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Posts Tagged ‘typography’

by Dr Hermann Püterschein

Bill Dwiggins got me hooked on type. His marionette shows were what attracted me to his studio, but it was his passion for calligraphy, type and typography that lured me into a life of letters. Serious stuff, but I was a pretty serious kid back then. I guess that’s how I got my “Doctor” nickname. Bill also gave me my start in the type business – but that was much later.

Toshi Omagari’s re-envisiong of Dwiggins’ original Metro

Toshi Omagari’s re-envisiong of Dwiggins’ original Metro

I believe that the Electra typeface was the first of Bill’s that I wrote about. (I wasn’t around when he drew the Metro design back in 1930.) But I did write a review of Metro Office when Linotype released the small family for, well, office use, in 2006. If memory serves, I gave it a “36 point” rating (“worth the ticket price”).

When Monotype invited me to have a preview look at Toshi Omagari’s re-envisioning of Bill’s original Metro, I jumped at the chance. The new design, Metro Nova, is quite a nice piece of work. Bill’s Metro had to make do with just four weights – and only three of them had italic complements. Omagari’s design offers a full range of seven weights of roman designs – each with an italic companion – plus six weights of condensed designs with italic counterparts as well. Now that’s an excellent enhancement.

Seven weights with italic counterparts, and six condensed weights—also with italic counterparts.

Seven weights with italic counterparts, and six condensed weights—also with italic counterparts.

Omagari also made improvements to some of the original Metro’s character designs. Not that Bill wasn’t a good designer – he was, but he had to put up with Linotype’s antiquated unit system and the firm’s insistence that every typeface family under the sun duplex – you know, share common character width values. Bill worked around these mechanical restrictions pretty well, but Omagari’s design is digital. And what a dramatic difference that makes! You won’t find any compromises in proportions or spacing in Omagari’s Metro Nova.

The new design is also available as OpenType Pro fonts, allowing for automatic insertion of ligatures and those alternate characters Bill drew for his original design. Pro fonts also have extended character sets to support most Central European and many Eastern European languages. Omagari even added the alternate Icelandic ð to the character suite! (He has friends in Iceland.)

Metro Nova Pro alternate accented Latin characters; alternate umlaud, accent “a” and Icelandic “eth” characters

Metro Nova Pro alternate accented Latin characters; alternate umlaud, accent “a” and Icelandic “eth” characters

While it’s not the second coming of Garamond, I really like the new Metro Nova. Omagari has done a terrific job of building on Bill’s original design. Metro Nova is a rock solid typeface family that’s not going to gather dust on anyone’s hard drive.

Click here to learn more about – and to license – the Metro Nova family.

Alternate and Standard setting of capital M

Alternate and Standard setting of capital M

 

Dr. Hermann Püterschein is President of the Society of Calligraphers and a noted typeface & typographic critic. He can be reached at HermannPuterschein@gmail.com

 


by Darren Glenister

Fonts.com Subscription Extension

The recent integration of our SkyFonts technology into our Fonts.com Web Fonts subscription plans introduced some major new benefits. These included the ability to try fonts before buying them, and the ability to use fonts included with your subscription for website mockup use and even final design use. Now we’re excited to bring you two new tools that make SkyFonts even easier to use. And of course, there’s no additional charge for either of them, since they’re automatically part of all Fonts.com Web Fonts subscriptions, even our free plan. Don’t have a plan yet? Sign up now for free.

Try, install and sync fonts from favorite Adobe design applications

We have an all-new Fonts.com subscription extension for industry-standard design applications including Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign. Whether you’re using Adobe Creative Cloud or Creative Suite, you can try, install, and sync desktop fonts from your Fonts.com subscription directly through your favorite design applications.

Fonts.com Subscription Extension

All the functionality of the SkyFonts client for activating fonts is built right into the extension. An unobtrusive window within your application allows you to search for and activate fonts right in your document. Free plan subscribers can use the extension to initiate five minute trials of fonts while higher level subscribers can use the extension to install mockup fonts and desktop fonts included with their plans.

A boon for efficiency, any fonts you trial or activate will automatically be pushed to your authorized machines through SkyFonts. Don’t have SkyFonts installed on one of your devices? Click here to download it at no cost. With our new extension you’re able to focus on your project details instead of managing or installing fonts. Whether choosing type, prototyping designs, or executing production work for digital or print projects, this extension allows you to take full advantage of your Fonts.com subscription benefits with ease.

Download the Fonts.com Subscription Adobe Extension for free.

Easily Browse & Activate Fonts Directly on Your iPad 

Need to make type choices when you’re away from the office, or don’t have access to your primary workstation? Or just want to browse fonts for fun?

We’re also excited to announce the Fonts.com subscription iPad app. With an intuitive touch interface, you can select, compare and activate fonts directly from your iPad. The app will be available for download shortly. In the meantime, you can try it out in your browser.

Fonts.com Subscription iPad App

Filter designs by visual traits such as weight, width and x-height, or browse typefaces by individual foundry. Use the mix feature to easily compare up to three different typefaces at a time, giving you a great way to gauge and establish a visual hierarchy for your project — pick your headline, subhead and body text type system in one simple step.

Find a design you like? Add it to your list of favorites with a touch of a button — a convenient way to save fonts for future projects or to collect type options to present to clients and colleagues. Or already know which designs you’d like to use? You can activate trials, mockup and desktop fonts directly from your iPad — even selections made on the go are automatically synced to all your authorized machines via SkyFonts.

With our new Fonts.com subscription Adobe extension and iPad app, you can now access type in whatever application you are in — be it Photoshop, Illustrator, or InDesign, and from wherever you are — in the office or on the go.

Get them both for free!

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 Dr Hermann Püterschein

I first met Bill Dwiggins when I was quite young. I grew up in Hingham, Mass., and was one of the neighborhood kids who attended his marionette shows. Later on, I started dropping by Bill’s studio every now and again to watch him carve the marionettes.

First Showing of Metro

Today is Bill’s birthday. If he were still around, he’d be 133 years old. Bill was always a bit of a kid about his birthday. It was a special day for him. So, Monotype invited me to write this post for two reasons: to toast Bill’s birthday and to share the news that they are almost finished working on a revival of one of Bill’s most important typeface designs.

Monotype’s suggestion that I write a note honoring my friend falls happily with my mood. Moreover, It also gives me the opportunity to clear up a point about his association with me. From time to time, it’s been implied that Bill and I were the same person. This is complete nonsense and was disproved some time ago. Bill and I submitted our individual thumbprints to a prominent Boston typographer for scrutiny. When enlarged, one could clearly see that the whorls of my thumbprint were composed of Fraktur letters, while those of Bill’s were fleurons joined in an engaging pattern.

Metro Nova

Bill drew a raft of typefaces during his years as a freelance designer for Linotype. A goodly number of them have been pressed into service as popular digital fonts. The one that most deserves a makeover, however, is Bill’s first: the Metro typeface. Not that it wasn’t a good design. It was indeed, but it’s always been a small family, and Bill was hamstrung by Linotype’s penchant for duplexed fonts. (This is where a pair of styles – such as roman and italic – were cut within the same mold for use in the printing process.) This meant that all characters were required to have the same width. I certainly anticipate that Monotype’s designer for the revival project will have resolved these limitations.

Metro Nova

Something I hope Monotype doesn’t eliminate is the profusion of alternate characters Bill drew. Bill liked to have fun with his work, and his playfulness was apparent in several characters of the original Metro design. The cap Q and lowercase g and e come to mind – but I know there were more. They were pretty lively, and didn’t look like anything you might find in the Futura or Erbar families, which were designed around the same time.

It seems that some pompous printers back in the 1930s didn’t like this aspect of Bill’s design. These were hard-pressed folks who persuaded Linotype to replace the characters in question with ones that were about as stuffy as these people were. After that, you could only get the original characters by special order.

Well, Happy Birthday to Bill – and the best of luck to Monotype. I’m looking forward to seeing that new design.

Click here to learn more about the new Metro family.

 

Dr. Hermann Püterschein is President of the Society of Calligraphers and a noted typeface & typographic critic. He can be reached at HermannPuterschein@gmail.com

 

 

 

 

 

 


by Ryan Arruda

CustomerSpotlight_SasquatchFestival

Occurring over four days at the end of May, the Sasquatch! Music Festival features an eclectic lineup of musicians performing at the Gorge Amphitheater in Quincy, Wash.

The festival’s site is a typographic delight. Utilizing colossal headlines and navigation elements all in the affable ultra weight of the ITC Kabel family, the site is reminiscent of 19th century broadsides — large, type driven, and visually arresting.

Despite the presentation being set almost exclusively in not only the same typeface, but the same weight of that selection, the use of scale as well as the muted, earthy color palette provides an engaging and navigable hierarchy.

In a slight divergence, the site’s body copy is set in the Futura family’s book weight. While certainly an aesthetic cousin of the ITC Kabel designs, Futura is decidedly more austere, making it apt for longer passages of text where former’s visually boisterous character would be to the detriment of the reader. The pairing works especially well given the contrast in the weights employed.

The ITC Kabel family is available in five weights, from the reserved book style to the hulking (yet charismatic) ultra weight. The Futura family is available in an expansive 20 styles, with weights from light to extra bold, including companion condensed widths as well. Both typeface families are available for desktop licensing, as well as online use through subscriptions to the Fonts.com Web Fonts service.

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 Ryan Arruda

Ireland.com is the online presence of Tourism Ireland, an organization marketing the Emerald Isle as a premiere travel destination.

The layout of the Ireland.com site is quite kinetic, with modular content blocks of varying size overlaid upon large, vibrant photographs. The site utilizes the Rockwell typeface family nearly exclusively; it’s employed not only for headlines, but subheads, body text and primary navigation as well. Italic styles are employed for secondary navigation.

Customer Spotlight: Ireland.com

While the heavier weights of this friendly slab serif design from Monotype are strong and sturdy, its lighter weights are excellent choices for body text. A visual complement to layout of the site itself, Rockwell’s geometric letterforms mirror the gridded, modular construction present on Ireland.com.

The Rockwell family is available in four weights from light to extra bold, along with matching italics. For further flexibility, the family is also available in two condensed styles as well. Try it for yourself through the subscriptions to the Fonts.com Web Fonts service.

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 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 Allan Haley


Xenois

There are common themes that run through each of Erik Faulhaber’s typeface designs: breadth of family size, applicability to a wide range of uses, and a search for character perfection. His Generis design is a system of four compatible families of slab serif, serif, sans serif and a “simple” sans in the spirit of American gothic typefaces. Faulhaber’s goal for Generis was to develop a suite of “generic” designs that could be used for a variety of design projects.

Generis was followed by the Aeonis family; a very large collection of typefaces inspired by Greek lapidary inscriptions and modern industrial design. Again, minimalist character construction and a variety of weights and proportions provide for typographic versatility. The newest offering from Faulhaber, his Xenois design, is the beginnings of a large super family of typefaces aimed at solving a diversity of typographic problems.

According to Faulhaber, “I melded the basic design characteristics of Generis and Aeonis to create the foundation for the Xenois family. The result is a typeface collection that is sufficiently large enough to be used in a multitude of design projects, distinctive in its individual character designs – yet minimalist in structure.”

The sub-families within the Xenois series interrelate perfectly. Proportions and underlying character shapes are completely compatible within all the designs. They have a common and obvious design bond, yet each is able to stand on its own as a distinct typestyle.

Simple shapes, a large x-height and squared shoulders, mark Xenois. Each sub-family is comprised of five weights from light to heavy, and all have companion italics. Xenois Sans is a design reduced to its simplest character shapes. Xenois Serif has serifs – but they are small, and only the most essential to ease of reading have been included in the design. Xenois Semi echoes the shapes and proportions of Xenois Sans but stroke weights have been modulated.

The complete Xenois family is available as desktop fonts from the Fonts.com and Linotype.com websites. It is also available for online use through subscriptions to the Fonts.com Web Fonts service.

Click here to learn more about – and to license – the Xenois 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

Here’s a ranked listing of Fonts.com Web Fonts’ top 100 most used Web fonts for February 2013:

Neue Helvetica
Trade Gothic
Helvetica
Gill Sans
Avenir
Univers
DIN Next
Futura
Avenir Next
Neue Frutiger
Frutiger
Optima
ITC Avant Garde Gothic
Linotype Univers
News Gothic
Trade Gothic Next
Century Gothic
Monotype News Gothic
Futura T
Arial
ITC Franklin Gothic
Neo Sans
PMN Caecilia
Agilita
DIN 1451
Rockwell
Linotype Didot
Soho
ITC Lubalin Graph
New Century Schoolbook
ITC Garamond
ITC Conduit
Neue Haas Grotesk
VAG Rounded
Frutiger Next
News Gothic No.2
Soho Gothic
Univers Next
Abadi
Palatino
ITC Officina Sans
Sabon
Adelle
ITC Century
Gill Sans Infant
Eurostile LT
Calibri
Laurentian
Sackers Gothic
Trade Gothic Next Soft Rounded
Twentieth Century
Neue Helvetica Arabic
Garamond 3
Harmonia Sans
Frutiger Serif
ITC Fenice
Camphor
Bauer Bodoni
Neue Helvetica eText
Optima nova
ITC American Typewriter
Times
Candara
Eurostile Next
ITC Officina Serif
Helvetica World
Novecento
Yakout
Plantin
Gazette
Clarendon
MSung
Monotype Baskerville
Museo Slab
Cachet
Biome
Corporate S
ITC Franklin
Slate
Sassoon Sans
Bembo
Museo Sans
Albany
Compatil Text
Klint
Georgia Pro
Huxley Vertical
Baskerville
Monotype Garamond
Akko
ITC New Baskerville
Corporate E
Amasis
Alternate Gothic
Museo
Memphis
Egyptian Slate
Neuzeit Office
ITC Bodoni Seventytwo
MHei

Ryan Arruda
Ryan 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.
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

Our Fonts.com Web Fonts service has always provided great typefaces. Now it’s even easier to create great typography – thanks to the addition of the Typecast  design tool.

Subscribe or upgrade to a Professional subscription now.

Subscribe-Now


New Professional subscriptions from $40/month

Fonts.com Web Fonts Professional PlanExcellent news: We’ve redefined our Professional subscriptions to make them more affordable, plus we’re including a free Typecast subscription (worth $29 per month) with every Professional plan. From new fonts and our most popular fonts hand-tuned for the Web, to new technology such as OpenType feature support and new services like Typecast, we’re always adding more to our Fonts.com Web Fonts subscriptions and will continue this trend going forward.

Our new Professional plans start at just $40 per month and include 1M pageviews per month, but you can add additional pageviews as needed. Like before, Professional plans also include the self-hosting option and desktop fonts for creating website mockups. If you’re currently subscribed to a Professional plan or a 1M, 1.5M or 2M pageview Standard plan, we’ll upgrade your account automatically to make life easy.

Create better Web typography with less hassle

Just as exciting is the free Typecast subscription you’ll get with your Pro plan. This tool could completely reshape the way you build websites.

3_color palette

Typecast is a powerful, browser-based design app that takes the pain out of designing with Web fonts. It lets you view, pair and compare Web fonts in the browser on full-length text without having to create screenshots, assemble comps or hand-code your CSS. Sliders, drop menus and simple inputs make it easy to set text in precise detail, and because you’re designing in the browser, you’re able see changes in real time and make better, faster decisions about quality, style and rendering.

As you design, standards-compliant HTML and CSS is produced behind the scenes, allowing you to quickly share Web-ready designs with developer colleagues and get more accurate prototypes in return. In the video below, Typecast’s Creative Director Jamie Neely offers you a look at the app in action:

Typecast — Experiment with Type from Typecast on Vimeo.

Typecast + Fonts.com Web Fonts: the perfect type pairing

Best of all, Fonts.com and Typecast work great together. You can design with every one of our 20,000 Web fonts in Typecast. Your Fonts.com account is linked to Typecast, so getting your design’s Web fonts onto your website is simple. When you’re ready to export your designs and start prototyping, Typecast will determine which fonts to serve up and provide an embed code that includes them. Going forward, you can continue to use Typecast to manage the font selections in your projects.

We want to play a part in reshaping typography on the Web, and feel this combination will help you make sound typographic decisions and refinements with the Fonts.com typefaces you know and love. To our new and current subscribers, we hope you enjoy Typecast. We sincerely believe it will help you create far better designs. We also believe it makes Fonts.com Web Fonts a far better offering and remain committed to growing these plans  with additional great services like Typecast as your needs evolve.

Subscribe-Now


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 Allan Haley

Italics are the aristocrats of type: elegant, beautiful, and dignified. Their history can be traced back to a time before there were fonts of type, when only scribes and the most educated communicated with the written word.

Traditional typographic history would have us believe that italic types were invented by Aldus Manutius in the late 15th century as a space saving device. The story is told that Manutius hired Francesco Griffo da Bologna to develop a cursive type for a new series of small books that he was planning to produce. It is said that Manutius’ goal was to reduce paper costs and thus make his publications less expensive. Then, as now, paper was expensive, but saving paper was not the goal in the creating of italic type – and Manutius never sold an inexpensive book.

Mantika Sans Italics

Printers of the time spoke of “writing” a typeset page as if it were a letter to a friend. As this somewhat unusual terminology implies, the typeface provided a much closer link between printer and reader than it does today. Certain styles of type were reserved for specific groups of readers. Manutius was not so much trying to save space with the development of his italic, than he was appealing to the educated, worldly, and wealthy readers of the early Italian Renaissance (who’s handwriting style the italic type mimicked). As for the books’ size, Aldus’ goal was to sell books that were portable.

Jürgen Weltin also had something special in mind when he drew the italics for his Mantika™ Sans typeface family. The characters are inclined at only 4.5° (the usual angle for italics is between 10° and 12°) and, as a result, appear to be almost upright. In contrast to this, character shapes are quite fluid and reminiscent of brush-drawn scripts. The overall effect is enhanced by the script-like terminals. “Within the variety of forms of the italics there are many contrasting elements that create dynamism,” Weltin explains. “The result is a pleasant, but distinctive, interaction between the rounded and almost upright forms.” Mantika Sans Italic, in addition to being a perfect complement to the Roman designs, can also be used on its own to set display headlines and short text passages.

Mantika Sans is available in two weights; regular and bold, both of which have corresponding italics sets. It has been designed so that the widths of the four related cuts are identical, meaning that a change of font within a single layout will have no effect on line length or layout consistency.

Click here to learn more about – and to license – the Mantika 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.


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