Fonts.com anywhere above their neck.

3. Get a second set of fonts for free — just pay processing and handling.

4. Fontacular points — earn loyalty points to unlock rewards including a Fonts.com branded leather bomber jacket, belt buckle, travel mug or fanny pack.

fanny_pack

5. Intellectual property rights to the complete Papyrus family.

6. The Fonts.com Fontacular soundtrack — easy listening and atmospheric hits from contemporary artists.

Soundtrack

7. The Fonts.com “Font of the Month” club — an expertly curated assortment of artisan, gourmet, and free-range fonts delivered to your doorstep once a month.

8. A 30 cassette spoken word audio catalogue listing every product we have.

9. Official Fontacular Brand Brand — A livestock brand in the shape of the Fontacular logo. (Rejected because we thought it was cruel to the animals and some of the cows thought “o” and “n” were kerned too tightly.)

10. Certified pre-owned fonts.

SeeYouSoon

Ryan ArrudaRyan 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

The truly monumental milestones in the evolution of typographic history can no longer be counted off on one hand. Accredited scientists and peer-reviewed statistical studies show such hallmarks to be:

• Written language
• Illuminated manuscripts
• Movable type
• The microprocessor
• Arial

And now…FONTACULAR.

Fontacular

Have you always wanted all your dreams to come true? Look no further, dear reader, because for one week – December 2nd through 6th – Fonts.com is hosting the most impressive typographic event ever seen in the modern age. Fontacular will change the way you look at type. And life. Unlock all your type fantasies.

Fontacular

We’ve got single weights of type. We’ve got type selections. We’ve got complete type families…and they’re all up for grabs. Here’s what you need to know, hoss: each day we’ll reveal a brand new batch of deals that will drive you wild — with prices starting as low as $9, you’d be a fool to miss these deals. And because we idolize Laurence “Mr. T”  Tureaud, we shall pity you. Because come Friday, these deals will be gone forever. Keep constant watch on our Fontacular page for new products and excitement each day.

Fontacular

Plus, all week we’ll be featuring giveaways from our great partners, including Tattly, Mama’s Sauce (who printed an awesome Fontacular poster designed by our pals at Brave the Woods), Field Notes and Typefight. Just tweet to us @fontscom and use hashtag #fontacular to tell the world how our event has changed your life, and you could be showered with typographic goodies as well as held in high esteem in your community.

Have the pride of telling your children “I was there for Fontacular.

Be there for Fontacular.

Ryan ArrudaRyan 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 Alyson Kuhn

Jim Wasco loves to talk about type, and when he does, he enthuses equally about highly specific details on the one hand, and the typographic big picture on the other. It’s not an either/or discussion – it’s a seamless interplay of influences and inspirations. With Wasco, you can indeed have it both ways. His newest typeface design, the Harmonia Sans family, is a perfect example.

Harmonia Sans

The name Harmonia Sans alludes to harmony in two realms, music and typography – and on two levels, the individual and the collective. Each musical note must be ‘right’ on its own, to ring true with the other notes in the phrase, and it must add to the composition as a whole. (Wasco, by the way, plays jazz piano every week as part of a sextet.) The letterforms of a typeface are even more inter-dependent, in that they must achieve visual harmony in almost infinite combinations. On the ‘collective continuum,’ Harmonia Sans also blends what Wasco describes as his “favorite aspects of the different sans – grotesque, humanist and geometric” in a new geometric design. He adds, “Harmonia Sans is geometric because the letters are based on a square, circle and triangle, just like architecture.”

Alignments

The alignment comparison above illustrates Wasco’s decision to use calligraphic cap to x-height proportions for Harmonia Sans. The ITC Avant Garde Gothic design has a larger x-height, and relatively short ascenders and descenders, while the Futura family has a smaller x-height, with elongated ascenders and descenders. Wasco determined that the calligraphic proportions would serve to increase both legibility and typographic harmony.

Calligraphy instruction sheet from Paul Standard (circa 1950)

Calligraphy instruction sheet from Paul Standard (circa 1950)

Wasco neatly sums up his ‘calligraphic lineage’: “Dad went to The Cooper Union in the ‘50s. His calligraphy teacher was Paul Standard, who was a friend of Hermann Zapf’s. When I met Hermann, I mentioned Paul – and his face lit up. Many people credit Paul with popularizing calligraphy in America in the ‘50s.” Standard’s calligraphy instruction sheet above is based on a cap to x-height ratio of 7.5 to 5.

Calligraphy by Jim Wasco:  banner on a piano recital invitation (2007)

Calligraphy by Jim Wasco: banner on a piano recital invitation (2007)

Wasco has always favored a ratio of 7:5 for his own calligraphy, and the Harmonia Sans proportion is close to 7:5 as well. Click here to learn more about – and to license – the Harmonia Sans family.

 

Alyson Kuhn
Alyson Kuhn (a.k.a. Kuhncierge) writes frequently about paper and printing, including typography and postage stamps. On occasion, she teaches envelope-folding workshops. She lives in Carmel, California.

 


by Dr Hermann Püterschein

Bill Dwiggins got me hooked on type. His marionette shows were what attracted me to his studio, but it was his passion for calligraphy, type and typography that lured me into a life of letters. Serious stuff, but I was a pretty serious kid back then. I guess that’s how I got my “Doctor” nickname. Bill also gave me my start in the type business – but that was much later.

Toshi Omagari’s re-envisiong of Dwiggins’ original Metro

Toshi Omagari’s re-envisiong of Dwiggins’ original Metro

I believe that the Electra typeface was the first of Bill’s that I wrote about. (I wasn’t around when he drew the Metro design back in 1930.) But I did write a review of Metro Office when Linotype released the small family for, well, office use, in 2006. If memory serves, I gave it a “36 point” rating (“worth the ticket price”).

When Monotype invited me to have a preview look at Toshi Omagari’s re-envisioning of Bill’s original Metro, I jumped at the chance. The new design, Metro Nova, is quite a nice piece of work. Bill’s Metro had to make do with just four weights – and only three of them had italic complements. Omagari’s design offers a full range of seven weights of roman designs – each with an italic companion – plus six weights of condensed designs with italic counterparts as well. Now that’s an excellent enhancement.

Seven weights with italic counterparts, and six condensed weights—also with italic counterparts.

Seven weights with italic counterparts, and six condensed weights—also with italic counterparts.

Omagari also made improvements to some of the original Metro’s character designs. Not that Bill wasn’t a good designer – he was, but he had to put up with Linotype’s antiquated unit system and the firm’s insistence that every typeface family under the sun duplex – you know, share common character width values. Bill worked around these mechanical restrictions pretty well, but Omagari’s design is digital. And what a dramatic difference that makes! You won’t find any compromises in proportions or spacing in Omagari’s Metro Nova.

The new design is also available as OpenType Pro fonts, allowing for automatic insertion of ligatures and those alternate characters Bill drew for his original design. Pro fonts also have extended character sets to support most Central European and many Eastern European languages. Omagari even added the alternate Icelandic ð to the character suite! (He has friends in Iceland.)

Metro Nova Pro alternate accented Latin characters; alternate umlaud, accent “a” and Icelandic “eth” characters

Metro Nova Pro alternate accented Latin characters; alternate umlaud, accent “a” and Icelandic “eth” characters

While it’s not the second coming of Garamond, I really like the new Metro Nova. Omagari has done a terrific job of building on Bill’s original design. Metro Nova is a rock solid typeface family that’s not going to gather dust on anyone’s hard drive.

Click here to learn more about – and to license – the Metro Nova family.

Alternate and Standard setting of capital M

Alternate and Standard setting of capital M

 

Dr. Hermann Püterschein is President of the Society of Calligraphers and a noted typeface & typographic critic. He can be reached at HermannPuterschein@gmail.com

 


by Darren Glenister

Fonts.com Subscription Extension

The recent integration of our SkyFonts technology into our Fonts.com Web Fonts subscription plans introduced some major new benefits. These included the ability to try fonts before buying them, and the ability to use fonts included with your subscription for website mockup use and even final design use. Now we’re excited to bring you two new tools that make SkyFonts even easier to use. And of course, there’s no additional charge for either of them, since they’re automatically part of all Fonts.com Web Fonts subscriptions, even our free plan. Don’t have a plan yet? Sign up now for free.

Try, install and sync fonts from favorite Adobe design applications

We have an all-new Fonts.com subscription extension for industry-standard design applications including Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign. Whether you’re using Adobe Creative Cloud or Creative Suite, you can try, install, and sync desktop fonts from your Fonts.com subscription directly through your favorite design applications.

Fonts.com Subscription Extension

All the functionality of the SkyFonts client for activating fonts is built right into the extension. An unobtrusive window within your application allows you to search for and activate fonts right in your document. Free plan subscribers can use the extension to initiate five minute trials of fonts while higher level subscribers can use the extension to install mockup fonts and desktop fonts included with their plans.

A boon for efficiency, any fonts you trial or activate will automatically be pushed to your authorized machines through SkyFonts. Don’t have SkyFonts installed on one of your devices? Click here to download it at no cost. With our new extension you’re able to focus on your project details instead of managing or installing fonts. Whether choosing type, prototyping designs, or executing production work for digital or print projects, this extension allows you to take full advantage of your Fonts.com subscription benefits with ease.

Download the Fonts.com Subscription Adobe Extension for free.

Easily Browse & Activate Fonts Directly on Your iPad 

Need to make type choices when you’re away from the office, or don’t have access to your primary workstation? Or just want to browse fonts for fun?

We’re also excited to announce the Fonts.com subscription iPad app. With an intuitive touch interface, you can select, compare and activate fonts directly from your iPad. The app will be available for download shortly. In the meantime, you can try it out in your browser.

Fonts.com Subscription iPad App

Filter designs by visual traits such as weight, width and x-height, or browse typefaces by individual foundry. Use the mix feature to easily compare up to three different typefaces at a time, giving you a great way to gauge and establish a visual hierarchy for your project — pick your headline, subhead and body text type system in one simple step.

Find a design you like? Add it to your list of favorites with a touch of a button — a convenient way to save fonts for future projects or to collect type options to present to clients and colleagues. Or already know which designs you’d like to use? You can activate trials, mockup and desktop fonts directly from your iPad — even selections made on the go are automatically synced to all your authorized machines via SkyFonts.

With our new Fonts.com subscription Adobe extension and iPad app, you can now access type in whatever application you are in — be it Photoshop, Illustrator, or InDesign, and from wherever you are — in the office or on the go.

Get them both for free!

Ryan ArrudaRyan 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 Dr Hermann Püterschein

I first met Bill Dwiggins when I was quite young. I grew up in Hingham, Mass., and was one of the neighborhood kids who attended his marionette shows. Later on, I started dropping by Bill’s studio every now and again to watch him carve the marionettes.

First Showing of Metro

Today is Bill’s birthday. If he were still around, he’d be 133 years old. Bill was always a bit of a kid about his birthday. It was a special day for him. So, Monotype invited me to write this post for two reasons: to toast Bill’s birthday and to share the news that they are almost finished working on a revival of one of Bill’s most important typeface designs.

Monotype’s suggestion that I write a note honoring my friend falls happily with my mood. Moreover, It also gives me the opportunity to clear up a point about his association with me. From time to time, it’s been implied that Bill and I were the same person. This is complete nonsense and was disproved some time ago. Bill and I submitted our individual thumbprints to a prominent Boston typographer for scrutiny. When enlarged, one could clearly see that the whorls of my thumbprint were composed of Fraktur letters, while those of Bill’s were fleurons joined in an engaging pattern.

Metro Nova

Bill drew a raft of typefaces during his years as a freelance designer for Linotype. A goodly number of them have been pressed into service as popular digital fonts. The one that most deserves a makeover, however, is Bill’s first: the Metro typeface. Not that it wasn’t a good design. It was indeed, but it’s always been a small family, and Bill was hamstrung by Linotype’s penchant for duplexed fonts. (This is where a pair of styles – such as roman and italic – were cut within the same mold for use in the printing process.) This meant that all characters were required to have the same width. I certainly anticipate that Monotype’s designer for the revival project will have resolved these limitations.

Metro Nova

Something I hope Monotype doesn’t eliminate is the profusion of alternate characters Bill drew. Bill liked to have fun with his work, and his playfulness was apparent in several characters of the original Metro design. The cap Q and lowercase g and e come to mind – but I know there were more. They were pretty lively, and didn’t look like anything you might find in the Futura or Erbar families, which were designed around the same time.

It seems that some pompous printers back in the 1930s didn’t like this aspect of Bill’s design. These were hard-pressed folks who persuaded Linotype to replace the characters in question with ones that were about as stuffy as these people were. After that, you could only get the original characters by special order.

Well, Happy Birthday to Bill – and the best of luck to Monotype. I’m looking forward to seeing that new design.

Click here to learn more about the new Metro family.

 

Dr. Hermann Püterschein is President of the Society of Calligraphers and a noted typeface & typographic critic. He can be reached at HermannPuterschein@gmail.com

 

 

 

 

 

 


by Johnathan Zsittnik

FontExplorer X

Our well-rounded typographic subscriptions just became more versatile. Starting today, our Professional and Master level Fonts.com Web Fonts subscriptions include FontExplorer X Pro – the acclaimed font management application that makes quick and easy work of finding and managing your fonts.

If you’re wondering why a desktop font management application is included in a Web fonts subscription, well, it’s all part of our quest to resolve your typographic needs for both  digital and print design. Just last month we added an offering of desktop fonts to our top level subscriptions. What better way to help subscribers make the most of these 7,000+ desktop fonts than access to an award-winning font manager? We’ve also incorporated our SkyFonts technology into FontExplorer X Pro allowing you to easily install and synchronize the desktop fonts included with your subscription.

FontExplorer X Pro is known for its ultra-intuitive interface and a broad set of customizable controls for finding, organizing and managing fonts. Garnering an Editor’s Choice Award from Macworld among other honors, FontExplorer X Pro is popular with critics and a loyal legion of customers – and we think our subscribers will soon agree.

This change coincides with the release of FontExplorer X Pro 4 for Mac platforms. This latest rev includes a suite of enhancements we fully expect to be loved by FontExplorer X faithful and first-timers alike including new preview and discovery options as well as support for Web fonts and OpenType features.

If you’re a Professional or Master subscriber, you can download your copy of FontExplorer X Pro today by logging into Fonts.com and selecting the Manage Account option from the menu beneath your user name in the Fonts.com navigation. Once you reach your account page, expand the FontExplorer X Pro option to download the app.

If you’re not a Professional or Master subscriber but would like a closer look at FontExplorer X Pro, visit the all new fontexplorerx.com where you can learn more and download a free 30 day trial. When you’re ready to take the plunge, subscribe to a Pro or Master subscription and let Fonts.com manage all of your font needs.

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

CustomerSpotlight_SasquatchFestival

Occurring over four days at the end of May, the Sasquatch! Music Festival features an eclectic lineup of musicians performing at the Gorge Amphitheater in Quincy, Wash.

The festival’s site is a typographic delight. Utilizing colossal headlines and navigation elements all in the affable ultra weight of the ITC Kabel family, the site is reminiscent of 19th century broadsides — large, type driven, and visually arresting.

Despite the presentation being set almost exclusively in not only the same typeface, but the same weight of that selection, the use of scale as well as the muted, earthy color palette provides an engaging and navigable hierarchy.

In a slight divergence, the site’s body copy is set in the Futura family’s book weight. While certainly an aesthetic cousin of the ITC Kabel designs, Futura is decidedly more austere, making it apt for longer passages of text where former’s visually boisterous character would be to the detriment of the reader. The pairing works especially well given the contrast in the weights employed.

The ITC Kabel family is available in five weights, from the reserved book style to the hulking (yet charismatic) ultra weight. The Futura family is available in an expansive 20 styles, with weights from light to extra bold, including companion condensed widths as well. Both typeface families are available for desktop licensing, as well as online use through subscriptions to the Fonts.com Web Fonts service.

Ryan ArrudaRyan 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

Ireland.com is the online presence of Tourism Ireland, an organization marketing the Emerald Isle as a premiere travel destination.

The layout of the Ireland.com site is quite kinetic, with modular content blocks of varying size overlaid upon large, vibrant photographs. The site utilizes the Rockwell typeface family nearly exclusively; it’s employed not only for headlines, but subheads, body text and primary navigation as well. Italic styles are employed for secondary navigation.

Customer Spotlight: Ireland.com

While the heavier weights of this friendly slab serif design from Monotype are strong and sturdy, its lighter weights are excellent choices for body text. A visual complement to layout of the site itself, Rockwell’s geometric letterforms mirror the gridded, modular construction present on Ireland.com.

The Rockwell family is available in four weights from light to extra bold, along with matching italics. For further flexibility, the family is also available in two condensed styles as well. Try it for yourself through the subscriptions to the Fonts.com Web Fonts service.

Ryan ArrudaRyan 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.
Great type makes sites stand out