|THE MYFONTS NEWSLETTER — SEPTEMBER 2004
In This Issue
1. Rob Leuschke
2. Improved Test Drive
3. Ten new foundries
- TypeArt Foundry
- Martin L’Allier Graphiste
- Suitcase Type Foundry
- Canada Type
- Kenn Munk
- Rob Leuschke
4. More Fonts
5. RSS news feeds
6. ATypI 2004
Meet us in Prague!
Bestsellers, promotions, subscribing.
Many thanks to all of you who completed our survey, put out by our sister newsletter Rising Stars. We heard loud and clear that one of your favorite features is Test Drive, so we made it made it easier to use and much more powerful!
As usual we've had lots of new foundries signing up since the last newsletter, and our current foundries continue to bring out great new fonts. Please scroll down to check out the highlights. And to keep really up-to-date, do try out our new RSS feeds.
Happy font finding!
— Laurence Penney
In Your Face Editor
Search using friendly terms, or font names – your choice. Try sci-fi, theater poster, picture, cars...
TypeSETit.com is the latest venture from one of the modern masters of calligraphic fonts, Rob Leuschke. Rob, who hails from St Charles, Missouri, showed design talent at an early age, and worked alongside some of the world’s best lettering artists at Hallmark Cards (where else?). In 1987 he went solo and has been designing type – well, type that looks just like inspired calligraphy – ever since. Looking through the TypeSETit.com collection, we can’t help but be struck both by the remarkable rhythm Rob shows, and by the diversity of styles with which he seems totally at ease. Formal, light-hearted, brush-drawn, pen-drawn, Rob’s nailed ’em all!
Rob’s current tally stands at 250 typefaces. You may recall we’ve featured his designs before – he’s designed fonts for Bitstream, ITC and IHOF/P22. But we’re absolutely delighted to be selling direct the output of his latest venture.
Of the latest set, we particularly like Love Light, surely the closest anyone will ever get to distilling the typographic essence from a bunch of red roses! Check out its Love ligature. Also, Kolker Brush (just look at its sublime B) showed us that the brilliant dynamism of Japanese calligraphy may have been attained in a Western font for the first time. Set Kolker in the right color, and you’ll almost savor the aromatic ink as it glides off the brush...
Test Drive anywhere!
One of your very favorite MyFonts features, as hundreds of you told us in our 2004 Survey, is Test Drive, where you get to see what your own text looks like it the font of your choice. We decided that meant we should spend some effort making it even better.
So, we decided to allow Test Drive from nearly every page on the site!
You’ll notice the new Test Drive bar near the top of the page. Simply type any text you like, and from then on, all your browsing will use that text rather than AaBbCc.
Ten new foundries join
Dino dos Santos, from Oporto, Portugal, has been designing custom typefaces for magazines and corporations since 1994. We love his Anubis, a punchy, contemporary unicase design that’s confident enough to quote from historical sources. Dino tells us that Kartago is inspired by Roman inscriptions in ancient Carthage - we look at it as a delicate, playful alternative to the senatorial sternness of Trajan. Instead of usual symbols in the character set, it provides a delightful set of ligatures. Aquila is an elegant and legible text face with unusual serif treatment. Its italic is cursive and narrow, making the whole face reminiscent of Gill’s Joanna. Finally, Monox is a large super-family of monospace fonts - sans and serif versions, each in 5 weights, with italic and smallcaps. Total of 78 styles.
Lloyd Springer has been running the TypeArt foundry out of Vancouver since the mid-1990s. He displays great flair for varying decorative styles. Of the 106 styles on offer in this first batch we particularly liked the Art Deco feel of Eucaliptus and Tolstoy; the good ol’ days of Eastside’s cowboy wood type (perfect for Buffalo Bill or Moulin Rouge posters); the casual scripts Falcon Casual and Falcon Brushscript; Liteweit, a handsomely drawn family of light sans-serifs with classic, generous proportions; and Silverscreen’s a great super-narrow sans-serif that we’d like to see used in movie posters.
When we saw how well he handled the grungy types (Tapeworm, Keystoned, Deviant Strain) alongside the self-assured and the bold (Eastside, Dream Lover, Liteweit), we asked him if he might be related to that other well-known Springer. He paused before giving us something he called Lloyd’s Final Thought: “When you send us cash for fonts, don't think of it as helping a corporation (or even a struggling artist) make lots of money, think of it as a simple way to make your writing face the world with a renewed confidence. Look after yourselves... and each other.”
HamburgerFonts are from Stuart Brown from Halifax, Yorkshire, England – he’s been creating digital typefaces since his art college days in the mid-nineties. The initial offering is his Neutraliser: 24 variations on one geometric theme in sans and serif, regular and italic, and multiple weights. So why call your foundry “HamburgerFonts” then? Well, that’s the strange sample word you’d see when browsing old font catalogs from the 1970s, pages and pages of font samples, all reading Hamburgerfonts – supposedly a more interesting set of letters than ABC!
GeoBoFonts. Designer G.R. Bourne from San Diego has come up with friendly Daisy, which seems to be made almost entirely from curves. The font’s punctuation is in the form of, yes, daisies – is it my imagination or are they taking shelter under the bendy capitals?
Martin L’Allier Graphiste. Martin L’Allier is still a graphic design student at the University of Quebec in Montreal. His grid-based, unicase, experimental font, Kg Stuttgart 1930, is based on German lettering from 1930. Martin has completed the alphabet and releases the font 74 years later.
Frank Baranowski, of Neuenkirchen in northern Germany, runs the Transkrypt foundry and has been designing typefaces since 1990. Our favorite is Kaleido, a very bold but also very playful design – ideal for children’s book covers, a poster for a kids’ play, or toy packaging. We love the way he handles diagonals, and the E and F crossbars. The complementary shaded and outline styles mean you can make fun, colorful designs with ease. Clayborn’s block-like and roughly shaped characters make this font also very useful for building walls of text, notes Frank. And Silverblade is a decorative 5-style font, with multiple styles suitable for layering with different colors. A natural for drop-caps at the beginning of chapters, we reckon.
Suitcase Type Foundry.
The two major font families from the Suitcase Type Foundry (Prague, Czech Republic) show that the foundry has a dedication to making its designs supremely useful, rather than coming out with as many designs as possible. With the 30-style Atrament family, Suitcase sets out a serious alternative to the narrow grotesques – News Gothic etc. – one might usually choose. In Light, Medium and Bold weights, with small-caps, true italics, and some funky curvy alternates, this balanced, round-cornered design is strikingly contemporary, despite being inspired by title lettering from a 1922 journal. Fishmonger, a functional sans-serif completely devoid of all flourish and ornament, presents a full range of 50 hand-tuned weight and width variants.
Canada Type is the typefoundry of Rebecca Alaccari of Toronto. She interned in two design companies with a focus on typography, before releasing her own fonts. All scripts and decoratives, they cover many different styles: techno, olde-worlde, grunge, psychedelic, childish. We love Bluebeard: just the thing for fairy tales, and its own capitals work as superb drop-caps. Secret Scrypt is how your elegant Victorian great-great- grandmother may have written: perfect for ghostly messages! Fore would suit a techno album cover, while the Bolero script (with its many ligatures) would work well for fashion branding.
Kenn Munk is based in Aarhus, Denmark where he’s been making alternative fonts and dingbats since 2000. He designs most of his fonts to be used as “construction kits”, each having an underlying system that allows the user to build words and images. (Ideal for logos, we say!) He attributes this to the many hours spent playing with LEGO bricks in his childhood. Arkudius is constructed from circles, while Linemap is a bitmap font that’s almost a connecting script. Contamination is a dingbat font that reminds me of some of the alien skeletons I’ve come across. And – we never expected to put on sale any build-your-own bitmap-effect aristocratic crest fonts, but Wappenbee certainly has a strange appeal! Read more about Kenn Munk here. Total of 20 styles.
More Fonts from our
astype. To accompany his spendid Ornaments Thanksgiving font, Andreas Seidel has released the gorgeous Ornaments Wine Grape, a beautiful way to decorate your pages. The font is designed to work in layers of color.
Bitstream. Originally released in 1987, Matthew Carter’s Charter incorporated three important features: compact set width to give economical copyfit; generous x-height to give readability at small point sizes; and sturdy open letterforms to give reliable reproduction at both typesetter and laser printer resolutions. The family has now been comprehensively upgraded to the OpenType format and re-released as Charter BT Pro. Packaged as 6 fonts (roman, italic, bold, bold italic, black, and black italic), the OpenType fonts include characters originally developed for expert sets, such as ligatures, ornaments, old style figures, small caps, and superiors. The Pro Pack fonts support Western, Central European, and Eastern European languages and, being OpenType, the same package works on Windows and Mac.
Bitstream’s New Font Collection continues to grow: 10 new font families so far in 2004. For a fist full of dollars, Hombre BT can be yours, and for a few dollars more, you can stake a claim to Hombre Extra, which has a few illustrations in it. Good, bad or ugly, whichever way you see it, just saddle up and ride this pony. Robert Bell’s Ecliptica BT has a Sans, a Semi-Serif, a Serif and a single Cursive that can be used with any of the other three styles. As an added bonus, Robert also designed a modern Blackletter companion.
Nick’s Fonts has completed more wonderful retro fonts for us. Magic Twanger NF is a funky narrow design that brings back the 1950s. We love the retro cartoons of Kartoon Kutz NF. These charming guys, gals and critters, known in the printing trade as “midgets”, added a little extra oomph to everything from business cards to matchbook covers from the 1920s to the 1950s.
Virus. Olympukes is the pithy commentary by British designer Jonathan Barnbrook and Marcus McCallion on the “true spirit of the Olympics”. It’s FREE to download!
Wiescher Design has come out with Ela, a useful new sans family. And their popular script font Scriptissimo now has a bold: Scriptissimo Forte.
Linotype. The new TakeType 5 library is amazing value: 204 fonts at just $127! The collection is organized according to the popular TakeType concept with the typefaces divided into four categories: Text, Display, Fun and Symbol. Find such fonts as Anasdair, a decorative blackletter by Richard Yeend and Balega, a script of bold, scything strokes by Jürgen Weltin. Lomo is a really complete pixelfont solution of 37 styles by Fidel Peugeot. He’s a consultant for gadget manufacturers, so really knows his stuff when it comes to tiny text!
Finally here’s Siseriff, a fine slab-serif family suitable for corporate identities, by Bo Berndal.
preussTYPE’s Fleischmann Gotisch PT is a splendid revival of the 18th century blackletter of Johann Michael Fleischmann, by Ingo Preuss. Ingo uses the OpenType format to help users exploit 520 glyphs of typographic richness. An elegant booklet in PDF format is included.
Solotype. Of Cabaret, Dan Solo tells us “We’ve always liked Art Gothic (you’ve seen it on the titles and credits for TV’s Murder She Wrote) but felt it was far too animated for most uses. Here is our super-simplified version, a calmer font that will fit many display uses.”. Also check out Contract Banner, Filmstar and some revivals of the typefaces of Peter Behrens, the German architect and graphic artist from the early 1900s.
Tail Spin Studio. Designers Steve and Sue Zafarana tell us of their new face Rostra: “It was during a visit to the Roman Forum that we were inspired by a seemingly unique style of lettering on a tablet among the ruins. The Latin message was chiseled in a condensed, free-style manner, almost as if it were intended as a personal note. While the stone showed only the capital letter forms of the period, we felt the creation of a lowercase would help extend the font’s usability and also add a whimsical feel to the design.”
Elemeno. Whiffle is a spindly narrow letterform surrounded by clouds – express your dreams!
Masterfont. More than 170 new Hebrew fonts.
RSS news feeds
RSS is a great method for you to keep up to date with all your favorite web sites. Thousands of participating sites – such as the BBC, Microsoft, and Apple iTunes – offer their updates in this new streamlined way. Instead of you having to check each site in turn, just open your RSS news reader and you’ll be instantly alerted to what’s new at all your selected sites.
MyFonts offers two feeds:
What’s New at MyFonts
Best Sellers at MyFonts
Read more at the MyFonts RSS page.
From September 30 to October 3 the font crowd is heading to Prague in the Czech Republic. Association Typographique Internationale (ATypI) has its annual conference in the beautiful city of one hundred spires located in the heart of the newly enlarged European Union. Over 50 speakers will hold more than 40 talks and workshops – all about type design and typography. The conference motto: Crossroads of Civilizations. We will be there, too! Read more at the ATypI Prague 2004 official site.
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