fonts.com blog
Posts Tagged ‘web fonts’

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 Johnathan Zsittnik

Just over a year ago, we debuted our Master level Fonts.com Web Fonts plans. These plans offer our broadest range of benefits including millions of pageviews and our Typecast design app. But the keystone is unlimited desktop fonts. This feature was inspired by the knowledge that most of our customers design for both print and the Web, and that Web designers rely on tools traditionally used for print. Today, the desktop font feature has proven to be incredibly popular among Master subscribers—in fact, many of you on our other plans have shown interest in having it available as well. Starting today, you can!

Add Unlimited Desktop Fonts

Standard and Pro subscribers can now add unlimited desktop fonts to their existing subscriptions. This is a great option for those designing for print and the Web, but don’t have the traffic to justify moving all the way up to the Master plan. Boost any new or existing subscription for an additional $50 per month (or a little less for annual or three year plans). At the cost of 1–2 fonts, we hope you’ll agree that this is a great value.

The feature operates just like our Master subscriptions. Fonts are distributed through our SkyFonts client—the original desktop font syncing utility. Browse through our selection of more than 7,000 amazing designs from top foundries—including Monotype, Linotype, ITC, Bitstream, Ascender and others—and sync fonts on up to five workstations. When you see one you like, click the ‘add to SkyFonts’ button and SkyFonts will install the font for you. Repeat as often as you like. Fonts are licensed similar to traditional fonts, giving you an unparalleled range of assets for creating logos, imagery and more.

To add unlimited desktop font to a Standard or Pro subscription, visit our Plans & Pricing page, select the ‘Include unlimited desktop fonts’ button and click ‘update my plan’ or ‘subscribe now.’ If you have an existing subscription, we’ll sync up your billing so you’ll receive only one charge each billing period. We think you’ll love this new option, but if its not for you or you no longer need it, you can cancel the desktop font add on at any time, and even retain your Web font subscription if you like. This is a great way to get access to an amazing library of fonts without making a major commitment up front.


by Ryan Arruda

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

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


by Ryan Arruda

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

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


by Allan Haley

NeueHelveticaCompressed_Blog

Almost 50 years since it was first announced, the Helvetica Compressed suite of typefaces has been re-envisioned for digital use. Designed in 1966, by Matthew Carter, for phototypesetting, the three original typefaces have been immune to changing style or fads. The remarkable collection of designs continues to be used for advertising, packaging and other venues where a commanding design and economy of space is required. With typography showing up on more and more small screens, however, it became obvious that the faces should be updated.

Helvetica Compressed

When Linotype first asked Carter to craft the Helvetica Compressed designs, characters had to be drawn within a coarse, 18-unit system, as seen in the image to the right. Every letter was limited to being designed to fit with one to eighteen units; this limited the number of typefaces that could be designed to very narrow proportions.

Drawn by Monotype designers to complement the Neue Helvetica family, the Neue Helvetica Compressed collection of typefaces benefits from 8 weights that range from ultra light to black – mirroring those in the Neue Helvetica family and rounding out the quintessential sans serif design.

Timeless and neutral, the Neue Helvetica family is now even more versatile.

The designs are available as desktop fonts or Web fonts from the Fonts.com Web Fonts service. Learn more about – and license – the Neue Helvetica Compressed collection of typefaces.


by Ryan Arruda

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

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


by David Harned

Dynamic Subsetting

Seems like things on the Web are always getting faster. With customers demanding more speed and an increasing percentage of traffic coming from mobile devices, speed is paramount. Improvements can be made by reducing the size of data that is transferred or by improving the efficiency of a system’s processes. We’ve employed both of these techniques to drastically boost our patent-pending dynamic subsetting technology. I’ll share some results later on. But for now, let’s just say we were very pleased – even startled – with the results and think you will be, too.

What is Dynamic Subsetting?

If your content is written in English, German, Spanish, French or other languages that use the Latin alphabet, you may be unaware of the challenges faced by those working with content in East Asian languages. While most Latin fonts have file sizes under 100KB, the broad character sets of the Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese, Japanese and Korean writing systems can push these fonts into the MBs – making Web fonts impractical for sites using these languages.Dynamic Subsetting

Dynamic subsetting resolves this issue by evaluating the content on the page and creating a font on the fly containing only the characters needed to display the content on the page. This process can cut the file size down to kilobytes. The technology uses our JavaScript publishing method – using a single line of code on your pages — and is included with your Fonts.com Web Fonts subscription .

Server-side processing changes

This technology has helped open up a world of typographic possibilities for those developing sites in Chinese, Japanese and Korean. Over the last few months, we have been working to make this experience better — we have refactored and optimized our systems, and have seen some amazing improvements including gains of over 90% on server-side processing with Traditional Chinese fonts. This equated to a 61% speed gain in download speed to the page.

Of course these figures are based on our internal testing, but we’re confident you’ll notice the improvement as well. Take a look:

If you’re already using dynamic subsetting, we invite you to share your experience in the comments.


by Allan Haley

Carl Crossgrove’s new Burlingame® family is a classic example of the subtlety type designers bring to typeface design. At first glance, Burlingame appears to be square sans design with understated humanistic overtones. A closer look, however, reveals myriad details that define the typeface.

BurlingameOne of the primary goals behind the Burlingame design is legibility. “Overall design traits, individual character shaping and even letterspacing were carefully considered in the design process,” says Crossgrove, senior type designer at Monotype. “While these considerations are part of every typeface I design, they took on an increased importance in Burlingame.”

Burlingame

The impetus for Burlingame was a branding proposal for a major gaming platform – which meant that the design had to perform well on a small screen. While it was not incorporated into a video game, Burlingame was eventually licensed for use in human-machine interface displays for automobiles. The process of fine-tuning Burlingame for its new home, however, imposed new legibility issues for the design.

“I modified the original Burlingame renderings based on findings from automotive user interface legibility research Monotype undertook previously,” explains Crossgrove, referring to an exploratory study sponsored by Monotype and conducted by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) AgeLab and the New England University Transportation Center, which examined the role typeface design may play in minimizing glance time – the time a driver takes away from watching the road to interact with in-vehicle displays.

Burlingame

Crossgrove carefully introduced design traits, such as the triangular cuts where strokes join, flat tips on sharp counters, and character bowls that he describes as “superelliptical” to improve character legibility. He also applied generous character spacing to enable clearer character definition. In addition, Crossgrove incorporated character designs from the German DIN 1450 initiative for barrier-free legibility. “There are characters such as the footed l and t, open c and s, and simple bowl and tail g,” says Crossgrove. “I included these, and many other traits into the Burlingame design, intending that they would aid in character recognition and easy reading.”

To help ensure legibility at small sizes and in modest resolution digital environments, Crossgrove made Burlingame’s proportions almost extended. Realizing, however, that there are many instances where economy of space (in addition to legibility) is required, he also drew a series of slightly condensed designs.

Burlingame

The Burlingame family is comprised of 36 typefaces – nine weights from thin to extra black with condensed counterparts – each with an italic complement. The designs are available for desktop licensing, as well as Web fonts through all Fonts.com Web Fonts paid subscription plans. As a special introductory offer, a sampling of the Burlingame family (Burlingame Light and Burlingame Condensed Black) is available at no charge. Simply load them into your shopping cart and check out. Want all 36 fonts of this great new design? Until May 7th you can get the complete Burlingame family for 50% off!

Learn more about – and license – the Burlingame family today.


by Ryan Arruda

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

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


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.

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