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News and information related to Webtype, including new fonts, technology, and general observations on the state of online typography.

New from Monokrom: Mønster

WT_Monokrom-Monster-Specimen1

Here is Mønster from Monokrom. Designed by Sindre Bremnes, this typeface has a playful sense of power — sharp teeth but a friendly smile. In Norwegian, “mønster” means “pattern”, so it’s no accident that it leaps out from the screen with a decorative shriek. Monokrom even calls it a “freak of culture” as it refutes the Wild West connotations that reversed-stress fonts confront.

If your webpage needs an ornamental touch, string these letters together. Mønster is intended for the most dominant text: titles and headlines, 48px or bigger. The tight spacing is intentional, so uppercase doesn’t demand extra letter-spacing; but there are few hard rules here. Unleash it.

Stylistic Set 1 (SS01) removes the bottom left serif from each h, k and l when they follow an a. For help with implementing stylistic sets, please read this post.

Monokrom is a small, independent type foundry based in Norway, founded by Frode Helland and Sindre Bremnes. They joined Webtype in November 2013 and we maintain their full catalog.

As with all fonts on Webtype, Mønster can be tested free of charge for 30 days.


New styles: Italics for Nitti Grotesk

Nitti-Italic specimen

With our release of Nitti Grotesk in February, we promised you that Italics would follow shortly. Well, here they are available in the same seven finely graded weights along with alternate characters for a and g so you can choose between the default “cursive” style italic or a more oblique style one (see line 2 and 5 in the specimen above).

alternates

You can use alternate glyphs and other OpenType features of Nitti Grotesk via font-feature-settings in your CSS. More info on how in this blog post.

Nitti Grotesk has its roots in the early English Grotesques, with their quirky and idiosyncratic shapes, that lend it humanity and warmth. The relatively short uppercase letters make Nitti Grotesk particularly suitable for applications with frequent use of caps, like title case and abbreviations. Alongside Nitti, the new sans became widely known through its use in the Writer Pro application and on the app’s accompanying website that launched in December 2013, underlining the clear, straightforward approach of Writer.

Nitti Grotesk is optimized for text sizes down to 14px and easy to combine with just about all serif faces. For instance, try Turnip RE and Benton Modern RE for body copy, or Belizio, Farnham Display, and Shift if you need a companion for larger sizes. As with all fonts on Webtype, Nitti Grotesk can be tested free of charge for 30 days. For more details, see the Nitti Grotesk webfont page.


New from Font Bureau: Input

Two variants of many: Input Sans and Input Sans Compressed

Two variants of many: Input Sans and Input Sans Compressed

Input is a new extensive type series designed for code and other texts less ordinary. David Jonathan Ross was looking for fonts better-suited to his programming needs: unambiguous letterforms, clear punctuation, large word spaces for fast skimming, and more options to highlight code syntax. What started as an explorations into possibilities resulted in a comprehensive system with sans-serif, serif and monospaced families in four widths and seven weights.

Input sans-serif-mono

Input Sans, Serif and Mono bold weights of the normal width

Design Variants
Input Sans and Input Serif might look monospaced at first sight, but they are not. Critical characters like m and W are given more room while letters like I, i or l are not forced to stretch. The two families make a great pair in texts and headlines, or provide slightly different flavors on their own. Numerals and punctuation are still designed on the same set-width so they easily line up in tables and strings of numbers. And of course there’s a monospaced variant of Input for when you want one, e.g. terminal commands or just the pure look of code and correspondence.

Terminal

Widths
All variants of Input are available in normal, narrow, condensed and compressed widths to best meet your preferences and space constraints: normal and narrow styles are dependable choices for small copy, the Compressed and Condensed work well in headlines, narrow columns or lists. For example, short lines of text in portrait mode on mobile devices benefit from rather condensed styles while wider styles suit longer lines — a great feature to experiment with in responsive design.

The four widths of Input Serif, regular weight

The four widths of Input Serif’s regular weight

Weights
Input’s seven weights take into account that text on screen isn’t always set black on white. The Thin to Regular styles act like grades, meaning they share the same spacing and show a rather subtle weight difference from one weight to the next. This can be utilized to compensate for lighter and heavier rendering on high- vs. low-res screens, or the halo effect of backlit reversed type. Similarly, Medium and Bold make two grades with identical spacing, and complement the Light and Regular respectively.

Input weights

The Regular and Bold weights are optimized for dark text on a light background, while the Light and Medium are designed for light text on a dark background.

Input is ruggedized for the roughest conditions and smallest sizes as reflected in the wide proportions, the extremely high x-height and the generous spacing. Ross began by designing a bitmap font and then drew Input’s letterforms on top of it to ensure excellent rendering on screen. The Light, Regular, Medium, and Bold were manually hinted for font-sizes down to 9px in all browsers and platforms. The Thin, Extra Light and Black styles are meant for medium sizes and display applications. When used large, you might want to set Input with a bit of negative letter-spacing for more vigor.

code conf sample

Several styles of Input combined: Input Sans Condensed, Italic, and Bold, with Input Sans Black and Thin for headlines. The code snippet is set in Input Mono.

All these different variants, widths and weights make Input versatile far beyond just code editors. Don’t be overwhelmed by the number of styles (168), they’re only there to give you maximum flexibility. A handful might already be enough, depending on scope and complexity of your work: responsiveness, space, line-length, font-size, positive or reversed text, etc.

Input is all about options, also within the character set. Alternate glyphs for often ambiguous letterforms let you choose via stylistic sets which form of i or l you prefer. All fonts cover the WGL character set (Western and Eastern Latin, Greek, and Cyrillic scripts) and include a full set of Unicode box drawing characters, as well as fractions, arrows and ornaments (accessible via HTML entities in the style of &#xUNICODE;). We put together a dedicated Input brochure site to show all features of Input in detail and tell the full story behind the design.

Input glyphs

And the best: Input is available free of charge for private / unpublished usage. This includes things like use in your personal coding app or composing plain text documents. Customize and download your preferred set on the Input brochure site. On Webtype, we offer all styles under an inexpensive publishing license, starting from $5 per style. As with all fonts on Webtype, you can try any style of Input free of charge for 30 days. For more info see the Input family pages.

minisite


New styles in the Nobel family: Nobel Condensed

Nobel specimen
Font Bureau’s Nobel family is now available in even more styles on Webtype. We added condensed widths and extra light weights for large headlines from elegant to punchy.

Designed in 1993 by Tobias Frere-Jones, Nobel is based on Sjoerd Hendrik de Roos’ original from 1929 for the Amsterdam Typefoundry in which Roos tried to enliven the basic forms of Futura. With its subtle warmth and less rigid geometry, Frere-Jones fondly refers to Nobel as “Futura cooked in dirty pots and pans”. Most notable differences are the double-storey ‘a’ and tailed ‘t’ in Nobel which make it more legible than Futura. The low x-height however doesn’t put it (nor Futura) forward for body copy. Especially the delicate extra light weights need ample size to shine (we recommend 60+ px).

Extra Light
All styles of Nobel look particularly good in all-caps settings. The large and wide uppercase letters lend it a noble presence (sorry for the pun but it’s true). The condensed styles are comparably narrow and best suited for headlines. For small body copy, you could combine Nobel with Apres RE, or a serif typeface like Poynter Serif RE or Giza RE. As with all fonts on Webtype, Nobel can be tested free of charge for 30 days. For more details, see the Nobel family page.

UI symbols

Nobel in use on Origin of Common UI Symbols, a small site made with Readymag, a service that also uses Nobel on their website.

Readymag

onsbergs3

Nobel on Örnsbergsauktionen.se. For more uses of Nobel on the web see Fonts In Use.


New from Font Bureau: Apres

Apres Specimen

Apres is an extensive sans-serif series by David Berlow originally designed for the Palm Pre smart phone in 2009 (now HP WebOS) for use both on screen and in their printed material. Initially, Berlow developed a family of six fonts for the Palm user-interface, which were subsequently expanded with the help of Richard Lipton and Dyana Weissman into a versatile family of 40 styles: five weights, four widths, plus italics.

The simple, open letterforms of Apres provide a clear and inviting experience for UI navigation, app development and readability on screen. For small-sized body copy or captions, Berlow drew a special version of Apres — Apres RE. It has a larger x-height and wider proportions for excellent rendering in font-sizes down to 9px across all platforms and browsers. (You can see the two families in action as typefaces for body copy on Slate if you change the window size: normal Apres for large viewports, Apres RE for phone and tablet screen sizes.) Read more about the history of Apres and Apres RE on the Font Bureau blog.

Apres and Apres RE (right) on Slate.

Apres and Apres RE (right) both in 15px on Slate. Apres RE has a much larger image on the body to stay legible in the smallest font-sizes.

Naturally, Apres is an ideal choice for complex user interface design, but the series is also well-suited for other applications such as editorial or shopping websites. Its modest nature makes it very easy to combine with other typefaces. For example, you can dress Apres up with elegant serif typefaces such as Harriet or Whitman, go casual by combining it with a sporty script like Mascot, or follow the forthright route and pair it with plain-spoken Brando.

As with all fonts on Webtype, Apres can be tested free of charge for 30 days. For more details, see the Apres and Apres RE family pages.

Apres as seen on ScientificAmerican.com, which also uses the typeface in its print edition. For more examples of Apres and Apres RE in the wild, check out Fonts In Use or the Webtype Gallery.


New from MVB Fonts: Mascot

Mascot

Even if sports aren’t your thing, you might find script varsity lettering from years past to have a certain appeal, perhaps conjuring simpler times. Naive and uneven, jaunty and legible — such casual scripts, with their requisite underline swooshes, were standard equipment for baseball teams from one-horse towns to the major leagues. To bring this aesthetic to the digital arena, Mark van Bronkhorst began with a vintage iron-on alphabet, redesigning the flocked, overlapping letters to behave as a script typeface, and expanding the character set to support all Latin-based languages. Despite its professional skill set with many ligatures and OpenType features, MVB Mascot retains the unvarnished spirit of its inspiration.

MascotOT

Alternate glyphs, e.g. for G, J, p and þ, as well as many ligatures (activated via the “liga” property) contribute to Mascot’s lively appearance. A set of swooshes can be added at the end of a word via the “ornm” feature. For a full overview see the Glyphs tab on the Mascot family page.

Mascot plays well with all text typefaces, certainly with sans-serifs with a slight retro touch. Try van Bronkhorst’s Sweet Sans for a bit of added calmness, or Nitti Grotesk, or Scout RE for body copy. As with all fonts on Webtype, Mascot can be tested free of charge for 30 days. For more details, see the Mascot family page.


New from Ludwig Type: Riga and Riga Screen

Riga

Riga by Ludwig Übele is a space-saving humanist sans-serif series, designed to work particularly well onscreen. Its personality is clear and practical; small caps and true italics give it a warm, somewhat sophisticated touch. Economical proportions, large x-height and open letter forms make Riga fit for long body copy, narrow columns and compact headlines. The family is suited for a wide variety of applications such as complex corporate design projects, editorial, information graphics, and branding.

Riga Screen

The four styles of Riga Screen, optimized for sizes down to 9px.

Riga Screen has been adjusted and optimized to complement the Riga family in font-sizes down to 9px. It is slightly lighter to compensate for the often richer rendering with subpixel-antialiasing, and wider than Riga to provide better legibility in body copy. Complex letter forms like the lowercase g have been simplified.

Riga comparison

A comparison of Riga (top) and Riga Screen (below)

Both Riga and Riga Screen combine well with a variety of serif families on Webtype, for instance Brando, the Harriet Series, or Übele’s Marat. As with all fonts on Webtype, Riga can be tested free of charge for 30 days. For more details, see the Riga and Riga Screen webfont pages.


Brand Everywhere: NYC Central Park

Continuing our Brand Everywhere series, we feature another exemplary execution of typographic consistency across platforms, from print to web to mobile.

central-park-welcome-signage

Green and friendly is the new face of New York City’s Central Park, and FB Titling Gothic is its new typeface. The comprehensive rebranding by mcgarrybowen met the Central Park Conservancy’s goal of making the 778-acre landmark richer and more welcoming. Three years after its introduction, the park’s identity is still going strong, and is now extended to all digital and print media for a seamless visitor experience.

Print & Signage

titling-gothic-for-central-park

central-park-identity

The core visual of the identity comes from the park itself: a long, green rectangle derived from an overhead map view. This is reflected in the logo and promotional materials, like the flyer and banner above. These narrow dimensions are also evident in mcgarrybowen’s choice of Titling Gothic Skyline, an ultra-condensed set of type that echoes the shape of the park, yet still reads comfortably.

central-park-sign

For informational and wayfinding signs throughout the park a less extreme width of Titling Gothic is used, but the color, portrait orientation, and typography remain consistent. See more photos of park signage and read more about it on the Font Bureau blog.

Web

Homepage---The-Official-Website-of-Central-Park-NYC

Following the lead of these print branding guidelines, the official Central Park website takes advantage of Titling Gothic’s recent availability on Webtype.

The size of the Titling Gothic family is highly unusual among webfonts, weighing in at 25 styles. That’s a lot of choice, especially for a web world that is still just getting used to having more than just regular, bold, and italics.

events

Of course, it’s not the opportunity to deploy two dozen styles on one web page that makes Titling Gothic so useful — it’s the breadth of weight and width options that the designer has at their disposal. With a multi-dimensional palette to choose from, the centralparknyc.org team selected a handful of contrasting yet compatible styles that serve the diverse needs of their site, from individually stylized homepage graphics, to event calendars, to site-seeing guides, to longer narratives.

history

Our only advice for smaller running text would be to bump up the size and letter-spacing, which we’ve done for the screenshot above. Bingo — this “Titling” type can deliver readable text, too.

Mobile App

central-park-app-screenshots

On every screen, the Central Park app is a natural extension of the print and web look. The Conservancy acknowledges and celebrates the fact that visitors will seek info from a variety of platforms, and the congruent identity makes it easy to move from the website to the phone you’re carrying with you in the park.

With an office in New York City just a few minutes away, Central Park is close to Webtype’s heart. We’re honored to be part of a comprehensive visual design that does justice to the park’s role as an urban oasis. Visit the park soon and experience the calm clarity for yourself.


Giza from Font Bureau

Giza specimen

The five weights of Giza’s normal “Five” width.

Font Bureau’s Giza series brings back the colorful power and variety of the original Egyptian letterforms of the Victorian era. Designer David Berlow based the family on showings in Vincent Figgins’ specimen of 1845, the triumphant introduction of this thunderous style. Giza’s 16 styles range from compressed to wide and bold to ultra fat, almost completely eliminating any white between and within the letterforms. The first number in the style name indicates its weight and the second number the width, with Nine Five being the heaviest.

Giza grid

Five widths — One, Three, Five, Seven, Nine — in five weights, with the ultra fat “Nine” styles in the bottom row.

GizaRE

Giza’s small-sized relative Giza RE, available in four styles for text as small as 9px.

 

While Giza is all about presence and punch in large sizes and display applications, Giza RE — its small-sized relative from the Reading Edge Series — complements the family for texts down to a font-size of 9px. With such a variety of styles at your disposal, Giza is a great choice for editorial sites, from striking compact headlines to the boldest banners. See the masthead of our blog for instance. And remember, you can test all font on Webtype free of charge for 30 days. For more details, see the Giza family page.

huzza

Yes! Punchy Giza Seven Three unmistakably getting the message across on represent.us.

Danilo home

Daniloblack.com is using Giza Five Five to great effect throughout their website.

Danilo

Danilo3

Danilo2


Webtype in use: Northwestern University Knight Lab

Knight-Lab-home

The goal of Northwestern University Knight Lab is to “promote quality journalism on the internet … through new prototypes, projects, and services”. Their work involves a lot of writing about the development of these projects and blogging about the issues that surround them. This, of course, amounts to a lot of text. And a text-heavy website can feel static and dull. But the design team avoids this through the savvy use of interesting, underused typefaces: Salvo Serif, Apres RE, and Turnip RE.

Northwestern_University_KnightLab_Logo1 Webfonts aside, the first thing that strikes you when you visit the site is the Lab’s lively logotype. It’s a bit unexpected. The mark does not follow the typographic tropes so common in journalism — classic newspaper serifs, plain gothics — signaling visitors to the Lab’s modern methods, combining news and technology.

The logo is also completely unique, a custom modification of Turnip with details borrowed from another Font Bureau face, Quiosco. It’s an example of how Font Bureau’s staff of designers can tailor their fonts available from Webtype (and the rest of the Font Bureau library) to suit specific needs.

Not only was the source foundry part of this customization, but it’s especially advantageous when the work can be done by the designer responsible for the typeface being adjusted. In this case, it was David Jonathan Ross who designed Turnip in 2012, imbuing it with some fairly unorthodox forms that emphasize the tension between inner and outer shapes. The Knight Lab designers liked Turnip overall, but found the curves in the ‘n’, ‘h’, and ‘b’ a little too unusual for their logo.

David Jonathan Ross describes the differences between Turnip’s and Quiosco’s curves.

David Jonathan Ross describes the differences between Turnip’s and Quiosco’s curves.

Ross reworked Turnip in response to this request, and also made the individual letters work as a group for this particular word.

I softened it up, and give it more of a true old-style stress, where the northeast corners are thickest. Then it was a matter of narrowing things slightly, tightening up the spacing and particular letter pairs … turns out that “knight” is a tricky word!

The final tweaks introduce the diamond symbol from Knight Lab’s logo into the dot of the ‘i’ and ear of the ‘g’.

Turnip for the Knight Lab logo, before and after customization.

Turnip for the Knight Lab logo, before and after customization.


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