fonts.com blog
Posts Tagged ‘univers’

by Johnathan Zsittnik

By now, you may have heard of our SkyFonts service. If not, SkyFonts is a first-of-its-kind font rental service that allows you to try fonts for a few minutes for free, or rent fonts using credits for a day or a month. SkyFonts was created with two primary goals. First, we wanted to provide designers with a better way to experiment with type before making a purchase. Second, we wanted to introduce a rental model that would allow designers to pay for type only as long as they needed it.

SkyFonts debuted in private beta last month and the feedback has been incredibly enthusiastic and positive. You’ve expressed interest in both trialing and renting fonts through SkyFonts and we’re excited to unveil new features and font releases that will improve both aspects of the service. We’ve accepted over 1,000 participants into the beta – just a fraction of the applicants. We’ve kept the test group small to allow us to keep up with the feedback. But if you’re still waiting to get in, good news awaits! We’re preparing to open the proverbial floodgates on the beta. Stay tuned to your inbox. Your invite isn’t far off.

Rent Avenir fonts on SkyFontsWe have even better news for those already participating in the SkyFonts beta. We’ve just released over 350 fonts to the service giving us a selection of more than 2,000 quality fonts. We pulled some of the biggest names from our Monotype and Linotype collections, so you’ll see some familiar faces. Highlights include Monotype’s Abadi, Neo Sans, Rockwell and Soho families and Linotype’s Avenir, Eurostile, Frutiger and Univers designs.

Visit SkyFonts.com to sign up for the free beta and to try your hand at renting fonts.

Allan Haley
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 Ryan Arruda

With products available in over 130 countries, Grohe AG is one of the world’s largest designer-manufacturers of kitchen and bathroom fixtures.

The company’s website is set in Linotype’s Univers® typeface family, itself a watershed milestone of typographic design, crafted by Adrian Frutiger beginning in 1954.

Throughout their site, Grohe utilizes the thin, light, roman, and medium weights of Univers. The use of these specific weights (out of the family’s 44 choices) is quite suited to complement Grohe’s products – both espouse qualities of lightness and clarity, remaining aesthetic without being intrusive.


by Chris Roberts

PDF Catalog of Hand-Hinted Web Fonts

If you’ve been following the developments regarding “Web fonts”, you’ve probably heard someone complain about the way some Web fonts look in the Windows® operating system. You may have even heard that the problem is more specifically to do with Windows XP. If you really dug deep, you may have read that the most egregious cases are centered on a scenario where a Windows XP user is surfing with a browser that does not have default ClearType® support. And if you are a total Web fonts junky with way too much time on your hands, you may have looked up operating system and browser market share figures and arrived at the conclusion that over 30% of your visitors may fall into this category. Then, you may have been overcome with feelings of nausea, dread and hopelessness.

All is not lost. First of all, time is on your side. XP won’t be around forever. Every day Windows 7 is gaining ground on XP. Someday this will all be nothing more than a poorly rendered memory. Better still, you don’t have to wait for “someday”. There is something you can do today to cure those XP induced Web font blues. Fonts.com Web Fonts now offers over 600 “hand-hinted” Web fonts to help address this specific situation. Among them you will find several classics like Avenir®, Bookman Old Style™, Century Gothic™, Eurostile® Next, Frutiger®, Helvetica®, Trade Gothic® and Univers®.

What does hand-hinted mean? Basically, it means that a real person sat in front of a computer monitor and studied each character at different point sizes, making painstaking adjustments until they were satisfied with the result. But we are not talking about just any person. Hand-hinters are to fonts what sommeliers are to wine. It takes many years to learn to do it well. Every font is different in design and characteristic. It takes a rare and highly skilled expert to get it right.

Monotype Imaging has been in the hinting business since the beginning. Over the years we have accumulated a great deal of font hinting knowledge and talent. We’ve also produced a very large number of expertly hand-hinted fonts. Today, it’s our pleasure to share them with you.

Here’s a link to our hand hinted Web fonts now available on Fonts.com Web Fonts:
Click here

Here’s a link to a PDF catalog of our hand-hinted Web fonts:
Click here


by Allan Haley

Fonts for metal and early phototypesetting machines like the Linotype and Monotype had to be created within a crude system of predetermined character width values. Every letter had to fit within, and have its spacing determined by, a grid of only 18 units. This meant that if the ideal proportions of a particular character did not fit within a subset of these 18 units, it had to be altered so that it did. As a result, type designers were often compelled to compromise their designs from what they felt was ideal so they would work within the confines of the technology.

Spacing Comparisons

The original Frutiger™ typeface was such a design. The face dates back to 1968, when Adrian Frutiger was commissioned to design the signage for the then-new Charles de Gaulle Airport in Roissy, France. Frutiger’s goal was to create a sans serif typeface with the rationality and clean lines of his Univers design, but softened with organic, almost calligraphic, nuances.

The Frutiger signage was completed and installed at de Gaulle airport in 1975. It took two more years to convert it into fonts for phototypesetting. In the process, Frutiger was forced to make changes to many characters to accommodate the spacing limitations of early phototypesetting technology.

Neue Frutiger™, drawn as a collaboration between Adrian Frutiger and Linotype type director Akira Kobayashi, is based on the original Frutiger typeface, but incorporates many changes. The most obvious is an increase in the family’s range of weights. Neue Frutiger has ten roman weights – each with an italic counterpart. Other, more subtle, improvements were also made. Because the new design is not bound by the design restrictions put on the first Frutiger, Neue Frutiger improves on the original design in important areas, such as character design and spacing. Kobayashi and Frutiger also concentrated on enhancing character legibility at small sizes. Neue Frutiger enjoys all the design and spacing refinements that current digital technology can provide.

Neue Frutiger Example Page

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.