Just Another Foundry.
German-born designer Tim Ahrens started this, his Oxford-based foundry in 2005.
Tim’s original design Mashine is a family with generic geometric look, enhanced with a smart set of OpenType features that automatically flip between different variants of letters.
An absolute highlight is Lapture, the foundry’s revival of Leipziger Antiqua originally designed by East German typography legend Albert Kapr.
Kapr’s typeface combined the look of a slightly condensed Roman letter with the flair of blackletter forms. This combination, reminiscent of Conrad Sweynheym’s early Roman types, gave Kapr’s letterforms a strong, robust appearance.
Tim Ahrens’ redesigned and expanded Lapture family is not only a true homage to Kapr but also a highly-useful text typeface family that comes in four optical sizes and three weights, with true small caps, nine sorts of figures and a set of beautifully designed diacritic characters for Western and Central European languages – resulting in over 600 glyphs per font.
Its quirky, unconventional forms may appeal to those partial to Czech or Latin American typefaces.
Finally (in fact, we held off announcing the foundry until it was ready! – IYF ed), we introduce Tim’s new family, Facit, a highly legible and flexible contemporary sans-serif.
The word “facit” means “conclusion”, and Tim explains that rather than generating an average, existing principles were consciously combined into a unique design solution. Facit’s 6 weights, each in upright and italic, are provided in OpenType format with the same glyph set and OpenType functionality as Adobe Pro fonts.
OpenType features include ligatures, true small caps, superiors, inferiors, numerators and denominators. Every font contains old style and lining figures, both with proportional and tabular spacing. For some letters there are alternate characters.
JAF fonts are 35% off for 3 weeks!
Azalea Software (Seattle, WA, founded 1992) describe themselves as the premier bar code and OCR digital font foundry. Founder Jerry Whiting learned how to program in PostScript from developers at Adobe back when he worked for Aldus.
Azalea provides special software along with these fonts to make it easy to create standards-compliant barcodes. The UPCTools package includes barcode fonts and software for making UPC, EAN13, and Bookland (ISBN) barcodes and more – all from within any Windows or Mac application. Use them with desktop publishing, database, spreadsheet, or custom application.
With the C128Tools package you can print Code128, UCC/EAN 128 and SSCC bar codes from any application. It also supports the USPS Shipping Confirmation Barcode.
The C39Tools package uses one of the oldest and most popular bar code symbologies.
Code 39 is used for ID, inventory, and tracking purposes. The Code 39 character set includes both letters and numbers, and the input string can be of variable length. The barcode symbol can vary widely in height and width.
All packages are available in a variety of licensing options starting at $199.
is the foundry of Ethan Dunham from Wilmington, Delaware.
This is one prolific designer:
we have 134 styles on sale! Ethan draws his influences from the culture all around us, and creates a splendid variety of decorative fonts from them: from scratchy to geometric,
childish to formal, analog to digital.
We love Americratika, a tense semi-formal script whose lower-case outshines the capitals. Two By Four is an architect’s hand, dirtied up a little. The girly script Annabelle is cute, while Ethan offers Hand Skript
One as a more formal option. However the unruly scripts
Bad Dog and Submarine truly smear their presence upon the page! We are seduced by the swirly charms of Flowerpot and
Circus Dog, and let’s finish with a mention for the punchy, geometric Diesel.
But take a look yourself through the collection. At just $12 a font, what are you waiting for?
Fonthead fonts are 40% off for 4 weeks!
is the studio of Mark van Bronkhorst, founded in 1991 and based in the San Francisco area.
Mark is an accomplished type designer, with several major corporate type designs behind him, and with retail fonts released by Adobe and ITC as well as by his own label.
The impressive MVB Fonts collection of 135 styles in 20 families also includes fonts by several other designers.
our favorites is MVB Sirenne by Alan Dague-Greene.
The series is based on lettering found in copper-engraved plates in a rare book from 1742. It’s also just what you’d find on those wonderful maps of the period.
MVB Fonts tells us: “We found the distinctive quirks of the roman letterforms and the eccentric stress of the italic irresistible. The challenge was to retain a rustic quirkiness to the forms, yet have a typeface that was useful for more than display.”
MVB Sirenne comes in four optical sizes. While the text weight is for general use and the display sizes, 18 and 72, show great delicacy, the most interesting is perhaps the size Six.
It is intended for use around 6pt and, though legible, is full of character and reflects the difficulty of engraving such small letters.
When trendy sans-serifs just seem wrong, MVB Sirenne, with its full complement of weights, small caps and optical sizes, is ideal for complex labelling tasks! (We’d really love to see it used on maps...)
describes his own MVB Verdigris as a workhorse typeface optimized for text. For fine magazine or book typography, its sturdy and authoritative style, its ligatures and small caps, make it a worthy alternative to Minion or Ehrhardt.
His MVB Celestia Antiqua is an elegant antiqued roman in the same vein as Caslon Antique.
Generously accompanied by an italic, semibold, bold, small caps, inline and “adornado” versions, this is the most usable rough font we’ve yet seen. MVB Gryphius by Otto Trace is an even more antiqued roman, this time from scans of 16th-century printing; again usability is to the fore, with its small caps, italics and ligatures.
some designs from Akemi Aoki and Kanna Aoki deserve mention: the jaunty yet legible monospace MVB Fantabular and MVB Fantabular Sans, MVB Pedestria with its fun pictograms, and two charming scripts: inky MVB Emmascript and curly MVB Cafe Mimi.
Aviation Partners (AVP) is a London-based design partnership.
Their 20 styles in 5 families come from the hand of Nicholas Garner.
“Once I possessed the tools to go from the germ of an idea to a working font, I just couldn’t help myself.
The challenge for us is to produce distinctive everyday fonts which we ourselves will want to use,” he says.
We particularly like his classic, formal script Tenison and the large sans family Maisee, which is characterized by a generous x-height and a roundness of form based on gentle spirals.
For a very English sans influenced by Garamond and Gill, take a look at Kensington. Fonts from $33.
AVP fonts are 40% off for 4 weeks!
(Bremen, Germany) is an award-winning foundry founded in 2000, made up of designers Stefan Kroemer and Ingo Krepinsky.
Their 39 styles in 6 families are fun, inventive designs – and amazing value too.
Our favorites are: Toon Town; the Russian-themed Dimitri; and the
splendid tattoo font, Singapur with delicious pics (mermaid, love-heart, skull, butterfly...) in an extra font. It allows color layering too.
In fact all their families contain extra icon fonts, giving the user a palette of
symbols in the same style as the letters. Evoking a particular style has never been so easy! Fonts from $29.
Typonauten fonts 40% off for 4 weeks!
is the studio of Ko Sliggers, based in Lalleweer, Netherlands. Ko, who has worked at two of the country’s renowned design studios, Studio Dumbar and Studio Anthon Beeke, offers 32 styles in 6 families.
In marked contrast to the historical and corporate focus of many of his compatriots, Ko’s work stands out for its energy and unconventionality. In the various typefaces he has developed, Ko brings back irregularity as an
articulation of a personal, ‘hand-made’, human approach.
Take a look at DF-Pommes, DF-Staple Mono, and DF-Etalage to see what we mean! Fonts from $60.
Dutchfonts are 40% off for 4 weeks!
of Berlin, Germany offers an impressive 571 styles in 23 families by designers Ole Schäfer and Verena Gerlach.
Schäfer, who cut his teeth working on major corporate designs at the famous MetaDesign agency, started Primetype in 2002. His families FF Fago and FF Zine are
PTL Manual is Primetype’s most extensively developed type series.
Its members are PTL Manual Office, PTL Manual Round, PTL Manual Sans (which alone contains 80 styles!), PTL Manual Semi, and PTL Manual Slab.
Schäfer’s narrow sans in 5 weights, PTL Golary Red, is a very fine piece of work that should find its place on magazine covers and other headline
“It boasts all features a modern font should have, such as small caps, old style and tabular figures as well as arrows,” says the designer. Still on the narrow sans theme, PTL Adigo comes in 3 different x-heights, as well as 3 weights.
Also catching our eye are the legible sans-serifs, PTL Notes, PTL Scetbo and PTL Speech.
Fonts from $45.
Primetype fonts 30% off for 4 weeks!
Font Bureau, the
famous Boston type studio has a reputation most other foundries would die for. The company was founded in 1989 by type designer David Berlow and publishing consultant Roger Black, right at the dawn of Macintosh Postscript fonts in big publications. Both recognized that the Macintosh, with fonts, applications and output devices using Postscript, would lead to a whole new world of publishing design.
The company set out with Black considering the design and architecture of publications independently of what fonts were available, while Berlow began to build a library of fonts of an aesthetic exploiting the changing bounds of taste and technology. Both wanted to offer types they’d like forever, for their clients to regard as a great investment.
Over the years since, the company has understood the typographic needs of its international array of clients including dailies, weeklies and monthlies, corporate ID makers and website designers. Font Bureau satisfies these – the world’s most demanding – by connecting them with a wide range of talented type designers (those from before the modern era and the new generation that grew up designing type on the Mac), and by supplying many variants of their “serious” typefaces. Want a wide, bold version of the typeface you like? Or a condensed version? Well, you usually get them at Font Bureau, each one carefully designed by hand of course.
If you’re unfamiliar with their work, may we suggest you first take a look at the sans-serif text faces. With multiple styles giving the utmost versatility, they are the subtlest way to distinguish your typography. Agenda, a sans series begun by Greg Thompson in 1993 and expanded over the
years to an amazing family of 54 styles, is inspired by the London Underground lettering. Its diverse widths and weights can whisper, shout or run and provide great flexibility in complex documents.
Interstate by Tobias Frere-Jones (only 40 styles!) is also from 1993, and is based on the simplicity of American highway signage. Nevertheless, it has become one of the most popular typefaces in the world in everything from web captions to corporate IDs.
Then there’s Stainless, a “new kid on the block” but spreading fast to hip magazines and crystal clear TV graphics.
This square sans by Cyrus Highsmith (2002), is still looking for many novel
uses that we’re sure it’ll soon find – perhaps with its cousin Dispatch!
There are naturally many fine serif types if the collection. Our tips: Eldorado, Spira, Meno, Elmhurst, Farnham, Whitman, Miller and Hightower.
Even if you think you know them, it’s worth reminding yourself of the Font Bureau’s vivacious scripts.
Our faves are the stately Sloop, Avalon and Streamline, the more chaotic Elli, Dizzy and Graffiti, and the frankly disturbing Talon and Fobia. Also check out the friendly “sort-of-sans”: Cafeteria, Fritz, and Scamp.
But whether you are looking for a wide-ranging family to build a complex publication, or you want a fine headline face to top it all off, Font Bureau has it.
MyFonts has been selling Font Bureau fonts for two years now, but we decided to count them as half a new foundry for this issue of In Your Face. Reason? We’re delighted to announce that we can now offer the whole Font Bureau retail library.
The fonts are $40 each with discounts that increase, the more you buy at the same time.
Arabetics, a small foundry based in New York, specializes in the design of simplified, non-traditional, Arabic fonts.
Its main type style, Mutamathil, is intended for the creation of generic, compact, calligraphy-free typography. Designer Saad Dean Abulhab explains that the calligraphic nature of many existing Arabic designs can mean that typing Arabic for the first time is difficult and annoying even for the literate native Arab speaker. By offering type designs with just one glyph shape per Arabic letter, everything becomes much clearer to the user.
As for applications, he continues: “The Mutamathil type style design principally addresses the challenges of literacy, education, economics, technology, globalism, competition, as well as text legibility and readability.”
The fonts support the extended Arabic character set as defined in Unicode 4.1, and come in OpenType format, TrueType flavor. Fonts from $32.
Mutamathil includes all required Lam-Alif ligatures and uses OpenType ligature substitutions and marks positioning but it does not use any other glyph substitutions or forming. Text strings composed using types of this family are non-cursive with standalone isolated glyphs.
Mutamathil Mutlaq is the ultimate in Arabic simplification. Each glyph is completely symmetrical around its vertical axis, allowing bi-directional text.
It includes neither required ligatures nor glyph substitutions but it does use marks positioning.
Mutamathil Taqlidi makes concessions to the usual Arabic complexity: it has one glyph for every basic Arabic Unicode character or letter and one additional, final-position, glyph for each Arabic letter that is normally connected from both sides with other letters. While it includes all required Lam-Alif ligatures and uses final position glyph substitutions, ligature substitutions and marks positioning, text strings remain non-cursive with standalone isolated glyphs.
Arabetics fonts are 40% off for 4 weeks!
Journey’s End (Glen Allen, Virginia) offers just one font, but it’s a cute one. Cindy Thomason says her Leaf font “has been swirling in my head for years”.
If you want a happy, quaint hand-written style mixed with crisp letter formations, take a Leaf out of Cindy’s book! Tip: take a look through the character set and find a dear little leaf and acorn pictures with which to adorn your designs. Leaf costs $12.
The fonts are 40% off for 4 weeks!
Larson Mirek Design (LMD)
(Lathrup Village, near Detroit) offers for sale a font based on its designer’s fine art. Robert Mirek’s icon series, Totem Forms, is based on his series of aluminum and rubber wall constructions – on the boundary of painting and sculpture – currently showing in Europe and the United States.
Mirek’s work has been shown internationally for many years and this is his first foray into type development. Cost: $20.
LMD fonts are 40% off for 4 weeks!
is the foundry of illustrator and designer Daniel Keith Bale from New South Wales, Australia. His distinctive 4-style family, Aurelie, is full of twirls, and is already proving popular at $39.95.
DKB fonts are 25% off for 4 weeks!
AndrijType is the foundry of Andrij Shevchenko from Berdyansk in Ukraine, on the northern shores of the Sea of Azov.
See if you can handle his Machine Gun, a futuristic, techno font in 4 weights. $15 each or $40 for the family.
(Sandy Spring, Maryland) was set up in 1993 primarily as a vehicle to distribute typefaces created for the hip, unconventional Raygun magazine. From
the beginning GarageFonts has been on the cutting edge of typeface design, helping to bring a new world of visual excitement to font selection.
The small library of trend-setting designs has grown into a varied collection of original display faces and, more recently, some fine new text typefaces.
Freight super-family: We’re delighted to welcome to MyFonts the most ambitious of these text faces: the Freight super-family by Joshua Darden. Freight represents many years of work by this young designer from Brooklyn, who, to be sure, has a major career in type design ahead of him.
Why do we say this? Well, they say that what marks out a great type designer is his command of whitespace – the spaces inside letters and between letters.
Proper attention to whitespace brings to typefaces a tension that gives life to the forms.
Typefaces designed without attention to whitespace are like architecture without consideration for interiors, like photography without attention to light and shade.
And how good is Darden? We venture to suggest that Darden deals with whitespace with a panache that matches those whitespace maestros, Matthew Carter and Christian Schwartz.
start with the most radical of the series, Freight Micro (5 weights, each with italics and small caps). This set is designed for use at very small printed sizes, around 6pt. Several factors work together to aid legibility at these tiny sizes.
First, the horizontal and vertical stems become almost the same weight, so the forms never suffer from the digital spindliness so common in fonts cheaply digitized for one optical size.
Second, serifs become super-chunky. And then Darden unsheaths his whitespace-scalpel, making savage cuts into the stems and curves, forcing whitespace deep into the letterforms.
Darden shows the italic no mercy either: see what chunks he’s hacked out of the ‘r’ and ‘z’. At small sizes the result is superbly legible, yet brimming with character.
It even makes a superb screen font: during the writing of this article we used Freight Micro in our text editor, and were amazed and delighted with its on-screen abilities down to 10 pixels high. When enlarged, its striking, unfamiliar forms will mean it has a future as a headline face too.
(light, book, medium, bold & black, with italics and small caps) inevitably has simpler forms.
Many new sans faces suffer from the problem of balancing authority with freshness.
Freight Sans seems to avoid this, its purity of line quietly yet confidently declaring its uniqueness.
Although the savagery is this time restrained, perhaps we can again put the design’s effectiveness down to Darden’s delight at playing with whitespace – compare the lower-case ‘a’ with that of Gill Sans, for example.
The large x-height gives the series high legibility, making it ideal for everything from train schedules and university catalogues to technical manuals and cookbooks.
Try the medium and black weights as a refined alternative to Verdana on screen.
the main series, Freight Text, we’ll hand over to Darden: “Freight Text offers a variety of degrees of emphasis, from the spare, bony Light to the beefy Black.
Designed concurrently, the romans and italics differ in texture but move with one calligraphic accord: neither is necessarily subject to the other.
Conceived from the start to live on the page at text sizes, Freight Text was proofed extensively on press during its development.
As a result, its forms have been finely tuned to anticipate the specific problems of print reproduction.”
Coming soon: Freight Display and Freight Big!
Freight packages are 25% off for 4 weeks!