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Posts Tagged ‘itc stone sans’

by Allan Haley

Typographic clarity comes in two flavors: legibility and readability. Legibility is a function of typeface design. It’s an informal measure of how easy it is to distinguish one letter from another in a particular typeface. Readability, on the other hand, is dependent upon how the typeface is used. Readability is about typography. It is a gauge of how easily words, phrases and blocks of copy can be read. It is therefore possible to take a very legible typeface and render it unreadable through poor typographic arrangement.

Generally, the most legible typefaces are those which offer big features and have restrained design characteristics. While these attributes may seem contradictory, actually they are not. “Big features” refers to things like large, open counters, ample lowercase x-heights, and character shapes that are obvious and easy to recognize. The most legible typefaces are also restrained, in that they are not excessively light or bold; their weight changes within characters are subtle; and if serifs are present, they are not overly elongated, very thin, nor extremely heavy. The Ysobel™, ITC Stone® Sans II, Egyptian Slate™, Malabar™ and Felbridge™ typefaces are great examples of legibility designs.

While not all typefaces should be designed to be paragons of legibility, those that are intended to be used for text or lengthy display composition should be the ones designers choose. Save the Eccentric™ and Frances Uncial™ of the world for three or four-word headlines.

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

From retro showcard display designs, to modern reworkings of classic typefaces, to virtual clones of antique fonts, there are more typeface revivals available to graphic designers today than ever before. Maybe Fred Goudy was right, “The old guys stole all our good ideas.”

Although Goudy had nothing to do with this project, ITC just released an upgraded and enlarged version of the ITC Stone® Sans typeface family. The original plan was to add some condensed designs to the existing family, and call it a day. Once Sumner Stone, the designer of the original ITC Stone Sans and the new revival, got into the project, however, he realized that more extensive design improvement were called for. The end result is a completely new addition to the ITC Stone super family, consisting of 24 typefaces in the OpenType™ font format.

A little over two years ago, ITC also released an enlarged and improved version of the ITC Franklin Gothic™ typeface family. Called simply ITC Franklin™, the new design, created by David Berlow, has 48 designs and is also available as OpenType fonts. The new designs range from the very willowy Thin to the robust Ultra – with Light, Medium Bold and Black weights in between. Each weight is also available in Narrow, Condensed and Compressed variants, and each design has a complementary Italic.

Prior to these two designs, ITC had not released upgraded or improved versions of typefaces in its library. It has, from time to time, added new weights and proportions to existing families but never reworked the basic designs from scratch.

My question to you is: would you like to see more ITC typeface re-released to higher standards of design excellence – and would you like to seen existing ITC typeface families enlarged to contain a broader range of weights and proportions?

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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