Tag Archives: typography

Typekit Cufon FLIR sIFR, Which web font system is best?

Breaking out from web-safe fonts

Times New Roman, Helvetica, Arial, Verdana, Georgia, Tahoma, Tebuchet etc., For the longest time, web designers were stuck with using so called “web safe” fonts. These are fonts that you find on most common operating systems, such as Microsoft Windows, Apple Mac OS, and various Linux distributions (distros). By sticking to these core fonts you can be pretty confident that your website is going to render in the way you intended, and that a serious typographical faux-pas can be avoided.

Breaking out of web safe fontsWe’re going to look at a few ways to introduce (with reasonable safety) some typographical variety into your website, along with the advantages and disadvantages associated with each method. It is important to understand, there is no “best” solution for everyone, but hopefully this article can help you explore the possibilities.

When Times isn’t Times

For anyone who hasn’t already cottoned on, web browsers rely on the fonts already installed on your PC in order to render them on screen. Even “web safe” fonts are not strictly the same from platform to platform. Times New Roman on a Windows 7 machine isn’t necessarily going to be the same typeface as Times Roman on an Apple Mac. Read More…

Fonts in the wild – FontFont Sari

FontFont Sari – Spotted

FontFont Sari

What’s more nerdy, trainspotting or… Font Spotting!

So there I was, fetching some milk, when I spotted in my local Spa, amidst the cook-in sauces – FontFont Sari (the text White Wine & Cream Cook-In-Sauce). Of course I always make my own sauces from scratch – but fonts are much harder to make yourself!

I haven’t purchased Sari yet, but it does have a certain appeal, maybe even for logo usage – It seems to be a softer, more rounded version of FontFont Dax, but this shouldn’t come as a surprise as both were created by Hans Reichel. I quite like Dax in certain situations, but like Sari, it has too much character to be used for extended runs of body text – but for short runs of type or as a headline font, it can work well.

Sari is an altogether softer animal you want to snuggle up next to with a warm cup of cocoa and a macaroon… Or maybe chicken in white wine and cream sauce!

We won’t mention the appearance that Helvetica made in the same store… oh the irony! Fresh meat indeed!

Helvetica - what have you done!

Font combinations that work together well

I’ve got a logo and I’m going to use it! This is the attitude of many companies after purchasing a shiny new logo. However, your brand or trademark is only part of the story when it comes to presenting a professional image to the world at large.

A poor or non-existent house style is a recipe for diluting your message, and confusing your prospective customers. Engaging different people to design your website, stationery, and marketing materials requires a strict set of rules, otherwise your company image is going to dissolve like a sugar cube in a hot cup of tea! A good house style will define at least things like:

  • logo usage, particularly minimum spacing from surrounding elements, if it’s colours and background colours are mixed, and so on.
  • Colours to be used in presentations – in particular to type/text.
  • The typographical rules to follow – in particular, the font families to be used and where they should be applied.

There are so many fonts – which do I choose?

Some designers can become truly evangelical about their beliefs on the topic, and may even appear to vanish up their own posteriors – so be careful not to get too bogged down with the finer nuances of type design – keep your feet on the ground, and get some advice from a designer who respects your budget and has a proven record of sensible typographical design under his/her belt.

Although there are literally tens of thousands of fonts out there, there are two main classifications which almost all fonts fall into, and everyone can understand without being an expert – Serif typefaces (e.g. Time Roman), which have terminators (serifs) of some sort on the end of their strokes, and Sans-Serif (e.g. Arial) which don’t.

In this example I am going to look at a simple masthead/heading and body text font combination. This is a good starting point for any typographical design strategy. I’m not a great fan of rules – and any designer like me will probably try it on from time to time with something different – but even designers who bend and break the rules (usually) do so with the following minima in mind. Read More…

Designing a typeface

Designing type is one of the most challenging areas of design – especially in this day and age, when there are so many typefaces to choose from. For some time I have taken a keen interest in typography, particularly in the art of designing type. I don’t aim to become a type designer by trade – it is such a specialist field, that to become productive enough to earn a living at it could take several years. Read More…

Delicious font for Crystal logo

We recently completed a logo project for Crystal Safety Training. Their client base is a mix of medium to large private companies, plus some public organisations. We required a friendly but not too informal typeface that would not look too dangerous! The theme of safety wouldn’t be well advertised by some of the most modern curvey Sans typefaces, but we also didn’t want to go with something that has become too generic, like FF Meta. Read More…

Apex New – Old Faithful

This review of Apex New Font from Village Type is our first blog post, so welcome if you haven’t been here before! I first came across Apex New from Village Type when I saw an NHS smoking prevention poster. I thought the typeface looked great, and worked well as a no-nonsense modern sans typeface which, like Meta from Erik Spiekermann, could be used in a broad range of corporate applications. I had to ask the guys on Typophile to help identify a scrap of the typeface I had managed to scan and post on the forums there, and thankfully someone helped me out. Read More…