Last Build Date: Thu, 19 Jan 2017 07:57:50 +0000
Tue, 22 Mar 2016 15:35:09 +0000
Editor’s Note: Today we are pleased to feature the new and free font families Yrsa and Rasa by David Březina and Anna Giedryś and their story behind the design process.
Yrsa and Rasa are two open-source type families published by Rosetta with generous financial support from Google. The fonts support over 92 languages in Latin script and 2 languages in Gujarati script. The family currently has 5 weights. They were designed and produced by Anna Giedryś and me and they are now released and ready for download.
The post Free Font Release: Yrsa And Rasa Available For Download appeared first on Smashing Magazine.
Mon, 22 Dec 2014 14:12:09 +0000
Choosing typefaces is an integral part of every web design project. With thousands of typefaces available from hosting services such as Typekit, as well an ever-improving collection of free fonts available, there has never been a better time to be a typography-obsessed web designer.
One could easily argue that nothing affects a design more than typography. And good typography starts with choosing an appropriate typeface. But can having too much choice be a bad thing? With more choices, we have more opportunities to make bad decisions.
The post The Good, The Bad And The Great Examples Of Web Typography appeared first on Smashing Magazine.
Mon, 29 Sep 2014 12:51:29 +0000
As we refine our methods of responsive web design, we’ve increasingly focused on measure (another word for “line length”) and its relationship to how people read.
The popularization of the “ideal measure” has led to advice such as “Increase font size for large screens and reduce font size for small screens.” While a good measure does improve the reading experience, it’s only one rule for good typography. Another rule is to maintain a comfortable font size.
The post Size Matters: Balancing Line Length And Font Size In Responsive Web Design appeared first on Smashing Magazine.
Mon, 02 Jun 2014 15:18:52 +0000
Handwritten text shows a personal side of its author, a side that is not easy to put into words and that contrasts with the standardized look of digital communication. This contrast and “aura” is perhaps what makes handwriting fonts so popular. As a typographer, I love handwriting, and in this article I’d like to share a hands-on overview of my creation process of a handwriting font.
Over the past four years, I’ve completed three typefaces inspired by handwriting. I started with the digitization of Albert Einstein’s handwriting and continued with Conspired Lovers, a font based on my own love-letter writing. In 2013, I ran a Kickstarter campaign to fund the creation of a font based on Sigmund Freud’s handwriting. The public interest in the project was overwhelming, and the Sigmund Freud typeface became the first typeface to be reviewed in the Wall Street Journal.
The post Hands On The Sigmund Freud Typeface: Making A Font For Your Shrink appeared first on Smashing Magazine.
Thu, 20 Mar 2014 12:29:23 +0000
Arabic calligraphy was originally a tool for communication, but with time, it began to be used in architecture, decoration and coin design. Its evolution into these major roles was a reflection of the early Muslims’ need to avoid, as their beliefs required, figures and pictorials that were used as idols before Islam was established in the Arabian Peninsula.
While the Arabic tribes preferred to memorize texts and poetry, the first Muslims tried to document their holy book (Qur’an Kareem) using the scripts that we’ll look at in this article. In order to understand how these scripts developed into the beautiful and complex shapes we know today, we have to understand the history of Arabic calligraphy.
Wed, 12 Mar 2014 15:40:04 +0000
Once thought of as amateurish by professional designers, free and open-source fonts have gone through something of a renaissance in just the last few years. The quality of available free fonts has increased dramatically. To be frank, free fonts don't have a good reputation, and often they are knock-offs of thoroughly crafted, already established typefaces. So is it time for professional designers to take a second look?
Early in my design career, around 2003, I wanted to purchase the font DIN for a project at work. My manager promptly dismissed the idea of paying for a font and instead handed me a CD that had “5,000 free fonts” on it, saying “This CD has every font a designer could possibly need. No need to waste money buying fonts!”
Tue, 10 Dec 2013 14:58:26 +0000
Back in the days when he was a student, Portuguese graphic and type designer Natanael Gama started to play with glyphs — as a way to discover typography. Doodling around, he created Exo, a font which he released for free in a Kickstarter project. The project turned out to be quite successful. Exo became so popular that Natanael did a complete redesign.
It was two years ago. Today, Natanael is no longer a student and Exo has evolved into what we are happy to present to you today: Exo 2.0, an elegant, contemporary geometric sans serif typeface.
The post Freebie: Exo 2.0, A Contemporary Geometric Sans Serif Font appeared first on Smashing Magazine.
Tue, 15 Oct 2013 11:49:10 +0000
In this article, we’ll take you on a thought-provoking journey through carefully selected Web designs. Certainly, these websites have some captivating interactivity; however, the selection of type and the typographic styling and spacing are the reasons why we chose them for this piece.
In the context of typography, considering composition and grid structure is also important. Composition and grid structure are vital factors in effective communication with type.
The post Type Makes A Difference: An Exploration Of Type-Focused Websites appeared first on Smashing Magazine.
Fri, 27 Sep 2013 10:34:54 +0000
When you buy something, I bet you want it to work. Heck, even if you use something for free — maybe borrowed from a friend — I bet you want it to work. No one prefers hiking boots that are too tight (or too loose), a car that shimmies when you drive faster than 40 miles an hour, or a kitchen knife that can’t cut a tomato.
And Web designers don’t prefer fonts that don’t fit a project, fall apart in different browsers or can’t be used in a mock-up. We also don’t like wading through all of the fonts that won’t work for us in order to find the ones that will. It takes precious time away from other tasks and responsibilities.
Wed, 19 Jun 2013 14:09:29 +0000
In the first installment of this two-part series on type classification, we covered the basics of type classification — the various methods people have used, why they are helpful, and a brief survey of type history, classifying and identifying typefaces along the way. Unfortunately, we only got as far as Roman (traditional serif) typefaces and the early-19th century.
Now we’re back for part 2! Part 2 will primarily cover sans typefaces, with a nod to display typefaces and other less common categories, as well as address a few of the questions people have about whether type classification is helpful and necessary.
Fri, 17 May 2013 02:25:49 +0000
Good typography has always been a defining aspect of effective Web design, and this holds true especially for websites in which the emphasis is on presenting a large amount of content — specifically, articles, news and stories.
Whether for a magazine or international newspaper, the designer of any website that distributes a lot of content has always had to consider typographic details as seriously and thoroughly as a print designer would. In 2009, we conducted a survey of then current typographic practices. Since then, responsive design techniques have clearly gained momentum and established their place in the landscape of CSS layout.
The post Typographic Design Patterns And Current Practices (2013 Edition) appeared first on Smashing Magazine.
Tue, 26 Feb 2013 11:23:27 +0000
Layout, for both print and screen, is one of the most important aspects of graphic design. Designs that extend across multiple pages or screens, whether containing large or small amounts of type, must be carefully controlled in a way that is enticing and is easy for all to access.
Careful control of visual hierarchy is a key aspect of the design decisions we have to consider. In this article, we will look at how frequently type needs to be broken down into different levels, such as topic, importance and tone of voice.
Mon, 18 Feb 2013 12:32:15 +0000
With the rise of web fonts as well as affordable hosted web font services and ready-made kits, typography is reclaiming its title as design queen, ruler of all graphic and web design. At the same time, for far too many designers, the main concern about typography today seems to be aesthetic in nature.
The problem is, we tend to use typography and lettering as two interchangeable terms, which they are not. The allure of well-executed lettering — and, boy, I could spend hours just looking at lettering portfolios! — can affect the way we view typefaces, because both typography and lettering share common visual concepts.
Thu, 17 Jan 2013 12:29:05 +0000
Coming out of the grunge, graffiti and David Carson era through the 90's, there has been a major resurgence of interest in typography. We have seen a number of designers and artists make their careers out of designing type or custom lettering, and it has become common to list typography among our skills and disciplines.
Unfortunately, as with any popularity surge, there have come with it a lot of misunderstandings of some of the terms and concepts that we use. This article will help you gain a clearer understanding of what typography is and isn't, and why.
The post Understanding The Difference Between Type And Lettering appeared first on Smashing Magazine.
Thu, 06 Dec 2012 16:40:06 +0000
The other day someone sent me a link to a website with the preposterous title of “The 100 Best Typefaces of All Time”. Topping the chart was Helvetica, and that stirred my ire. I dismissed the list because it was based on marketing figures from one source, FontShop, coupled with the opinions of half a dozen Berlin-based typographers, but I was still incensed.
When it comes to, say, boxers, you can handicap the various athletes in the ring and predict that Muhammad Ali would beat Jack Johnson or Jim Corbett and that, therefore, he is number one, but a lot of other factors come to bear on your decision: sentimentality, the fact that Ali is acknowledged (by people like me, with no real knowledge of the sport) to be “The Greatest”; he has name recognition, and so on. But how do you evaluate a typeface? Is it just based on its widespread use? Or its suitability to the subject at hand? Ease of reading? Familiarity?
Fri, 02 Nov 2012 13:21:56 +0000
The Industrial Revolution gave us a new iron age, one of cast iron, which a devotee of Vulcan told me he thought was the highest achievement of man — or, as he put it, “the hairless ape.” In the 18th century, cast-iron bridges sprang across British rivers such as the Tay and Severn. These lovely sculptural archways are resistant to rust, so many are still standing.
Before the introduction of Clarendon as a text face, it could be seen as a display type, for example in Figgins’ two-line Pica in shade, from about 1817. It was copyrighted by Robert Besley of London’s Fann Street Foundry in 1845, and as soon as the copyright lapsed three years later, it was widely copied. Railway timetables, newspaper headings, dictionaries, guidebooks, textbooks and other places that required spot emphasis were its preferred venues at first.
Thu, 20 Sep 2012 11:33:38 +0000
Every name here is a tragic story of loss and heartbreak. The Garda Memorial Garden, or Gairdín Cuimhneacháin an Gharda Síochána, is located in the heart of Dublin city. This memorial is a contemplative garden with large stone plinths and a lot of names and numbers. The list of names, this “roll of honor,” records individual police officers (gardaí) who have lost their lives violently and tragically in the line of duty since the formation of the Irish state in 1921.
This article offers insight into the creative thought processes I followed in designing a typographic solution for this memorial. I’ll discuss my choice of typeface, my detailed layout, the size of type, the materials, the process of engraving, and leaving open the possibility to add names in the future. My objective was to keep a sense of visual harmony throughout the design, while aiming for a certain consistency in the future engraving of names, regardless of language.
Mon, 06 Aug 2012 02:49:45 +0000
Just as living species depend on mutation and adaptation to survive, typefaces too depend on their features to optimize the performance of text in a given environment. This principle seems to determine, in a way, the degree of failure or success that printing types (old and new) have in the physical world.
Typeface revivals (i.e. old typefaces beautiful enough to see a second digital life) are a virtually never-ending source of inspiration, as well as a good opportunity for graphic designers to learn some history. After taking part in the practice, I can say without doubt that the similarities between this process and the work of palaeontologists when reconstructing the appearance of dinosaurs and other extinct animals from fossils are striking.
The post Legitima Typeface: An Experience Of Fossils And Revivals appeared first on Smashing Magazine.
Fri, 20 Jul 2012 15:14:26 +0000
Every now and then, we look around, select fresh free high-quality fonts and present them to you in a brief overview. The choice out there is enormous, so the time you need to find them is usually time you should be investing in your projects. We search for them and find them so that you don’t have to.
In this selection, we’re pleased to present Signika, Plastic Type, Bariol, Alegreya, Metropolis, Typometry and other quality fonts. Please note that while most fonts are available for commercial projects, some are for personal use only and are clearly marked as such. Also, please read the licensing agreements carefully before using the fonts; they may change from time to time. Make sure to check the free quality fonts round-up from January 2011, too.
Wed, 11 Jul 2012 10:14:02 +0000
If you’re using Google Web Fonts on your websites, then there’s a very good chance that 1 in 5 visitors are seeing faux bold and italic versions of your fonts — even if you correctly selected and used all of the weights and styles. That’s because the implementation method recommended by Google Web Fonts doesn’t work with Internet Explorer 7 or 8.
As of 21 May 2012, StatCounter reports that IE 7 or 8 was used for 19.4% of the 45 billion page views collected in February, March and April 2012. As an experienced print and Web typographer, I embrace and use the term “font” when talking about Web fonts; it’s the term used in CSS syntax and by a myriad of Web font providers.
The post Avoiding Faux Weights And Styles With Google Web Fonts appeared first on Smashing Magazine.