Archive for the ‘Type for Web’ Category

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


by Chris Roberts

Here’s a ranked listing of Web Fonts’ top 100 most used Web fonts for June 2013:

Neue Helvetica
Proxima Nova
Trade Gothic
Gill Sans
DIN Next
Avenir Next
Neue Frutiger
Linotype Univers
Frutiger Next
ITC Avant Garde Gothic
Trade Gothic Next
Humanist 777
Century Gothic
Futura T
Museo Sans
Univers Next
News Gothic
Adobe Caslon
Neue Helvetica
Neo Sans
Linotype Didot
Avenir Next
Baskerville Classico
Monotype News Gothic
DIN 1451
PMN Caecilia
ITC Franklin Gothic
VAG Rounded
Bodoni LT
Brandon Grotesque
ITC Garamond
ITC Lubalin Graph
Corporate S
Helvetica Monospaced
ITC Conduit
News Gothic No.2
New Century Schoolbook
Twentieth Century
Soho Gothic
Neue Haas Grotesk
Gill Sans Infant
Trade Gothic Next Soft Rounded
ITC Officina Sans
Bembo Infant MT
ITC Century
Neue Helvetica eText
Sackers Gothic
Frutiger Serif
Eurostile LT
Letter Gothic
Neue Helvetica Arabic
Eurostile Next
Harmonia Sans
Bauer Bodoni
Helvetica World
Garamond 3
Museo Slab
Adobe Garamond
ITC Franklin
ITC Fenice
New Caledonia
Monotype Baskerville
Sassoon Sans
Ascender Serif
ITC Officina Serif

by Darren Glenister Subscription Extension

The recent integration of our SkyFonts technology into our 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 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 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 subscription directly through your favorite design applications. 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 subscription benefits with ease.

Download the 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 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. 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 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







by Johnathan Zsittnik

FontExplorer X

Our well-rounded typographic subscriptions just became more versatile. Starting today, our Professional and Master level 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 and selecting the Manage Account option from the menu beneath your user name in the 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 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 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


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

The layout of the 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:

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

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 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 Darren Glenister

Google FontsWhile more and more Web design is being done in the browser, much of the initial prototyping is still handled within desktop design apps. This requires Web designers who are working with Web fonts to also acquire desktop versions of their fonts. It also put an onus on Web font providers such as Google and to provide easy access to desktop fonts.

Google Fonts

We’ve recently paired with the Google Fonts team to help streamline this process for their users. You can now use our SkyFonts utility on to download and sync Google fonts to your desktop machines. Start by installing SkyFonts on your Mac or PC. Next, visit our listing of Google Fonts on Finally, click the Add to SkyFonts button next to any Google font you’d like to install. SkyFonts will quickly install it on your local machine. When updates to your fonts are released, including display enhancements or the addition of new characters, the latest data will be immediately synchronized to your machine. Subscription TabIf you enjoy using SkyFonts, you’ll be pleased to hear that it can also be used in other ways on Access the Subscription tab of any font listing or product page and look for the ‘Add to SkyFonts’ button. This button indicates that the font is one of the 15,000+ designs available for a free five minute trial. If you have a Web Fonts subscription, you may also be able to install the font as a mockup font, which allows you to use the font for a day for creating website mockups or as a desktop font which allows you to use a font for general design use for 30 days. After the time period expires, SkyFonts discretely removes the font from your machine without interruption to your tasks.

SkyFonts has garnered tremendous excitement since its release late last year. We hope to build upon this momentum as we extend the platform to Google Fonts and and simplify the design process for the growing number of designers working in digital and print.


by Johnathan Zsittnik Web Fonts

At Monotype, we believe that type is the foundation of good design and that this principle holds true whether you’re designing for the Web, print or any other medium. With the aim of providing the tools necessary to deliver great typography for all media, today we proudly unveil a major enhancement to our Web Fonts subscriptions: desktop fonts. Led by our new Master subscription which includes unlimited downloads from our selection of 7,000+ desktop fonts, we now offer plans that provide everything you need to deliver incredible typography for digital and print design through one convenient subscription.

Subscribe or Upgrade

Boundless experimentation. Limitless expression.
Our new Master subscription includes all of the amenities of our Professional plans such as our Typecast design app and the ability to self-host, with the new benefit of desktop fonts. Subscription options start at $100 per month or a little bit cheaper if you sign up for an annual or three year plan. If you’re on a Professional plan with 2.5M pageviews or more and are already paying this much, we have good news for you. Your subscription has automatically been upgraded to Master, meaning you’ll enjoy unlimited desktop fonts. You won’t have to pay more, you’ll just get more.

With the following components, our Master subscription delivers a complete typographic solution for digital and print design:
•    Millions of pageviews – The base plan includes 2.5M pageviews. Add more as needed.
•    Typecast – a seat of our powerful, browser-based app for designing with Web fonts.
•    Mockup fonts – desktop versions of your Web fonts that can be used for creating mockups of your websites.

We believe the Master subscription provides an incredible value – particularly for those who consume a lot of type or with high traffic websites. However, if you have lesser demands, we’ve also made notable enhancements to our other plans. Most notably, our Standard subscription has been bolstered with a selection of mockup fonts while our Professional subscription includes an allowance of mockup fonts and desktop fonts. Here’s a closer look at the contents of each plan. Subscription Plans and Pricing

Powered by SkyFonts
Released last year to much acclaim, our SkyFonts platform uses patent-pending technology to temporarily install fonts and synchronize them across multiple workstations. We’re very excited to broaden the reach of this powerful tool by bringing it to SkyFonts can be used to install mockup fonts and desktop fonts included with your subscription. You can also use SkyFonts to try most fonts available through the Web font service for free for five minutes. Even free plan subscribers can use SkyFonts for this purpose. More on this in tomorrow’s post, but Google Fonts users will be pleased to know they can now use SkyFonts to install desktop versions of Google Web fonts.

If customer requests are any indication, font trials, mockup fonts and desktop fonts will be a welcome addition to our plans. When paired with Typecast, we believe we offer a typographic solution that will cover your type needs throughout your entire digital or print workflows. If you’re in the market for a type solution, we encourage you to try a free plan. And for those already working with Web Fonts, consider ‘graduating’ to a Master subscription.

Subscribe or Upgrade

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 Alan Tam

I’m pleased to announce a collection of typefaces specifically crafted for high-quality e-reading experiences, particularly for content displayed at smaller text sizes.

Intended for Web and digital content publishers and device manufacturers, the suite offers some of the most widely used typefaces traditionally used for print that have been designed and tuned for ease of readability and optimized performance on the Web and across devices. Classics like the Monotype Baskerville, ITC Galliard and Sabon designs were redrawn to improve their readability in various screen environments.

Our typeface designers worked to impart a richer contrast, an even color and slightly taller lowercase characters, all while ensuring that the typefaces appear as unmistakable cousins of their original print designs. The designs also include small caps and old style figures for professional-quality publishing design. These typefaces are available now through our Web Fonts subscribers for use on the Web.

eText Fonts

All typefaces in the collection have also been hand-hinted to display as clearly as possible across mobile devices from smartphones to tablets and e-readers. For device manufacturers, these fonts also take advantage of Monotype’s Edge™ tuning technology, enabling publishers to create and deliver high-quality, readable text across your device platforms and formats, including E Ink screens. The fonts look and perform best with devices that use Monotype’s iType font engine.

We intend to release more  fonts on an ongoing basis as part of our Monotype Portfolio for Digital Publishing, one of our value-added suites of typefaces and technologies designed to meet the requirements of customers in specific market segments. Our Monotype Portfolio for Digital Publishing addresses the needs of customers who are developing and delivering content for immersive reading on e-readers, tablets and other devices.

Our initial offering includes these popular designs:

Amasis eText (4 weights)

ITC Galliard eText  (4 weights)

Malabar eText (4 weights)

Monotype Baskerville eText (4 weights)

Neue Helvetica eText (4 weights)

Palatino eText (4 weights)

PMN Caecilia eText (4 weights)

Sabon eText (4 weights)

Ysobel eText (4 weights)

You can view the eText fonts here.

The Monotype eText typefaces can be licensed as Web fonts through our Web Fonts subscriptions. They are also ideal choices for e-book/publication titles, desktop publishing or as system fonts that are embedded in consumer electronics devices. Please contact Monotype for licensing details.


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