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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.

 

 


by Allan Haley

With just a roman and italic design, the Titanium Motors™ typefaces make about as small as a typeface family you can get. Compounding this, the design has no lowercase. But don’t let this lull you into thinking that the face is anything less than a commanding and powerful communication tool. Titanium Motors is retro and modern, built like a Mack® truck on steroids – and surprisingly versatile.

 Titanium Motors’ muscular weight creates powerful headlines, logos and signage – all with attitude and swagger. Its geometric character shapes, and distinctive letterforms speak to the modernity of the typeface, while the high-waisted counters and stressed strokes give Titanium Motors’ a subtle Art Deco flavor. Words like “bold,” “dynamic” and “authoritative” immediately come to mind.

Check out the “hero image” on Fonts.com’s home page, created by The Heads of State, or the image accompanying this post to see just how formidable a graphic statement this typeface can make. If Vin Diesel were a typeface, he would be Titanium Motors.

A collaboration of Steve Matteson and Jim Ford’s design talents, Titanium Motors was initially drawn as a custom font for a computer game. Since then, it has been used in a bevy of applications. Consider it for posters, flyers, packaging, publication design or Web banners.

The Titanium Motors family is available as desktop fonts from the Fonts.com and Linotype.com websites. It is also available as Web fonts through 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

Design Thinkers Typographic Quiz

Monotype’s Nadine Chahine and Allan Haley will host “Design Thinkers Typographic Quiz” as part of this year’s DesignThinkers2012 conference, which will be held Nov. 8–9 in Toronto at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre.

Together, Nadine, an Arabic specialist for Monotype subsidiary Linotype, and Allan, Monotype’s director of words and letters, will try to stump—and educate—audience members on the finer points of typography.

Better than school, the Typographic Quiz will pose a series of questions about type, type history and the typographic arts. If you know the right answer—and are quicker to give it than those around you —you’ll win a cool prize.

The educational part? After each correct response Nadine and Allan will provide valuable and insightful information about the question–and the answer. For example, did you know that the first italic fonts contained only lowercase characters: no caps, no numbers, no punctuation?

Looking for a challenge? Want cool, free, type stuff? Test your “metal” at the Design Thinkers Typographic Quiz.

Engaging with the Middle East

Thursday, Nov. 8, 11:15 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

On Thursday, Nov. 8, Nadine also will present “Engaging with the Middle East,” a look at the challenges of brand consistency across different scripts and cultures.

How does one translate “modern” in Arabic? What is the visual translation of “chic” in the Middle East? Every culture and script brings to the table a new set of expectations and collective memories. Nadine will focus on how to establish dialogue with the Middle East while looking at design trends and considering cultural factors.

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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