I Love Typography

Sunday type: dotsquared type

Don’t forget your Underware

First, a big thank you to all who read and commented on On Choosing Type. I’m in search of contributing authors who can write case studies on type choice for, say, a redesign. For example, Creative Review magazine recently redesigned and chose to use Farnham throughout; an article on why a certain type was chosen and how it compliments other elements—that’s the kind of thing I’m after. If you’re interested, then simply send me mail.

Let’s begin our Sunday Type with Smoothing Out the Creases with Web Fonts, from Jon Tan. I mentioned the importance of checking your type across different systems, and Jon’s article considers the rendering of fonts in OSX and Windows. Great article.

Smoothing Out the Creases with Web Font

Free Fonts

A great little—with emphasis on the little—font from those talented people at Underware. A number of people have emailed to ask which typeface I use to set the the captions for illustrations. In fact, I stole the idea from Kris Sowersby after he used it for his article Newzald: From Moleskine to Market. It’s only designed to be used at one size, 8pt; but I guess there’s nothing stopping you using it at larger sizes too—might be fun.

You can download it for free from Underware (as always, remember to read the license).

And on the topic of free fonts, Pointy has been updated. You can download the updated version here (free for non-commercial use).

Gentium, the OpenSource font is now in its final release. You can download Gentium here.

Our fourth free font is the sans serif Graublau Web (regular and bold). It has been released with web-font embedding in mind. Pity it doesn’t at least include an italic.

typeface: graublau we

Thanks to Ralf Herrmann.

One of the concerns I have with so-called web fonts, is that we may well see a whole raft of copy-cats—good type tweaked and re-licensed. Let’s hope not.

Bake your own

FontStruct is a brilliant new type-creation tool from FontShop. It’s very well conceived and excellently executed. It’s incredibly easy to use. If you do create something, be sure to tell me about it. Perhaps we could feature some of the Fontstruct fonts right here.

All of the designs come under a Creative Commons license, so you can share and download freely. I really like the dingbats font Kawaii,  Schema Basic Bold, Blockhead, and dotSquared Arena.

dotsquared arena made with fontstruct

Next is an interesting take on the anatomy of type posted on typomil:

type anatomy

Created by David Březina and; Martin Pecina. Thanks Mac for the link.

Saving your screen with type

This must be the best screen-saver ever:

YouTube Preview Image

It’s called DropClock and can be downloaded for both Mac and Win. Thanks to Eliot Jay Stocks.

The FontFeed has two excellent interviews with Martin Majoor (designer of one of my favourite typefaces, Scala) and with the enormously talented (why don’t we hear more about him?) Xavier Dupré (Vista Sans, Megano, et al.).

The interviews are available as PDFs to download for free. Be sure to read them!

Fun type

Want a typeface that brings a smile to your face? Look no further than LOVOLO:

Via whywerock.com.

Christian Schwartz does Tokyo

The talented Mr Schwartz is in Tokyo on Tuesday to speak at Tab Talks 4. I was hoping to get there, though it’s unlikely now. Tokyo is a long way from me (and domestic travel in Japan is insanely expensive). If you are closer to Tokyo than me, then why not head over to Shinagawa and see him in the flesh. Be sure to take some photos for iLT. The talk will be in English with a Japanese interpreter (not the other way round).

Smashing Lettering

Some stunning and inspirational lettering in Smashing Magazine’s Beautiful Handwriting, Lettering and Calligraphy post:


Sunday links

Now go out and buy FF Utility—TypeOff
My favourite April Fool—typotheque
Type quiz 6—Unzipped
Baseline grids in Indesign—CreativeCurio
Hand-painted signs—ableparris
Numerous Numerals explained—FontFeed
Get the Helvetica off our money—via Daring Fireball
Bernard Levin—Ace Jet 170
Dutch Type Library—(if like me, you’re a fan of Dutch type)
We don’t serve your type here—inspirationbit
Friday Font Fond: Omnes—How Blog
Estupido Espezial—H&FJ
Styling text links—Andy Rutledge (yes, I promise to fix mine soon)
Font flags—Jacob Cass
Type Talk: your questions answered—Ilene Strizver
New typeface: Enotmik—aisleone Typo Hunt Across America—via ATypI 

Expressive Words update

Karly certainly started somethig when she posted about her own type exercise. Mauel from Æstheticrew has also had a go. Anyone else?

Today’s types

First up is Marat, selected by the Type Directors Club of New York to receive the Certificate of Excellence in Type Design in the Text / Type Family category. And excellent she is:

and Miss Fitzpatrick from Umbrella Type. Gotta love that capital M.

And be sure to check out iLT’s April Fonts in the sidebar (right, and up a bit). So much more to come, so subscribe to ensure you don’t miss out. Thanks for reading, and have a great Sunday.


  1. > Pity it doesn’t at least include an italic.

    Note, of course, that while neither of the two free Graublau Web fonts are italic, the full Graublau Sans Pro family does include several italic weights. So if one is really keen to embed these with italics in their website, they could always license some additional fonts, right? Not everything should be free… if Graublau Web included everything needed, what would be the point of the separate, improved, and not free Graublau Sans Pro?

    I think that part of Ralf and Georg’s idea is to show how foundries could make money by allowing web embedding—very many foundries and designers do not allow this with their fonts. So the two free fonts are a hook to the whole family, and sort of a beta test for a possible new distribution method. At least, that’s how I seem to read it…

  2. Love FontStruct (will come in extremely handy tomorrow, perfect timing so thank you!)

    Another great Sunday Type Johno.

  3. Oh, and I think I’m going to go out and try FontStruct for a spin!

  4. Dan
    Perhaps I sounded a little ungrateful. I think their initiative is a brilliant one. However, one couldn’t license the italic and then embed it. Personally, I’d prefer to have an italic instead of the bold (there, I’m sounding ungrateful again). I guess I should make up for it and buy a license for Graublau Pro.

  5. Thanks for the link, John :) I really like the dropcap you’ve added to your articles! When did you do that? And how did I miss On Choosing Type? Gotta go read that right now!

    OOOOO!!! And I signed up for a letterpress class in July!! And I already have a Vandercook lined up that I can use! I’m going to check it out this Saturday. I’m so excited!! :D

  6. FontStruct is very cool. I got to beta test it (thanks to Johno!), and it was truly fun and productive. I encourage you all to take it for a spin.

    Marat is lovely.

  7. Thanks for the love, Johno, and another great Sunday Type! I noticed one of my photos was not in that post, you might want to check it out again. “El Futuro” is awesome. I think I might even be able to get the actual sign from them to put in my office.


  8. Thanks for the link, John. I really look forward to see more critical comments there!

    I think it would be great if these kind of “homeworks” could get their own section here at iLT’s huge audience. Thinking about something like “Sunday type”, but maybe already on fridays (so we have the weekend to edit and play). Could be called “iLT’s friday homework” or something.

    And not just the assignments from DWT, you/we could come with our own homework assignments.

  9. Thanks, another great roundup :) and thanks for the link out to my ‘What is a Font Flag? What is a font specimen sheet?’ post

  10. “Thanks Mac” — No, I thank you :).

    Another great Sunday type, I love it. It is the best start of new week (here in Europe can be called Monday type…).

    P.S.: Are Type Nuts forgotten?

  11. Une autre grande Sunday Type, John!

    (Perhaps there are less comments becuase everyone is taking time to digest it all, hehe.)

    Thanks for the insight on your pixel font of choice, it’s quite nice indeed.

    Also, I have to comment on DROPCLOCK. I’ve been using it for a week or so now, and it’s really amazing, one of those things you can just stare at forever, and never get bored… — a little heavy for a screensaver though, but it’s worth it.

  12. great article - sorry I didn’t comment yesterday…
    Now posting in response to your twitter request :)

    Had just found out about Fonstruct on saturday - itching to have go…

    great links and inspiration as always, thanks :)

  13. Scherer

    Check out my fontstruct creation! It’s called “descanso typewriter”. Tell me what you think.

  14. Check this website for several pixel fonts for usage at 8px. http://pixelfonts.style-force.net/ The fonts are free for download.

  15. Another great quality post.
    I have been checking out FontStruct and wow is it cool or what !! :) The video on the homepage showing its use sells it so well.

    I also think that British Airways font is amazing. How many people spent hours contributing to that font I don’t know, and how much it cost.. i’d hate to think. .


  16. John,

    I came, I wandered, I stayed, and now have delurked rather shamefacedly. I was interested in the subject of typography when I stumbled upon this site, but am a total and utter ignoramicus when it comes to much of it (I know what serifs are, for example, and that if kerning isn’t done right it is most displeasing to the eye, but that’s the extent of it.) I’m a little overwhelmed by most of the discussions here - I know so little it’s disgraceful - but legible and aesthetically pleasing typeface has always been important to me. My family business is a printing factory, and I remember getting to dance up the stairs into the dark room where all the type was set, and playing with those little blocks of metal till it was time to go home.

    Oh, and I’m nothing related to typography either training wise - I’m an ex-film school graduate/musician/jewellery designer type. Going through the articles here has been so very educational! (It was either typography or architecture for my imposed self-study this year, and I think I can grasp typography better than principles of architecture.)

    I’ll be visiting a -lot-, I can already tell. :)


  17. PS: You’re geographically nearer to me than I thought. I’m in Malaysia. :)

  18. Thak you for link to the Type Anatomy (which is published on my typomil website). However, this is not document prepared by only one author (me), but equally by David Březina, who has finished especially the english part. Could you be so kind and change the author from “typomil” to David Březina & Martin Pecina? Thanks a lot.

  19. LaurenMarie
    The dropcaps have been there for a while now, and are used for most articles (though not all). You should write something up for you letterpress class!

    I’ve been playing with Marat for extended text−works very well. More on Marat coming soon.

    You’re welcome. I’ll check that post again. let me know if you actually get hold of that sign.

    Interesting idea. Perhaps there’s room for a side-blog of sorts. I’ll think about it. Karly will be setting some; I’ve also been working on some−more on that soon.

    TypeNuts isn’t forgotten (just on hold); looking for cartoonists to illustrate some ideas I have. Anyone?

    Merci. DropClock is stunning. Would be nice to have alternative type in the options panel−perhaps that’s asking too much.

    Thanks. Please keep me up-to-date on your FontStruct endeavors.

    Will take a look. And will list readers’ FontStructs in next week’s Sunday Type.

    Thanks for the link.

    Yes, Fontstruct is great. I should imagine a lot of work went into the BA lettering.

    Pleased that you delurked. Welcome to iLT. Hope to see you here again soon. And, yes, you’re not so far from me.
    Thanks. Thought you’d enjoy FontStruct. Great start. I guess I could use the ‘best’ FontStruct typeface for next week’s header ;)

    Done. Thanks for the clarification.

  20. Any more FontStructers out there?

  21. Johno, check your mail!

  22. Cody
    Thanks for the mail. Would make a nice masthead.

  23. Remind me before you post the Sunday Type and I will send you a more complete version.

    Hell, i’ll just send you the actual font file before that time ;)

  24. Cartoonist? I sketch! What do you want illustrated? I could at least attempt it! (It will force me to practice too.) Drop me an emailage?


  25. Cody
    Will do.

    Cartoons, really; type-related. I’ll be sure to “drop you an emailage” :)

  26. thanks for the link.. :)

  27. fontstructa is good… oh and Scherer, i like it! :-)

  1. Quinta Tinta—Apr 8, 2008

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