fonts.com blog
Posts Tagged ‘e-books’

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 Fonts.com 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 Fonts.com 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.

 


by Johnathan Zsittnik

Today we unveil a brand new Fonts.com. If you’re a regular reader of the Fonts.com blog, you’ve probably already noticed a new aesthetic right here. The actual site offers plenty more to take in: In addition to a revamped design, you’ll discover additional ways to browse and search for fonts, fresh approaches to UI, and loads more typographic imagery. Despite all that’s new, the story of this site actually dates back quite a while.

In mid-2010, we took stock of the existing Fonts.com and drew up a lengthy list of areas to improve. Our wishlist included changes to the overall aesthetic, the organization of articles and other content, the way our products were presented and the tools we provide for discovering and trying fonts. In short: it was time to redesign.

We approached Happy Cog to help at the end of 2010. We’re big fans of executive creative director and renowned standards proponent Jeffrey Zeldman. So, the decision to work with his agency was an easy one. Jeffrey, Creative Director Chris Cashdollar and others from the Happy Cog team came out for a kickoff meeting in January of 2011. The Happy Cog team posed challenging questions regarding our vision for the new Fonts.com. ‘Should content focus more on searching or exploration and inspiration.’ While there were no easy answers, the ensuing conversation shaped the direction of the redesign and let us know it was a good fit between agency and client.

We came out of that initial kickoff meeting inspired and charged up with the following objectives and vision for Fonts.com:

  • Create a new Fonts.com home page featuring inspiring executions of fonts, an increased focus on search, and thoughtfully chosen interfaces that balance the most popular purchases, new and promoted products, and original content that is compelling and educational.
  • Integrate the Web font service into the Fonts.com experience.
  • Offer an improved search experience that makes smart choices about what to present and when, using the latest techniques for increasing engagement and conversion including things such as suggestive search and faceted results.
  • Release a re-envisioned font browsing experience, that focuses on font presentation, decreases steps to experimenting and purchasing type.
  • Refine the structure of content types to make it more accessible without getting in the way of getting to font products.
  • Tightly integrate social features.

An intense collaboration ensued, taking us from the objectives stated above, to sitemap, to wireframes, to the creation of the primary visual design elements to page design and eventually to the site we premier today.

With that, let’s take a tour of the new Fonts.com.

Home: Modernized aesthetics; loads of real estate for type

Fonts.com Inspiration

We think you’ll agree – the new Fonts.com homepage makes an impression. Big, bold type showings demonstrate type in use and provide in-depth looks of families. The stage premiers with showcases of Massif – a new design by our own Steve Matteson in addition to showings of the Akko, Gibson and Salvo Sans families. Hero images were designed by Monotype Imaging creative director Dennis Michael Dimos (Massif) as well as external designers Bethany Heck (Akko), Mark Weaver (Gibson) and Naz Hamid (Salvo Sans). Keep an eye on this area as we’ll rotate in fresh new showings from graphic designers and type designers on a regular basis. Beyond the hero images lies a variety of type showcases and discovery tools. Explore rich previews of hot new releases and established designs through the best selling new fonts and featured font sections. The “Find Your Type controls” allow you to search, browse, or identify fonts without ever leaving home. You’ll also find a selection of the latest articles on Fonts.com. We’ve always put out great, informative and educational content, but now the best content is far easier to find.

The decision to incorporate Web fonts for all of the type was an easy one. Picking the typefaces families and optimizing the fonts for the Web took a little more time.

“We really enjoyed working with the type and implementing it through the Fonts.com Web Font service,” said Christopher Cashdollar, creative director at Happy Cog. “We were able to implement a smart, legible and well-structured type system using the Neue Frutiger and Frutiger Serif families. We knew we could trust the integrity of the type because of the level of scrutiny that Monotype Imaging puts into the screen optimization of its fonts.”

Search: Sort, Filter and Discover; Desktop fonts and Web fonts Side by Side
Our new search results pages introduces sorting and filtering options that will help you navigate through our vast inventory and zero in on the design of your choice. Oh yeah, typefaces results are (finally) grouped by family.

As I mentioned, integrating our Web font service into Fonts.com was a primary goal of the redesign. The new search results page is just one place where you can find desktop fonts alongside side of Web fonts. Our search tools will return results for desktop fonts, Web fonts and articles. When you rollover a family that’s available as a Web font, a control will display that will allow you to add it to a project right from the search results page.

Family pages: Try, learn and share

Our new family pages feature a prominent showing. We’ve hand designed showings for many top families and will continue to expand this inventory over time. But we’re also counting on you. Showcase your design skills by designing and submitting images for your favorite typefaces.  Just click the ‘+’ to add your work to our gallery.

These robust new family pages gather all of the family members in one place. Type historians will appreciate the detailed descriptions – available for many of our most popular and newest families. And font enthusiasts of all kinds will enjoy rating and sharing their opinions with the Fonts.com community and through social avenues.

Cart: Quick, convenient shopping

The new Fonts.com features a mini shopping cart that is accessible from the header nav of every page. Click the shopping cart to view or delete products in your cart, without leaving the current page. This is convenient for those working their way through a lengthy shopping list and those with items remaining in their cart from a previous visit to Fonts.com.

Manage Web Fonts: Your new Web font command center

Fonts.com Web Fonts subscribers will notice a dramatically different set of controls for managing their Web fonts projects. Our new Manage Web Fonts page acts as a dashboard, providing virtually everything you need to build, edit, deploy and share Fonts.com Web Fonts projects.

Learn About Fonts & Typography: Even more great, educational content

Fonts.com FontologyLearn About Fonts & Typography is home to the original content we produce. Here you’ll find a new series called Fontology – an ever-expanding academic resource for educational institutions, design students and those with an interest in the typographic arts. This section is also home to the Fonts.com blog which features topical content that will keep you up to speed with the latest from Fonts.com and the type design community. Lastly, our popular series, For Your Typographic Information, lives on within Learn About Fonts & Typography. This longstanding series remain an excellent source for those in search of typographic tips and tricks.

Best Sellers: Insight into typographic trends

If you’re curious to know what’s hot, look no further than our best sellers pages. View the New Best Sellers page for a look at the top new releases or the All Best Sellers page to see the typefaces whose popularity has stood the test of time. For further looks into what’s trending, note that you can sort search results by popularity. You can also access the highest rated typefaces (as determined by your ratings submitted on family pages) through the “Find Your Type controls” on the home page.

Fonts.com Best Selling Fonts

FontGazer: Try thousands of fonts directly in Adobe InDesign
The new Fonts.com isn’t the only thing in beta.  As you may have seen, we recently announced FontGazer – a free InDesign plug-in that allows you to browse, try, and buy fonts from Fonts.com directly from Adobe® InDesign®. Download FontGazer and be sure to let us know what you think by sharing your raves, gripes and feature requests in the FontGazer Feedback Forum.

Fonts.com FontGazer

If you’d like a more interactive tour, you can check out this video. It will give you a more detailed look at many of the features described above, plus many more — including an overview of how to manage your Fonts.com Web Fonts projects on the new site.

The new Fonts.com is out. But that doesn’t mean we’re done. We’re hard at work on additional enhancements that will arrive during and after beta. In the meantime, we want to know what else you’d like to see. We’re not there yet, but you can help us make Fonts.com everything you want it to be. If you notice something that’s missing or that can be improved upon – let us know. See something you like? We want to know. Click the red feedback bar on the side of the site to share your thoughts.

Now get out there on the new Fonts.com, and find your type.

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 Dave Gould

The e-book reader market is hot these days. But is the readability of text in those devices really top of mind to consumers buying a device when they have so many other things to consider? This includes price, brand, network capable, library and available content, battery life, design, file format compatibility, screen size, keyboard and other aspects. We at Monotype Imaging have been doing some of our own studies with consumers (see video link below), and I was quite interested to learn that the latest review of nine e-book reader products by Consumer Reports appears to have now included ‘readability’ in their coveted rating system. Consumer Reports said that the Amazon Kindle has crisper, more readable type than any other model in various lighting conditions. The full report is available at www.consumerreports.org, but you need to subscribe to gain access to it. I am a subscriber, and so I checked to confirm that indeed readability is now part of the report under the heading Ratings and Test Results. This seems to raise the bar for device manufacturers while keeping readability ‘top of mind’ for consumers who have a bazillion other things to worry about in this fast changing device category. What do you think? Will the e-book market embrace readability through quality type?




by Allan Haley

E-books are the hot new electronic device. For those unfamiliar with the frenzy of these new electronic marvels, an E-book, as defined by the Oxford Dictionary, is “an electronic version of a printed book which can be read on a personal computer or hand-held device designed specifically for this purpose.” An E-reader is a lightweight device specifically developed for downloading and displaying these materials page by page. Amazon’s Kindle™ E-reader was the first on the market, Barnes and Noble followed with the Nook™, and there are now over thirty more in one stage or another of development.

These devices, however, are not books. They are readers. Books have pages that turn, they have a heft and a smell, you can dog-ear their pages, you can press flowers in them – and they are put on a shelf when you are done with them for the time being. E-readers will not replace books – at least not all books.

First, because E-readers, at about $200, are relatively expensive – and you still have to purchase books for them. Eventually, the price will come down, but there will still be many people that cannot afford the devices and would like to continue purchase their books from a bookstore or borrow them from a library.

Next, there are some books that cannot be replaced – at least with current E-reader technology. Children’s books that you read to your nieces and nephews, sons and daughters, and grandchildren when they snuggle up next to you on a sofa, come to mind. Art books will continue to be published in traditional form. E-readers will probably not replace books on graphic design – and certainly not books on typography. (He wrote with tongue firmly planted in cheek.)

E-readers, however can be a strong competition to books for entertainment. You may eagerly anticipate Dan Brown’s next novel. You may thoroughly enjoy reading it. But, when you are done, what do you do with it? Put it on a shelf where it will sit until you decide to throw it out. Unless it’s a signed first edition, Dan Brown’s new novel will have little value once it is read. That’s where e-readers come in. When you are done with an E-book, you can simply delete it from the E-reader and it will be stored in the cloud for you for future use.

You can also put over 1,000 E-books – or many very big E-books – on a single E-reader. Required reading for scholars, educators, students and professionals in the technical trades is today satisfied by many – heavy – books. E-readers can be a godsend to these folks. One E-reader has to be better than carrying 30-pounds of traditional books in a backpack.

To become more mainstream, however, E-readers will also need to improve their typographic presentation. One or two fonts are simply not enough. Kerning, line spacing, paragraphing, column alignment, and all those other typographic details we sweat over as designers, and appreciate as readers, will have to be addressed in a much better fashion. Technology has done a pretty good job of putting words and letters on digital substrata. It will, however, take the knowledge, skill and, yes, the passion that we put into traditional graphic communication, for E-readers to make much of a dent in real book sales.

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.