fonts.com blog
Posts Tagged ‘fonts’

by Sumner Stone

Magma II

Natural beauty speaks for itself. When we see a full moon, a ripe peach, or a smooth round pebble on the beach, their simple shapes touch something significant inside us. Man-made objects such as letters can create a similar inner resonance. A perfectly balanced ‘g’ or a subtly crafted ‘O,’ can evoke a delicate but powerful aesthetic experience. Unfortunately, few letter shapes elicit this response.

Just to begin to qualify, the letters must have certain fundamental properties. For instance, they must have pleasing proportions between the weight of the stems and the size of the counters. The curved strokes must be both graceful and strong. The swelling of the curves must be subtle and consistent. Other proportions, such as the relationship between height, width, and stem weight must be harmonious.Magma IIBut creating these relationships does not in itself guarantee that the form will possess the desired magic. Master craftsmanship transcends measurement. Only careful observation and intensive practice will lead the designer to synergetic forms. Type designers must continually ratchet their skills upward in order to reach the point where their letters attain the kind of beauty we see in the night sky, the orchard, or at the beach.

Sans serif typeface designs are not generally known for their beauty. They are for the most part primarily notable for their reliability and sturdiness. They are safe. They work. They are plumbing. Only a few sans serifs fulfill this functional role and yet also have forms that reach the aesthetic level described above. My goal in designing the Magma™ II typeface was to create one of those designs.

Magma II is the latest installment in a project that has been ongoing for two decades. This typeface family has its head in the night sky, and its feet firmly on the ground. It is intended to be both charismatic and practical. Large sizes have the ability to charm. At the same time, long passages of text have an inviting presence, and with its alternate one-story ‘a’and ‘g’it shines even at very small sizes.Magma II

The Magma family has five weights –thin, light, regular, semibold and bold. The thin weight is especially effective for display. The other four weights can be used for both text and display over a very large range of sizes. The skeletons of the capitals are closely related to the proportions of the Adobe Trajan® typeface, a design I art directed at Adobe Systems. The skeletons of the lower case forms are closely related to those of Garamond.

Sumner Stone

Magma II is part of the Magma superfamily which also includes the Magma Compressed family, the Magma Condensed family, the Munc family, the Tuff family and Basalt. These typefaces are all harmonious companions. They can be used together to create distinctive, integrated typographic compositions for everything from logotypes to books. Styles can be mixed together within a single word.

Magma II is magical. Let it cast a typographic spell for you.


by Ryan Arruda

Here’s a listing of the top 100 most used fonts from the Fonts.com Web Fonts service for July 2014:

Trade Gothic
Neue Helvetica
Avenir Next
Avenir
Univers
Proxima Nova
Frutiger
Helvetica
Klint
Futura
Gill Sans
Linotype Univers
Museo Sans
DIN Next
Neo Sans
Museo Slab
ITC Avant Garde Gothic
Century Gothic
Chaparral
Arial
Rockwell
Myriad
ITC Caslon No. 224
Eurostile LT
Motoya Birch
Univers Next
ITC Legacy Serif
ITC Lubalin Graph
VAG Rounded
ITC Century
Soho Gothic
ITC Franklin Gothic
Optima
Linotype Sketch
ITC Legacy Square Serif
Trade Gothic Next
Soho
Neue Frutiger
Swiss 721
Swift
ITC Officina Serif
Neue Helvetica eText
Minion
ITC Charter
Gill Sans Infant
Frutiger Next
Linotype Didot
PMN Caecilia
Bookman Old Style
Bodoni LT
Helvetica World
ITC Fenice
ITC Stone Informal
ITC Officina Sans
Lexia
Adobe Garamond
Slate
Humanist 777
Copperplate Gothic
ITC Conduit
Auriol
Rotis II Sans
Calibri
Trade Gothic Next Soft Rounded
ITC Eras
Novecento
ITC American Typewriter Hellenic
ITC American Typewriter
Rotis Sans Serif
Droid Sans Mono
Orator
Egyptienne F
Adobe Caslon
Droid Serif
Effra
C Hei 2 PRC
Monotype Goudy
Sackers Gothic
Baskerville Classico
M Elle PRC
C Hei PRC
M Lady PRC
M Stiff Hei PRC
ITC Stone Sans
Delima
ITC Stone Serif
Monotype News Gothic
Plantin
Comic Strip
Caslon Classico
Lucida Sans
Brandon Grotesque
Twentieth Century
Azbuka
Linotype Feltpen
Cachet
Droid Sans
Copperplate
Inform
Foco Corp


by Allan Haley

Quire Sans

“I always start by visualizing the design in my head,” says Jim Ford about how he designs typefaces. “I’ll work out the concept in my mind for several days – or even weeks – before I start to draw anything.” Many type designers first visualize a new typeface in their mind’s eye, but they typically quickly transfer their mental images to sketches – either on screen or on paper. Ford’s process is unusual – in several ways.

He does not move on to the next step until he has fully worked out the design concept in his mind. Once Ford has revised and refined a mental design to his satisfaction, he either files it away mentally for future development, or he proceeds to sketch a few characters.

In the case of the Quire Sans™ typeface, Ford’s mental design was a meditation on contemporary humanist sans serifs. “I had developed several proprietary sans serif families over the years for various companies’ branding purposes,” says Ford. “Quire Sans is in a sense a reflection of all that knowledge and experience. I felt it was time to make a humanist sans of my own.” His vision was to make a design that would communicate clearly in all environments. “To ensure that Quire Sans would perform well on screen, I did what I call ‘soft proofs’ of the design on my computer before I actually printed anything out for further review,” explains Ford. He also performed screen tests on both Mac and Windows machines. “Interestingly, you discover some major changes in imaging on screen between the two platforms,” Ford explains.

Quire Sans

Ford’s design process is different from other designers’ in additional ways. After drawing characters that embody the essence of the design, he uses these to make a poster. “I create a poster for the typefaces I draw before I’m very far into the actual design process,” says Ford. “I’ll set key words at various sizes to see how the design looks in use. The letters have to work and function as a typeface. The poster shows me the ‘end game.’ Only when I’m pleased with the key words, do I continue with the design process.” Ford kept his poster of the Quire Sans design close at hand while he drew the rest of the characters – and referred to it often. The result is a typeface family that does indeed perform admirably in an extremely wide range of sizes and applications.

Quire Sans

“It was challenging to achieve all my objectives for the design,” Ford acknowledges, “from representing my personal style, to capturing the essence of oldstyle typefaces, and making a sans serif family that performs well in nearly any environment. I admit I’m pleased with how it all turned out. The designs work well together, and I believe they can work in virtually any environment. If this were the only sans serif design that I do, I would be very happy with it.”

The Quire Sans family is comprised of 20 typefaces – 10 weights from thin to fat – each with an italic complement. The designs are available as desktop fonts, and as a special introductory offer the complete Quire Sans family is available for just $99 until August 12th! That’s an 80% savings!

The Quire Sans collection is also available as Web fonts through all Fonts.com Web Fonts paid subscriptions;  in addition, the Quire Sans family is available as desktop fonts through Fonts.com Professional and Master subscriptions, as well as plans paired with our new desktop add-on option.

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 Ryan Arruda

Fonts.com Big Script Sale

Here at Fonts.com we’re excited to kick off our Big Script Sale, a three-day promo event where you can save up to 80% on leading script typefaces. Running through Friday, we’ve got 60 script designs from a dozen leading foundries, so you’re sure to find a typeface that’s perfect for your next design project.

Waza

60 Great Families to Choose From

Selections run the gamut, from formal scripts — such as ITC’s Elegy and Canada Type’s Maestro — to more expressive, playful designs like Laura Worthington’s Hummingbird and Sudtipos’ Affair collection. There’s also handwriting inspired faces, like Monotype’s Julietrose family, and Steinweiss Script from Alphabet Soup.

Be sure to check out our Big Script Sale page on Fonts.com to see all the discounts we’re offering through our event. And make sure to take advantage of these deals now, because they’re only available for three days!

Win Prizes

Spread the Word and Win

Win typographically themed prizes when you tell the world about your Big Script Sale experience. Just tweet @Fontscom with hashtag #bigscriptsale. We’re giving away professional lettering supplies from our friends at Sakura of America, and even an original piece of lettering art by one of the Big Script Sale’s talented type designers. See all the official giveaway details on our Big Script Sale page on Fonts.com.

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 Allan Haley

Silica Blog

Fonts.com takes a fresh look at the Silica™ typeface this month. In its honor, we wanted to look back at the family’s typographic heritage.

Slab serif, or Egyptian, typefaces first appeared in 1815, developed in response to the fledging advertising industry’s appetite for heavy, attention-getting alphabets. Slab serif designs were intended to be display typefaces of the highest order.

The slab serif typestyle was introduced about the same time as sans serif typefaces. Interestingly, both originated in England and were initially only available as cap-only designs. Coincidentally, William Caslon IV, who produced the first commercial sans serif, called his design “Egyptian,” the term also used to designate slab serif typefaces.

Also interesting is that the first slab serif typefaces were generally maligned by the intelligentsia of the typographic community.

A prominent typographic critic of the time described the new slab serif style as “a typographical monstrosity.” And well into the 1920s, The Fleuron, the famed British journal about typography and book arts, ignored the typefaces altogether. Daniel Berkeley Updike, the great type historian of the period, went so far as to refer to the design style as one of the plagues of Egypt.

And yet, despite its many detractors, the slab serif typestyle flourished. Advertisers, for whom these designs were originally intended, loved their commanding power and straightforward, no nonsense demeanor. Slab serif typefaces were the “flavor of the day” until the first part of the 20th century, when newer designs eclipsed their popularity.

Slab serif typefaces fell into disuse for almost 30 years, until they were revived as text designs by several German type founders. (Actually the Boston Breton family, one of the first revivals, was released by American Type Founders in 1900, but it didn’t attract much interest until the German slab serif designs began to be imported to North America.)

The Memphis® typeface, from the Stempel foundry, is credited with starting the slab serif revival in 1929. It was followed by the Bauer foundry’s Beton, the City® family from Berthold, and Luxor from Ludwig & Mayer – all German companies. Other European foundries followed suit: the Nilo and Egizio typefaces were released in Italy, Monotype’s Rockwell® and the Scarab designs in Britain.

Sumner Stone’s Silica typeface family is an important – and particularly handsome – addition to the lineage of slab serif typefaces. It also perpetuates the Egyptian typestyle tradition of versatility and candor.

The complete Silica family is available for desktop licensing from Fonts.com, as well as for online use through subscriptions to the Fonts.com Web Fonts service.

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

Stefan Claudius designs type, but this has not been his only profession. “Type design is currently my main occupation,” he says, “but I have spent more time as a typographer and graphic designer.” Claudius also teaches typography and typeface design at several German colleges and design schools.

“Teaching has considerably broadened my horizons,” he continues. “I have had to research things that I previously knew little about, to ensure that I provide my students with the best information.”

Yalta Sans

Claudius also acknowledges learning a great deal about the process of typeface design while developing his Yalta Sans family.

From his first trial sketches in 2005 to the official announcement of Yalta Sans eight years later, Claudius was as much a student of typeface design as he was a typeface designer. His first drawings were basically experimentations – pushing characters to their limits, discovering how subtle, and not so subtle, modifications might change the demeanor of the design.

“Fortunately, typeface design is a field in which things don’t move all that rapidly,” Claudius observes. “Although, of course there are always fashions and fads. The most positive aspect for me is that I have matured along with the typeface.” Thanks to breaks in the development process, Claudius was able to cast a fresh critical eye over his work.

Yalta Sans

As it happened, the most challenging part of the design development came almost at the end of the process. “When I first showed the typeface to Monotype, I thought it was more or less complete,” Claudius reflects. “However, it turned out that additional intermediate weights were required. And the personality of the typeface needed to be made more consistent across the various members of the family.”

These realizations meant that Claudius would need to redraw the entire family (with the help of an intern designer and digital design tools) and then completely revise the italic styles to complement the new romans. The final result is a strikingly handsome design that blends diverse sensibilities into a remarkably versatile and extremely legible typeface family.

Click here to learn more about – and to license – the Yalta Sans family.

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 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

Here’s a listing of the top 100 most used fonts from the Fonts.com Web Fonts service for December 2013:

Neue Helvetica
Avenir Next
Trade Gothic
Proxima Nova
Univers
Avenir
Gill Sans
Futura
Frutiger
ITC Franklin Gothic
Helvetica
Linotype Univers
Sabon Next
Klint
Chaparral
DIN Next
Century Gothic
Arial
VAG Rounded
Museo Sans
Gill Sans Infant
ITC Caslon No. 224
Eurostile LT
Bree
Myriad
Neo Sans
Univers Next
Rockwell
ITC Avant Garde Gothic
Museo Slab
Neue Helvetica eText
ITC Legacy Serif
Praxis
ITC Century
ITC Lubalin Graph
Diverda Serif
Motoya Birch
Amasis
Optima
Clarendon
Neue Frutiger
ITC Legacy Square Serif
Swiss 721
Amadeo
ITC Bodoni Six
Trade Gothic Next
Helvetica World
Brandon Grotesque
ITC Officina Serif
Azbuka
Soho Gothic
Chocolate
ITC Conduit
Frutiger Next
ITC Charter
Comic Strip
Linotype Didot
Lexia
ITC Officina Sans
Calibri
VAG Rundschrift
PMN Caecilia
Zapf Humanist 601
Alternate Gothic
ITC Fenice
Trade Gothic Next Soft Rounded
Bodoni LT
Slate
Delima
Monotype News Gothic
Adobe Garamond
Orator
Rotis Sans Serif
ITC American Typewriter
Bookman Old Style
Soho
Neue Helvetica Arabic
Humanist 777
Droid Sans Mono
ITC American Typewriter Hellenic
Swift
ITC Eras
Linotype Sketch
Bickham Script
Funkydori
Birch
Caliban
Rosarian
ITC Stone Informal
Perpetua
Auriol
Egyptienne F
Bembo
Sackers Gothic
Miss Donna
Paris
Greyton Script
Sugar Pie
Caslon Classico
Droid Serif


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 Johnathan Zsittnik

For many designers, the prospect of buying a font is a mixed bag of excitement and trepidation. The idea of adding to your type arsenal can be exhilarating until you consider the uncertainty of whether the typeface will behave as expected when put to work in your project. Countless preview tools have been released to address these concerns, but none resolve them nearly as elegantly or effortless as SkyFonts.

The SkyFonts utility is a free, lightweight client that allows you to temporarily install fonts and synchronize them across multiple workstations. If you’ve been following along, you’ve heard us (and perhaps a few of your peers) talk about it quite a bit. Earlier this year, we teamed with Google to enable users to install Google Fonts through SkyFonts. We also made SkyFonts the delivery mechanism for desktop fonts within our Fonts.com Web Fonts subscriptions. Now we’re further broadening the use of the tool by enabling anyone to use it to try more than 30,000 fonts from over 100 foundries – all for free. Here’s how it works.

SkyFonts-Trial

Visit Fonts.com and search for the font of your choice. If your font is available for free trial, it will contain a ‘download a free trial’ link on its product page, family page or search results listing. Click this link to initiate your trial. If you haven’t already, you’ll need to create a Fonts.com account and install the SkyFonts client (both are free). The site will prompt you to do both if you haven’t done so beforehand. Once you’re trial starts, the font is downloaded and installed on your machine and can be used like any other font. Open up your favorite design app, choose the typeface from your font menu and give it a test drive. Please remember that font trials are for evaluation purposes only. After five minutes, the font will disappear from your machine. From there its up to you to determined if this is the font of your typographic dreams or if you’d rather just be friends. Either way, you won’t see a heavy-handed offer to buy the font when your trial is over.

Fonts.com desktop font trials will give you an unprecedentedly up-close preview of your fonts before you buy them. And judging from the feedback of our previous implementations, we think you’re going to love it. Go ahead and give it a try and let us know what you think.

Great type makes sites stand out