Posts Tagged ‘flipfont’

by Allan Haley

ITC Weber HandAn extension to the ITC Weber Hand™ family was announced on earlier this week. Actually, ITC Weber Hand wasn’t a family until the announcement was made. It was just a single-weight display design.

Among all the other single-weight, handwriting fonts, why was ITC Weber Hand chosen for further development?

Most handwriting fonts (typeface designs drawn to look like quickly written letters or spontaneous calligraphy) are single-weight, standalone products. When Monotype Imaging introduced the FlipFont™ application that enabled switching out fonts on mobile devices, it also made a suite of fonts available to support the application. Several of these fonts were of the handwriting variety. Perhaps in defiance to the “structured” sans serif fonts that are normally part of a mobile device’s operating system, the quirky, “all too human” handwriting fonts became some of the most popular fonts to “flip.”

Seeing this, we realized that a handwriting font with bold and maybe condensed family members might not only prove useful in supporting mobile device operating systems, but also in a variety of other graphic communication environments.

ITC Weber Hand was chosen because it has been a consistently popular design since it was first released in 1999, and because Lisa Beth Weber, the typeface’s designer, was more than agreeable to having more designs added to her original family.

Adding the new designs was a collaborative project between Weber and the type development team here at Monotype Imaging. A new bold weight and two condensed variations were drawn, based on the original typeface. Now, as a family of four designs, Weber Hand can be used in brochures, advertisements, logotypes, periodicals, package design and – perhaps – even mobile devices. Weber comments, “Thanks to Monotype Imaging’s support, ITC Weber Hand has grown into a suite of warm, friendly designs that are well-suited to a wide range of applications.”

Click here to learn more about ITC Weber Hand

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

There has been a lot of buzz lately about fonts being delivered to your PC desktop that can dramatically improve how text is handled on the Web. Before Web fonts, designers faced a frustrating trade-off: either designing with only a handful of system fonts that reside on most computers, or creating images of copy set with fonts that are not considered “Web safe.” Now this is changing, and many typefaces are being made available for Web use. This is made possible through a bit of HTML code known as “@font-face,” a W3C compliant method for referencing fonts from servers for use in browsers. This code and a properly licensed font are pretty much all that is needed to put great new fonts in Web pages. With all major desktop browsers now offering @font-face support, the Web is sure to be a typographically more beautiful place.

But what about mobile devices? With more and more of us accessing Web sites from our mobile phones, will we also be able to enjoy the advantages of a full typographic palette for branding, searchability and improved readability on these devices?

I wanted to find out, so (in a completely informal and totally unscientific study) I did. Because of the FlipFont™ app (a little piece of software we developed to enable the standard fonts on some phones to be “flipped” to a suite of alternative designs) we have built an internal competency in testing font software on mobile phones. I asked our QA team to take a look at 14 publicly available Android™ phones from several different manufacturers and put them to the web font test. Ten of the phones passed, delivering the fonts and rendered them to the screen. Pretty cool!

The not-so-cool part is that not all the fonts looked like they do on my desktop. When we began to develop the offering of fonts for FlipFont, we discovered that font data needed a little help in performing optimally and that, in some case, even individual characters had to be modified to display well on small digital screens. We know that some fonts display much better than others in Web pages delivered to desktops. It seems that this is also true for fonts in Web pages delivered to mobile devices.

As much as things have changed in the world of fonts – some things remain constant. Not just any font will get the job done. It takes choosing the right typeface for the project and the best font for the task.

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.

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