fonts.com blog
Posts Tagged ‘webfonts’

by Johnathan Zsittnik

OpenType Kerning Features

Since the mass availability of Web fonts, the gap between the typographic possibilities within Web and print design has been steadily closing. Continuing the trend, today we unveil new kerning and letter spacing capabilities to our Fonts.com Web Fonts service that can help take your Web designs one step closer to pixel perfect.

While kerning can be incorporated through standards-based implementations, there are several limitations that Web designers currently face:

  • Kerning settings in the browser may be on or off by default
  • The amount of kerning applied is inconsistent between different browsers
  • Kerning cannot always be controlled via the low level font-feature-setting: “kern” syntax from the CSS3 spec or the high-level, font-kerning syntax from the CSS3 spec
  • Text-rendering-optimizeLegibility, from the SVG spec, has inconsistent effects on kerning across browsers.

A variety of JavaScript libraries exist to enable kerning and overcome the issues described above, however each force the Web designer to specify kerning levels rather than leveraging kerning information specified by the font designer.

I had a chance to chat with Sampo Kaasila, about the technology he helped build and its inspiration. In his words, “The realization that kerning support is inconsistent and sometimes wrong across different Web browsers provided the impetus to develop this technology. It provides Web designers with kerning that is settable, correct and consistent across browsers.”

The new capabilities within Fonts.com Web Fonts allow you to specify letter spacing in a variety of ways. You can use auto kerning to take advantage of kerning pairs designated by the font designer. Or, you can specify your own kerning value for letter pairs. A tracking control allows the adjustment of spacing between three or more consecutive characters.

Kerning can be applied globally to a CSS selector. For example, I can enable auto kerning for all of my subheads by turning the feature on for the selector (i.e. H2) designated for my subheads within my CSS. Alternatively, kerning and tracking can be applied to targeted blocks of texts.

The new letterspacing controls are an extension of our OpenType feature technology that enables OpenType features such as fractions and ligatures to be rendered in all modern browsers – including those without native OpenType feature support. We’ve also enhanced this technology to allow users to specify a preferred glyph when multiple options exist. In the example below, two options for stylistic alternates are presented for the lowercase k  in the Fairbank typeface. This enhancement lets you specify a choice instead of using the default glyph.

Custom Kerning

To give users a sense of what’s going on ‘under the hood,’ I had Sampo provide an overview of how the technology operates. “Our service works in conjunction with client side JavaScript code. Runtime adjustments are made to the inter-character spacing to ensure correct spacing, depending on if the style in the external CSS or inline style attributes has enabled or disabled the kerning. Additionally, a consistent default on or off setting will be applied if there is no style information regarding kerning. Our service reads all the kerning information within the font’s kern and GPOS tables. This is then compiled to JavaScript code in the cloud. At run time, before the page is drawn, a rule application engine applies the kerning by injecting style information, which then correctly positions the characters when the browsers draw the text.”

Here’s a quick how-to for using these new capabilities

  1. Login to your Fonts.com account. You’ll need a Fonts.com Web Fonts subscription, but even a free plan will work. Free plan subscribers have access to the technology and compatible fonts.
  2. Search for fonts containing kerning support. Use the kerning support filter like this to narrow your Web font search.
  3. Add the font to your project. Be sure to grab the variant with “OT features” in the name. To be certain you have this option, don’t add an entire family to your project. Adding one weight at a time will allow you to specify the version you want – in this case, the version with OpenType features.
  4. Visit the Manage Web Fonts page to work on your project.
  5. Open the Add & Edit Fonts control for your project.
  6. Select the OpenType Features tab (If you don’t see it, your project does not contain a font with OpenType features).
  7. Select the Basic panel to apply kerning and OpenType features globally to a CSS selector, or the Advanced panel to apply kerning, tracking or OpenType features to targeted text.

Applying kerning or OpenType features to a CSS selector

  1. From the basic panel of the OpenType Features control, enter the selector name you wish to style.
  2. Selecting the font you want to use for the CSS selector from the Choose a font menu.
  3. Click Add.
  4. Click the CSS selector you just added form the menu below.
  5. Check Apply Auto kerning box to enable kerning. Preview the impact in the preview pane at the bottom of the control.
  6. Click the icons of any OpenType features you wish to apply to your selector. Again, you can preview the impact in the preview pane at the bottom of the control.
  7. Make sure you are using the JavaScript publishing method. This will not work through the non-JavaScript (CSS linking) or self-hosting publish methods.

Auto kerning Web Fonts

Applying kerning, tracking and OpenType features to targeted text

  1. From the advanced panel of the OpenType Features control, enter the text you wish to stylize in the “test your own text here” pane.
  2. Make sure you’ve highlighted the text you wish to stylize.
  3. Use the Auto Kern check box to enable auto-kerning.
  4. Use the Kerning slider or menu to kern two consecutive characters.
  5. Use the tracking slider or menu to adjust the spacing of three or more consecutive characters.
  6. Click the icons of any OpenType features you wish to enable for your text.
  7. Click the Select HTML button to view and copy the HTML you’ll need to add to your site.
  8. Make sure you are using the JavaScript publishing method. This will not work through the non-JavaScript (CSS linking) or self-hosting publish methods.

Custom Kerning

We hope you enjoy using this new technology. You can provide any feedback or tell us how you’re using it in the comments section.


by Alyson Kuhn

Jim Wasco loves to talk about type, and when he does, he enthuses equally about highly specific details on the one hand, and the typographic big picture on the other. It’s not an either/or discussion – it’s a seamless interplay of influences and inspirations. With Wasco, you can indeed have it both ways. His newest typeface design, the Harmonia Sans family, is a perfect example.

Harmonia Sans

The name Harmonia Sans alludes to harmony in two realms, music and typography – and on two levels, the individual and the collective. Each musical note must be ‘right’ on its own, to ring true with the other notes in the phrase, and it must add to the composition as a whole. (Wasco, by the way, plays jazz piano every week as part of a sextet.) The letterforms of a typeface are even more inter-dependent, in that they must achieve visual harmony in almost infinite combinations. On the ‘collective continuum,’ Harmonia Sans also blends what Wasco describes as his “favorite aspects of the different sans – grotesque, humanist and geometric” in a new geometric design. He adds, “Harmonia Sans is geometric because the letters are based on a square, circle and triangle, just like architecture.”

Alignments

The alignment comparison above illustrates Wasco’s decision to use calligraphic cap to x-height proportions for Harmonia Sans. The ITC Avant Garde Gothic design has a larger x-height, and relatively short ascenders and descenders, while the Futura family has a smaller x-height, with elongated ascenders and descenders. Wasco determined that the calligraphic proportions would serve to increase both legibility and typographic harmony.

Calligraphy instruction sheet from Paul Standard (circa 1950)

Calligraphy instruction sheet from Paul Standard (circa 1950)

Wasco neatly sums up his ‘calligraphic lineage’: “Dad went to The Cooper Union in the ‘50s. His calligraphy teacher was Paul Standard, who was a friend of Hermann Zapf’s. When I met Hermann, I mentioned Paul – and his face lit up. Many people credit Paul with popularizing calligraphy in America in the ‘50s.” Standard’s calligraphy instruction sheet above is based on a cap to x-height ratio of 7.5 to 5.

Calligraphy by Jim Wasco:  banner on a piano recital invitation (2007)

Calligraphy by Jim Wasco: banner on a piano recital invitation (2007)

Wasco has always favored a ratio of 7:5 for his own calligraphy, and the Harmonia Sans proportion is close to 7:5 as well. Click here to learn more about – and to license – the Harmonia Sans family.

 

Alyson Kuhn
Alyson Kuhn (a.k.a. Kuhncierge) writes frequently about paper and printing, including typography and postage stamps. On occasion, she teaches envelope-folding workshops. She lives in Carmel, California.

 


by Ryan Arruda

Here’s a listing of the top 100 most used fonts from the Fonts.com Web Fonts service for September 2013:

Trade Gothic
Neue Helvetica
Avenir Next
Gill Sans
Univers
Avenir
Proxima Nova
Gill Sans Infant
Helvetica
Futura
Frutiger
Rockwell
Linotype Univers
Classical Garamond
DIN Next
Klint
Century Gothic
ITC Avant Garde Gothic
Courier PS
Museo Sans
VAG Rounded
Myriad
Bree
Arial
ITC Franklin Gothic
Harmonia Sans
Univers Next
Neue Frutiger
Chaparral
ITC Legacy Serif
Museo Slab
Swiss 721
Eurostile LT
ITC Lubalin Graph
ITC Caslon No. 224
Optima
Amasis
Motoya Birch
Neo Sans
Trade Gothic Next
Neue Helvetica eText
ITC Century
ITC Legacy Square Serif
Frutiger Next
Slate
ITC American Typewriter
Linotype Didot
ITC Conduit
Adobe Garamond
Soho
Helvetica World
ITC Officina Serif
Bodoni LT
Humanist 777
Lexia
ITC Officina Sans
ITC Charter
Calibri
PMN Caecilia
Delima
Droid Sans Mono
Swift
ITC Fenice
Soho Gothic
Neue Helvetica Arabic
Adobe Caslon
Bookman Old Style
Linotype Sketch
Bembo
ITC American Typewriter Hellenic
Monotype News Gothic
Francker
Egyptienne F
Auriol
Sackers Gothic
Linotype Feltpen
Baskerville Classico
ITC Stone Informal
Novecento
Brandon Grotesque
Rotis Sans Serif
Twentieth Century
Monotype Goudy
Glypha
Agilita
Andale Mono
Droid Serif
ITC Eras
C Hei 2 PRC
News Gothic
Neue Haas Grotesk
DIN 1451
Akko
M Elle PRC
C Hei PRC
M Lady PRC
M Stiff Hei PRC
ITC Garamond
Heisei Kaku Gothic
Rotis Semi Sans


by Johnathan Zsittnik

Plans-3-Yr

Attention Web typographers: here’s your chance to try that Fonts.com Web Fonts subscription you’ve been eyeing – and save a bundle in the process! Now through September 27th, save up to 50% off any 3 year plan from Fonts.com Web Fonts: the exclusive service offering the renowned Monotype, Linotype and ITC foundries and coveted designs such as the Helvetica, Frutiger, Avenir, Trade Gothic, Gill Sans and ITC Franklin Gothic families.

To take advantage of this limited time offer, simply choose any 3 year plan and enter coupon code SAVE3 at checkout to get your subscription for 50% off the cost of renewing monthly for 36 months. Pick a plan with the benefits you need:

Fonts.com Web Fonts Features

Whether you’re new to Web fonts and looking to take the plunge, an existing Fonts.com subscriber who’s ready to up your commitment, or a user of another service who wants to try Monotype fonts or our exclusive technology, there’s no better time to do so. Sign up now!

coupon_code_blog

 


by Ryan Arruda

Here’s a listing of the top 100 most used fonts from the Fonts.com Web Fonts service for August 2013:

Neue Helvetica
Trade Gothic
Gill Sans
Helvetica
Avenir
Futura
Univers
Proxima Nova
Avenir Next
DIN Next
ITC Avant Garde Gothic
VAG Rounded
Swiss 721
Neue Frutiger
Frutiger
Frutiger Next
Linotype Univers
Trade Gothic Next
Humanist 777
Adobe Garamond
Soho
Adobe Caslon
Arial
ITC Conduit
Century Gothic
ITC Lubalin Graph
Museo Sans
Baskerville Classico
ITC Franklin Gothic
Rockwell
Univers Next
Neo Sans
Optima
Bembo
Linotype Didot
Agilita
Myriad
PMN Caecilia
Linotype Feltpen
Bodoni LT
DIN 1451
Helvetica Monospaced
Heisei Kaku Gothic
Joanna
Brandon Grotesque
Neue Haas Grotesk
ITC Garamond
Monotype News Gothic
Memo
News Gothic
News Gothic No.2
ITC Century
Gill Sans Infant
Sabon
Adelle
Abadi
Twentieth Century
Soho Gothic
New Century Schoolbook
Harmonia Sans
Trade Gothic Next Soft Rounded
Bauer Bodoni
Aachen
Corporate S
Neue Helvetica eText
Letter Gothic
Bembo Infant MT
Eurostile LT
ITC Officina Sans
Times
Frutiger Serif
Sackers Gothic
Slate
Laurentian
Eurostile Next
Akko
Neue Helvetica Arabic
Calibri
Novecento
Palatino
Museo Slab
Klint
Camphor
Minion
Helvetica World
Clarendon
Sassoon Sans
New Caledonia
ITC Fenice
Futura T
Strayhorn
Museo
Monotype Baskerville
Garamond 3
Glypha
Basic Commercial
Yakout
Smart Sans
Alternate Gothic
Plantin

 


by Steve Matteson

Monotype recently announced a collection ‘eText typefaces’, designed to facilitate the best on-screen reading experience. These typefaces extend the palette of text choices available for Web and EPUB designers and developers. Our eText typefaces are part of the Monotype Portfolio for Digital Publishing, tailored for high-quality immersive reading on e-readers, tablets and other devices.

eText Fonts

Our first update to the eText collection features four new families:

GeorgiaPro — The GeorgiaPro design includes 20 weights and styles (including light, black and condensed weights), making GeorgiaPro an ideal choice for rich typographic pages where performance and readability are key across a variety of screen resolutions and technologies. Georgia Pro also includes small caps and OpenType features for setting full-height figures in addition to the figures which range above and below the baseline (old style figures). The extensive character set covers Greek, Russian and Eastern European languages.

VerdanaPro – The Verdana typeface has been a standard in screen legibility for 18 years. This release continues to improve upon the performance and readability of the design across both screens and languages.  With 20 weights added to the family, Verdana is now more versatile than ever. Light to black and condensed styles of Verdana will offer new capabilities for hierarchical typographic layouts. The extensive character set covers Greek, Russian and Eastern European languages.

Dante eText — Already shipping in some OEM reader products, the Dante eText family has brought old-world charm to immersive reading on screen. Originally designed by Giovanni Maerdersteig for fine book printing, Dante eText now brings the artistic touches of a great printer and book designer to the e-publisher’s toolbox.

Linotype Didot eText — The world of high-fashion publications would not be complete without the high-contrast thick and thins of a Didot-styled typeface. Toshi Omagari revisited the classic Didot family to make it possible to use at screen sizes. The elegance of the original is not lost in the Linotype Didot eText design, which stands up to screen display, unlike many modern serif styles.

 

 


by Ryan Arruda

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

Neue Helvetica
Trade Gothic
Proxima Nova
Futura
Gill Sans
Helvetica
Avenir
Univers
DIN Next
Avenir Next
Neue Frutiger
Frutiger
Linotype Univers
ITC Avant Garde Gothic
Trade Gothic Next
Frutiger Next
Humanist 777
ITC Franklin Gothic
Arial
Adobe Caslon
Century Gothic
Museo Sans
Baskerville Classico
Optima
Univers Next
Bembo
Linotype Didot
Neo Sans
News Gothic
Agilita
Soho
VAG Rounded
PMN Caecilia
Rockwell
Myriad
Monotype News Gothic
Bodoni LT
DIN 1451
ITC Lubalin Graph
Brandon Grotesque
Helvetica Monospaced
Gill Sans Infant
Futura T
ITC Century
News Gothic No.2
Trade Gothic Next Soft Rounded
ITC Garamond
ITC Officina Sans
Twentieth Century
Soho Gothic
Aachen
Sabon
New Century Schoolbook
ITC Conduit
Abadi
Neue Haas Grotesk
Adelle
Neue Helvetica eText
Eurostile LT
Bembo Infant MT
Letter Gothic
Times
Corporate S
Memo
Eurostile Next
Harmonia Sans
Bauer Bodoni
Sackers Gothic
Frutiger Serif
Calibri
Laurentian
Franklin Gothic
ITC Franklin
Palatino
Camphor
Helvetica World
ITC Fenice
Neue Helvetica Arabic
Adobe Garamond
Akko
Slate
Museo Slab
Klint
Heisei Kaku Gothic
Strayhorn
Novecento
Garamond 3
Clarendon
New Caledonia
Swiss 721
M Sung PRC
Minion
Ascender Serif
Yakout
Monotype Baskerville
Plantin
Thud
ITC Officina Serif
Effra
Albany


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 Chris Roberts

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

Neue Helvetica
Proxima Nova
Trade Gothic
Futura
Gill Sans
Helvetica
Univers
DIN Next
Avenir
Avenir Next
Neue Frutiger
Frutiger
Linotype Univers
Frutiger Next
ITC Avant Garde Gothic
Trade Gothic Next
Humanist 777
Century Gothic
Futura T
Museo Sans
Univers Next
News Gothic
Adobe Caslon
Neue Helvetica
Neo Sans
Optima
Linotype Didot
Avenir Next
Baskerville Classico
Bembo
Arial
Agilita
Rockwell
Monotype News Gothic
DIN 1451
PMN Caecilia
ITC Franklin Gothic
VAG Rounded
Bodoni LT
Soho
Myriad
Brandon Grotesque
ITC Garamond
ITC Lubalin Graph
Corporate S
Helvetica Monospaced
ITC Conduit
News Gothic No.2
New Century Schoolbook
Twentieth Century
Soho Gothic
Neue Haas Grotesk
Sabon
Abadi
Gill Sans Infant
Adelle
Trade Gothic Next Soft Rounded
ITC Officina Sans
Times
Bembo Infant MT
ITC Century
Palatino
Neue Helvetica eText
Sackers Gothic
Klint
Frutiger Serif
Eurostile LT
Letter Gothic
Calibri
Neue Helvetica Arabic
Laurentian
Eurostile Next
Harmonia Sans
Bauer Bodoni
Camphor
Helvetica World
Garamond 3
Akko
Museo Slab
Memo
Adobe Garamond
ITC Franklin
ITC Fenice
Clarendon
Yakout
Effra
Minion
Novecento
MSung
New Caledonia
Monotype Baskerville
Plantin
Sassoon Sans
Museo
Ascender Serif
Compacta
Slate
Cachet
ITC Officina Serif
Aachen


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.
Great type makes sites stand out