Archive for the 'Typography' Category

New Windows Vista Font Just A Rip-Off?

Monday, January 9th, 2006

The following article is about two years old, but in light of the recent campaign begin for the new Windows Vista, it’s more current than ever. In his article “A Second Helping”, Fredrick Nader brings to light the baffling similarities between Vista’s new default system font, Segoe UI, and Frutiger. Wikipedia states:

According to a report in the Süddeutsche Zeitung, the owner of the design, Linotype, filed in 2005 a complaint with the European Union’s trademarks and design office in Alicante, Spain, arguing that Microsoft’s Segoe typeface is a plagiarism of Frutiger Next.

Basic and Advanced Typography

Tuesday, December 20th, 2005

Got two nice little links on the subject of basic and advanced typography today. has a nice collection of material they used for typography workshops (yes, “real world” workshops) over the years, among others an excellent overview of type basics with practical sketches.

The Elements of Typographic Style Applied to the WebIf you have read Robert Bringhurst’s classic book “The Elements of Typographic Style“, this may look familiar. Richard Rutter has released a project inspired by the book: The Elements of Typographic Style Applied to the Web


Wednesday, October 26th, 2005

AmbigramsJust stumbled upon ambigrams today. Yes, ambigrams. Nice word. What’s that you say? Never heard of them? No worries, neither have I. What’s an ambigram, you ask? Well, according to the Wikipedia entry:

An ambigram, also known as an inversion, is a graphical figure that spells out a word not only in its form as presented, but also in another direction or orientation.

In other words, rotate the image above by 180° and see what happens. There’s plenty more, and they’re quite fascinating.

Thanks go to Frederik Samuel, where I orginally found this. While you’re there, check out the rest of his blog. Lots of valuable (frequently updated!) content, and one of my favorite RSS feeds!


Sunday, October 23rd, 2005

TypophileTypophile, in its own words a “typographic collaboration”, offers a comprehensive community platform for anything typography. Discuss typography and ask for advice in the community forums. Check out the user-edited typoWiki, which will provide you with loads of info about typography in general, foundries, history, print, retailers, software, styles, terminology, and much more. It’s being updated frequently, so if you’re missing something, it’ll be there at some point. Or, in the open collaboration spirit, you could just add it yourself. :)

Fake vs. True Italics, Pt. II

Sunday, October 16th, 2005

ITC Avant Garde Gothic ProIn a quick follow-up to my recent post, Fake vs. True Italics, I’d like to point you to an article over at Typographica: “Ain’t What ITC Used to Be“. Mark Simonson presents us with the release of the new ITC Avant Garde Gothic Pro, an OpenType remake of their original 1977 font. For some reason, ITC decided to release a slanted version of the font instead of providing a real oblique version. Apart from the fact that this is an unexpected “easy way out” move for a font foundry of such status, it’s especially strange considering the fact that they had gotten it right the first time back in ’77. The article is followed by an interesting discussion.

The Man Behind the FedEx Logo

Sunday, October 9th, 2005

FedEx LogoThe Sneeze has an interesting interview with Lindon Leader, creator of the FedEx logo. Leader talks about the challenges he was presented with at the time of creation, the subtleties in the logo such as the hidden arrow, and the effects designing one of the world’s most famous logos has had on his life. Also an interesting note is how his agency managed to change the communicative name of the company from “Federal Express” to the much catchier “FedEx” – which shows a surprising amount of flexibility on the client-side.

Fake vs. True Italics

Sunday, October 2nd, 2005

More often than not, low quality fonts will come without a real italic version. To handle this problem, your system will generate fake italics out of your fonts. This usually just occurs by slanting the font. Unfortunately, this often loses the character of the typeface, and usually looks pretty crummy. In this short but concise article, typographer Mark Simonson shows us the difference between true and fake italics on the basis of his newly revamped font, Proxima Nova.

Font Management Tools

Thursday, September 29th, 2005

Looking for a good font manager? I’ve got one for the Mac and one for Windows.

Linotype, one of the major players in the history of typesetting, has just brought out FontExplorer X, a professional font manager for Mac OS X that will look perplexingly familiar to anyone who is used to iTunes. Among its unique features, it offers auto-activation of missing fonts, provided they are somewhere on your computer. Browse your fonts with freely customizable previews. Integrate with Spotlight. Discover new fonts online. View comprehensive information on your fonts. It’s all there.

You don’t have a Mac? Typograf for Windows offers an excellent overview for all your fonts. I use this one personally and I love it. Browse directories recursively, previewing all your fonts side by side with a text of your choice. This often helps me find the right typeface for a certain job. View and edit all kinds of information on a specific font. Compare fonts. View font metrics and complete kerning tables. Catalog and group your fonts. Typograf also offers a reference on font classification and history, and offers advice on font selection. Typograf works along with ATM.

New Software Detects Illegal Font Copies

Thursday, September 22nd, 2005

Software developer Quality Corp. will this month release a system that prevents the unauthorized use of character fonts on personal computers.

With the product, called BizPack-F, agent software is sent to PCs connected to a company’s network. The agent software searches for fonts that are included in the operating systems of PCs. It sends the search results to the server, where a list of set fonts on each PC is created. The system can detect illegal font copies based on serial numbers.

Read on at Aisa Times Online

Compare Your Type Online

Monday, September 19th, 2005

Marko Dugonjić has just released a public beta of Typetester, an online tool for comparing different typefaces in your browser side by side, with all sorts of features: adjust leading, tracking, size, colors, alignment, and more. You can also change the standard Lipsum to anything you like. This offers webdesigners an excellent, realistic overview of how their fonts are going to look on-screen (in contrast to a Photoshop mock-up).

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