Monthly Archives: May 2011

FontShop Friday Five: New Fonts & Hidden Gems

We know you’re busy and the Internet is a crowded place, so we’ll try to give you a little reminder on Fridays of what’s going on out there. Below please find five recent FontShop-related threads that you may have missed.

Book Launch at FontShop SF on June 15

It may be at-capacity, but there’s still a way for FontShop customers to score tickets to our book launch party for Explorations in Typography: Mastering the Art of Fine Typesetting by Carolina de Bartolo and Erik Spiekermann. All California customers who purchase fonts featured in Explorations in Typography by Friday, June 10 will automatically be entered to win a pair of tickets to the event!

New Fonts from Alias

Ivan blogs about three exclusive typefaces from Alias: Aspect, Aspic, and Asphalt.

May’s New Fonts

You’ll see a blog post in the coming weeks, but in the meantime check out the new fonts added to FontShop in May.

OurType’s Hidden Gems

The FontFeed goes behind the scenes this week of OurType collection families – Meran, Eva and Fayon. Only a few days left to get these three at half price!

Relive TYPO Berlin 2011 with Yves & Michael

Yves Peters offers links to FontShop TV at the Font Feed and sketchnotes to recap the conference. Meanwhile, FontShop SF First Officer, Michael Pieracci, recounts his experience here.

Friday Five Fonts: FF Suhmo Pro by FontFont and Almaq by Dalton Maag

Michael’s Musings from TYPO Berlin

First Officer, Michael Pieracci, of FontShop’s San Francisco office, recently headed to Berlin to experience TYPO: Shift. Below are some of his pictures and thoughts from the conference.

The venue for TYPO has been for many years the “Haus der Kulturen der Welt” (“House of the Cultures of the World”) also known as the “pregnant oyster”. It was originally a gift from the US after WWII.

I attended the presentation Emojis, hieroglyphs and typographic mega-niches. New from Unicode by Johannes Bergerhausen and Siri Poarangan. I learned quite a bit about the current state of Unicode, and how there’s much enthusiasm to add old/obscure languages to it. The presenters made an interesting point: adding languages means connecting a culture to the digital/internet realm. The Cherokee language recently became part of Unicode and is now usable on the iPhone. The presenters explain more at their site,

Yves Peters, author of the FontFeed, brought his ScreenFonts blogs to life presenting on the typography of movie posters with great slides. I loved the pictogram alternative to Psycho.

Petr van Blokland presented Designer update: what’s next?  on technologies that are relevant to designers today and for the future (HTML5, CSS3, cloud computing), and what’s obsolete (Flash, Word, InDesign).

Lots of attendees, especially students, relaxed and spent time at the drawing table with pens, paper, and blank t-shirts creating beautiful illustrations and lettering. The table had a stack of stencils of the font Fummel, made up of modules to construct any letter. Fummel is available for download on our Free Fonts page.

Did you go to TYPO? What was your experience?

FontShop SF Hosts “Explorations in Typography” Book Signing on June 15

Explorations in Typography book launch party on June 15, 2011

AIGA Design Week in San Francisco is coming soon and on Wednesday, June 15 a lively crowd of typophiles will be mixing and mingling at an at-capacity event at the FontShop SF headquarters in the historic Storek Building, a technology arts building in the heart of SoMa.  They’ll be celebrating the role of typography in design and the launch of the new book Explorations in Typography: Mastering the Art of Fine Typesetting by Carolina de Bartolo and Erik Spiekermann.

Carolina will be signing books and offering up a beautiful new letterpressed poster of all the typeface combinations from her book. Of course, there will be lots of copies of Explorations in Typography on hand for purchase. Additionally, there will be plenty of refreshments and libations for your enjoyment — even a special typographic cake draped in font-dant!

So how can you get in on the fun? Well, all California customers who purchase fonts featured in Explorations in Typography by Friday, June 10 will automatically be entered to win a pair of tickets to the event!

Don’t live in California, but think you can make it? Email and we’ll make sure you’re in the drawing if you’re otherwise eligible.

New fonts from Alias: Aspect, Aspic, and Asphalt

Last month FontShop released three exclusive typefaces from Alias: Aspect, Aspic, and Asphalt. Designer Gareth Hague created the trio for AnOther Magazine. While the similar underlying structure links them as a cohesive pseudo-family, each of them is unique in its own right. Asphalt is perhaps the most popular of the three, making a welcome addition to our Casual Brush and Sports Scripts lists.

Gareth sent a handful of images along from AnOther Magazine, showing all three fonts in use:

FontShop Friday Five: Promos & Picks

We know you’re busy and the Internet is a crowded place, so we’ll try to give you a little reminder on Fridays of what’s going on out there. Below please find five recent FontShop-related threads that you may have missed.

May ’11 Staff Picks

They’re here! May’s crop of fonts handpicked by the FontShop team. Read a little bit more here about who picked them and why.

OurType Promo Ends May 31

Why not give yourself a mid-month treat and take advantage of the incredible discount from OurType? From now until May 31, OurType’s Meran, Eva, and Fayon are being offered for an astounding 50% off. Use the promotional code OURTYPE50 during checkout for any product from these three families.

Read All About it in the FontShop Newsletter

Did you miss our latest newsletter on Wednesday? Catch up here. You can subscribe on this page so you don’t miss out in the future.

Azuro in the News

In case you didn’t see, Azuro got some love from Gizmodo last week. And don’t forget through May 31, FontShop customers can enjoy a 90% discount off  both the desktop and web version!

In the Event of the Fontpocalypse, Read This Post

We had some fun today leading the discussion about what typefaces you’d keep if the world ended.

Friday Five fonts: Design System By Flat-it Type Foundry and FF Meta Serif By FontFont

Fontpocalypse Now

If you’ve been on the internet in recent days you’ve no doubt seen pieces of the “Is the world ending or isn’t it?” meme. We at FontShop want to make sure our customers are prepared for events real or imagined, so we posed a simple question on our Twitter and Facebook:

What if there was a Fontpocalypse? What one typeface would you want to be stuck using for eternity?

You folks certainly didn’t disappoint with your responses, so we had to share some of them here at the blog.

Obviously some people, like @CarltonSwift on Twitter have given this previous thought: “Comic Sans or Papyrus. I’d rather start off with a font I hate and learn to love it than vice versa.” Jerry Reyes, who likes us on Facebook, thought along similar lines: “Comic Sans, cause I’m a masochist…Or will I be a sadist? Hmmm…” Don’t despair gentlemen. Even if it’s the true Fontpocalypse, no need to go that far. Perhaps check out our Comic Sans Alternatives or Papyrus Alternatives as part of your emergency preparedness planning.

We have similar advice for those like @TrevorBaum who decided to face the Fontpocalypse with a positive outlook: “I’d choose something ‘happy’ like Curlz MT to keep my spirits up after the devastation of the Fontpocalypse.” Why not check out our Curlz Alternatives if you’re going to make this event a party?

Many folks chose Helvetica and Futura to keep with them, but don’t forget there are alternatives for each. Although, @PaulaandMimi did point out that Futura’s “Uppercase ‘M’ looks like some kinda ninja weapon,” which could help with survival.

As with any catastrophic event, there’s always got to be heroes. Perhaps @LSDeMonte is that of the Fontpocalypse, proclaiming “Mrs. Eaves. Hands down. Somebody’s gotta save the women 😉

Happily FontFonts FF Basic Gothic, FF Din and FF Meta will survive the Fontpocalypse for some folks and we’ll continue to make them available for you at FontShop!

What would you pick to keep after the Fontpocalypse?

Header Fonts: Adolescent Regular by Creative Alliance and FF Matto Porco by FontFont

May ’11 Staff Picks

This month’s Staff Picks are a bold, striking group — a little something for everybody. Here’s a taste:

FF Jackie Pro

Download the PDF (393 KB).

The newest member of our team, Anna, picked FF Jackie this month — a favorite of mine as well. Designer Dario Muhafara drew inspiration from the Jack Daniels label script, and expanded upon it with swash caps, alternate glyphs, and an excellent Block variant. FF Jackie is one of many Upright Scripts at FontShop, some of which also have similarities to the Jack Daniels label. Further investigation and comparison is necessary, preferably on the rocks.


Download the PDF (70 KB).

Longtime FontShopper Jason Chapin throws down hard with his pick Facebuster, by designer Silas Dilworth. It’s one part Lively Old West, two parts Don’t Mess With Me. Use at large sizes, and at your own risk.

Novel Sans

One of Aaron’s picks this month is Novel Sans from Christoph Dunst. Novel Sans is a legible, high-x-height, contemporary sans serif with a touch of classical elegance that it borrows from its lovely serifed sister, Novel.

Contest Winner Chats About Design

A close up of the detail on Balog’s winning entry.

As we reported last week, the winner of the recent Rocking FontFont’s Free Fonts contest was Mladen Balog and his interpretation of Depeche Mode’s Violator album. We asked if Mladen would share a little about his experience with putting a entry together for the contest.

1) How did you pick FF Yokkmokk to use for the design?

Of the FontFonts eligible for the competition, FF Yokkmokk/Yakkmakk immediately stood out as the perfect fit for the album I had in mind. It has a warm, synth, electronic feel to it. You could say its idiosyncratic appearance makes it a ‘violator’.

2) How did you choose this album to rework?

There had already been a couple of great submissions to the Flickr pool like Kraftwerk, Blur, Radiohead (which got my vote) so the primary reason for entering the competition was curiosity. To see if the entry would create some kind of response, either positive or negative. The final result was a complete surprise.

The illustration was programmed in Processing. The program generates FF Yokkmokk’s v-i-o-l-a-t-o-r chars (more than 70,000 instances) at random positions, matching the colour of the original image at that precise x/y coordinate. The end result looks fuzzy so the source album had to be instantly recognizable to everyone. Being a Depeche Mode fan from the late ’80s, Anton Corbijn’s strong imagery for Violator seemed only natural.

3) How did you hear about the contest?

Through FontShop’s twitter feed and blog posts.

4) How long have you been visiting FontShop?

Right from the start. You guys have a ton of interesting articles about typography on your various sites. Yves Peters’ ‘ScreenFonts’ and ‘My Type of Music’ series are especially enjoyable. I first found out about FontShop way back in early nineties, after seeing your print ads in the German ‘PAGE’ magazine.

5) What are you going to scoop up with your grand prize?

FF Suhmo is outstanding, a rightful recipient of TDC’s Certificate of Excellence. Can’t wait to try it out in Processing. Thanks to FontShop for holding the competition and to everybody who voted.

FontShop Friday Five: New Toolbar & Azuro Discount

We know you’re busy and the Internet is a crowded place, so we’ll try to give you a little reminder on Fridays of what’s going on out there. Below please find five recent FontShop-related threads that you may have missed.

Sample Text Toolbar Launched

Have you had a chance to play with our new sample text toolbar yet? We launched it on Thursday and it features multi-lingual sample text, color selection, and custom point sizes. This is just Phase 1, so we’re looking forward to your feedback.

90% Off Azuro

Through May 31, FontShop customers can enjoy an impressive 90% discount off FontShop AG’s new typeface, Azuro — both the desktop and web version!

Go Behind-the-Scenes of Azuro

The Font Feed takes you into the nitty-gritty of what went into creating and testing the new typeface.

Contest Winner Announced

We hope everyone had fun with our recent Rocking FontFont’s Free Fonts contest. Congratulations again to Mladen Balog for his winning design.

More Music on The Font Feed

Yves Peters’ latest installment in the My Type of Music series appeared this week.

Friday Five fonts: Bickham Script Pro by Linotype and Museo Sans Rounded by exljbris

New Feature: Enhanced Custom Sample Toolbar (Beta)

We are happy to announce today that we’ve rolled out Phase One of our enhanced custom sample text toolbar. The toolbar has been rebuilt from the ground up, and now includes some new user-friendly features to enhance your font browsing experience. Phase Two is coming soon now live, which introduces OpenType feature support. Scroll down for more info.

Updated sample text and size menus

As always, you can enter your own custom sample text, and our font samples will quickly update with your specified text. We’ve also added the option to select one of a number of preset samples, including text set in German, Central European (in this case Polish), Cyrillic, and Greek.

Note: If a font does not contain support for these languages, placeholder glyphs from the font (or, in some cases, empty space) will instead appear. We’re working on making this clearer and prettier.

We’ve also updated our point size selection menu, which will now allow you to input a custom point size value in addition to selecting from predetermined sizes.

Color selector

We’ve also added a color selector to the toolbar. When you click the icon, you are presented with two color wheels and hex inputs: one for foreground color, one for background color. To use the color wheel, first click in the square color selector to specify hue, saturation and lightness, then use the color wheel to fine-tune the hue. When colors have been selected, the toolbar icon will reflect the chosen fore- and background colors, respectively, just as you may be familiar with from other applications. You can collapse the color selectors by again clicking the icon in the toolbar, or the Hide Colors button (this has been replaced by a Hide Controls bar below the expanded controls, which will collapse the expanded area) — your chosen colors will still persist from page to page after you’ve closed the menu.

After specifying custom text, point size, and/or colors, your samples will update automatically after a moment. We’ve beefed up our rendering service, so samples should update lightning-quick.

OpenType features

In the sample text toolbar on any page displaying font renders, you’ll now see a new gear icon. Upon clicking the gear, a control panel will be expanded, as seen above. This panel includes a predefined list of OpenType features most commonly included in OT fonts, as well as a few dropdown menus containing additional features that are grouped by relevancy. Note that on single font pages, like that of FF Chambers Sans OT Regular, features that are not included in the font will be grayed out and unselectable.

To view your sample text with an OpenType feature applied, simply select a checkbox or menu item. The rendered image will automatically update with your OT feature applied, if any applicable characters are present in the sample string. FF Chambers Sans OT Regular, for example, contains Swash caps alternates:

Please note that not every selectable OpenType feature will affect your rendered sample. Most OT features only affect a subset of characters within a font, and if they are not present in your sample string, no glyph replacement will take place. You can view which glyphs are included in each OpenType feature by clicking the Character Set tab on a single font page and selecting a feature from the list. You can also learn about each feature by hovering over the feature name.

Just as with the color selector, the OT feature controls can be collapsed using the Hide Controls button. Unlike the color selector, your selections will not be persistent when navigating through to other font pages, as each font will have differing available OT features.

Try out the new sample toolbar on any page you find samples. And stay tuned for future enhancements.

Congratulations Mladen Balog, Winner of Rocking FontFont’s Free Fonts Contest

Contest Submission: Depeche Mode - Violator by Mladen Balog

After a close public competition over the past week, a winner has emerged from the excellent crop of entrants in FontShop‘s Rocking FontFont’s Free Fonts Contest.

Snagging 11% of eligible votes, the creative redesign of Depeche Mode’s Violator album has made Mladen Balog the winner of $500 in credit toward FontFonts.

The illustration submitted is rendered with FF Yokkmokk ‘s v-i-o-l-a-t-o-r glyphs (more than 70,000 of them). We’ll catch up with Mladen in a future post to learn about his process for the design and also what he plans to do with his new fonts.

Thank you to all of you who participated in the public voting process. And a HUGE thank you to those who bravely submitted their designs to the public eye. The Flickr group will remain live for your creative inspiration.

We appreciate any feedback you have on how the contest went, so let us know in the comments. If you liked this little competition perhaps we will have more fun in the future.

Font Shop Friday Five: Don’t Forget to Vote

Friday FIveWe know you’re busy and the Internet is a crowded place, so we’ll try to give you a little reminder now and then of what’s going on out there. Below please find five recent FontShop-related threads that you may have missed.

Don’t Forget to Vote for Your Favorite Design in the Rocking FontFont’s Free Fonts Contest!

Voting went live on Tuesday and the competition is fierce. Make sure your opinion gets counted. You can only vote once, so choose wisely. Public voting is open until 11:59 PM (PDT) on Sunday, May 8. You may vote once via this survey.

Check Out Our May 4 Newsletter

In case you missed it our latest newsletter hit inboxes this Wednesday. It features new fonts from Font Bureau and PSY/OPS  and a new family from TypeTrust. To subscribe to the newsletter, sign up here.

Known Issue with Facebook Registration

Our apologies once again to those who encountered site issues earlier this week. We are still working diligently on the issue and will have an update for you next week.

On the FontFeed

Yves talks about the TypeTalks2 Symposium and gives you a special edition of ScreenFonts.

Our Type Promotion Continues

The incredible discount from OurType continues for FontShop customers. From now until May 31, OurType’s Meran, Eva, and Fayon are being offered for an astounding 50% off. Use the promotional code OURTYPE50 during checkout for any product from these three families.

Friday Five fonts: Jeanne Moderno by PsyOps Type Foundry and Bullen by Font Bureau

Known Issue with Facebook Registration on

UPDATE 5/12/11: This issue has been resolved and Facebook registration has been re-enabled. Thank you for your patience!

We’ve temporarily disabled the option to create a new account on with your Facebook account. This prevents a redirect loop which is being caused by a bug on Facebook’s side. Customers who have previously created accounts with Facebook are still able to log in. You may still create a new account by completing the “Create an account” fields on our registration page. Should you choose to sync this with your Facebook account in the future, you can do so automatically once the bug is fixed (provided your email is the same as the one associated with your Facebook account).

Thank you for your patience. We will restore things back to normal once a fix comes through from Facebook.

Vote For Your Favorite Design in the Rocking FontFont’s Free Fonts Contest!

FontShop fans have done it again! The enthusiasm and creativity of our customers shone through in the entries to our recent Rocking FontFont’s Free Fonts Contest. Over 60 submissions were uploaded to our Flickr pool in the last week and we’ve had fun watching them flow in. Now it’s time for you, the general public, to pick the designer worthy of winning $500 in credit toward FontFonts on

Voting is now open until 11:59 PM (PDT) on Sunday, May 8. You may vote once via this survey.

Once again, entrants were charged with this task:

Embodying the somewhat nostalgic spirit of these font families, try your hand at redesigning an album cover using at least one of the free FontFonts. Although many of these fonts conjure up the heyday of the grunge-era, your album can be from any time period — pick from the range of Bieber to Bach — or create an album you wish existed.

Which design did you vote for? Why? Let us know in the comments below!