Monthly Archives: April 2013

New Fonts This Week

It’s a full house of new fonts this week! We’ve got Stately from Baseline; CA Viva Las Vegas from Cape Arcona Type Foundry; Berg, Mevum, Ovink, and Prell from Gestalten; Bery Roman, Bery Script, Bery Tuscan, Couteau, Fakt SoftGreco and Remo Stencil from OurType. Atlas is introducing Heimat Stencil and Heimat Mono at a $90 discount through May 26 and Emtype’s Relato will be 30% off until May 31.

As always, subscribe to our newsletter and read this blog for tips on using type, Pinterest updates, and more.

Atlas Font Foundry

Heimat Stencil
Heimat Mono

Baseline Fonts

Stately  » Webfonts Available

Cape Arcona Type Foundry

CA Viva Las Vegas


Berg  » Webfonts Available

Mevum  » Webfonts Available
Ovink  » Webfonts Available
Prell  » Webfonts Available


Bery Roman  » Webfonts Available
Bery Script  » Webfonts Available

Bery Tuscan  » Webfonts Available
Couteau  »
Fakt Soft  » Webfonts Available
Greco  » Webfonts Available
Remo Stencil  » Webfonts Available

Buyer’s Guide: Font Validation Errors


If you work on a Mac, you’re probably familiar with the default font management application, FontBook (not to be confused with the FontBook App!). Sometimes, a “Font Validation” window will pop-up when trying to install your newly licensed font — don’t panic. There is nothing actually wrong with your font file even if you find errors listed such as issues with “kern table structure and contents”.

Our suggestion? Go ahead and select the font when the Font Validation window pops up and install the font; your font will still work properly within the programs you intend to use them in. The software is just acting overly cautious with the font files — the same font files will install successfully on Windows without a validation error as Windows does not have a default font management application like FontBook. If you’re still unsure about it, you can send our Sales & Support team an email and we can install and test the fonts from your order for you before you commit to ignoring the Font Validation window.

Pinterested: April Showers


It’s the end of April and May flowers should be popping up soon. To keep you in the springtime spirit, we have three pinboards that you can browse.

First, start with Water You Waiting For and let your brain soak in typographic inspiration and water fonts. From fish fonts to seashells to beautiful pictures of the deep blue, you’ll be ready for your next projects and ideas to bloom. Next, travel to another world full of lush foliage in our Keep Calm & Hobbiton pinboard and talk a walk in our Glyph Garden. Our flowery fonts won’t spread any pollen in the air, so have fun playing around with Blossomy and Posy from Kapitza or Imagination Flowers from Elsner+Flake. Enjoy the greenery without allergic reactions!

Stylizing digital sheet music with music fonts

For composers, songwriters, and those who dabble in transcribing music for fun, digitized sheet music is often found left with their default fonts in tact. Music notation software such as Finale™ or Sibelius™ automatically loads music fonts on the user’s computer upon install — Finale uses a music font labeled as “Maestro” by default while Sibelius typically uses “Opus Std” for music notation. On top of these music font settings, Times New Roman is usually paired with these music fonts by default, though in Sibelius the default font depends on what type of score or instruments you’ll be writing music for.


Plantin Std paired with Opus Std in Sibelius for the default piano score template

The majority of digitized sheet music may look similar to the transcription above, but if you feel like stylizing your sheet music, it’s quite easy to change font settings in Sibelius. With the addition of Urtext Music Fonts type foundry, we’re happy to give composers and arrangers options to make music look better.

If you’ve already started composing or transcribing your song in Sibelius, you can edit your font selection and apply it to your existing notation.


Main Text Font — By changing this font, you’ll change the text that shows the composer and part names (as in the music example above, where “Piano” and “Muzio Clementi” are noted). You can choose any (non-music) font you have installed on your computer.

Main Music Font — This selection will change all common music symbols, such as  key and time signatures, notes (both noteheads and flags are affected), and rests.

Music Text Font — Any additional expressive or articulation markings will be affected by this font selection. This includes dynamic markings (such as the bold “pp”s for pianissimo and “ff”s for fortissimo) as well as fermatas and trill markings, which are briefly explained below.

Here are some examples of dynamics and technical markings in Urtext Music FontsKapellmeister OT (in purple):


Once you’ve decided which font you’ll use for text and which font(s) you’ll use for the music notation, hit OK and watch your sheet music be transformed. In the example below, Plantin has been switched out for P22 Morris Golden and Opus Std has been switched out for Clementi OT, giving the excerpt from Muzio Clementi’s Piano Sonatina a more appropriate feeling:


In a side-by-side comparison, the following excerpt starts with the default music font (Opus Std), and where noted by the asterisk, changes to Clementi OT:


Other major differences are usually noticed at the beginning of the music, with the key signature (in this piece, the sharp “♯” sign) and time signature (the “fraction” 2/4). You’ll also see a difference of style in the way clefs (here, what precedes the “♯” sign) are drawn between music fonts:


To those unfamiliar with music notation, you can see also differences in the music fonts by comparing the design of the notes — the shape and weight of the notehead (the round part of the note) may differ as well as its flags (the part that waves itself off note stems on eighth notes, sixteenth notes, and any other note that has flags). This is better seen than explained; below is a comparison of eighth notes (again, in purple) in the Urtext Music Fonts available at FontShop:


You’ll notice that some noteheads are more elliptical (like that of Brumaire) while others are more round. Also, some flags are straight and angular while others are curved. With tastes and styles in music so varied, why should sheet music all look the same?

While Urtext’s range of music fonts address traditional styles, capturing the feeling of hand-engraved music from the Baroque and Classical periods, these music fonts are still fit to be used for any modern-day composer.

JAF Lapture and Geogrotesque Stencil

Today we pair Tim Ahrens’s JAF Lapture, a careful reworking of Albert Kapr’s Leipziger Antiqua, with Eduardo Manso’s Geogrotesque Stencil.



JAF Lapture comes in a three weights (with companion italics) across a generous four optical sizes arranged below into columns: Caption, [Regular], Subhead, and Display. Geogrotesque Stencil spans seven weights from Thin to Bold.


The particular stencil variant shown above is one of three. See sets A, B, and C below, the difference between the them being the width of their bridges. A non-stencil version also exists, complete with italics.


Above: Geogrotesque Stencil C Light with JAF Lapture Display. The decisions made to preserve some characteristic signs of Lapture’s age and the age of its influences can cause it to come off a bit stern. Pairing it with a contemporary sans, and specifically this lighthearted stencil face, highlights Lapture’s easily overlooked newness and freshness.



Great Pairs land here each Wednesday.

New Fonts This Week

We are starting this week with a brand-new foundry, Tipografies, launching three new fonts: Bulo, Pona, and Trola. Abdo Line is Abdo Fonts’ latest release and Latinotype’s newest font is Dans le Toilette.

As always, subscribe to our newsletter and read this blog for tips on using type, Pinterest updates, and more.

Abdo Fonts

Abdo Line


Dans le Toilette





Buyer’s Guide: Webfont pricing tiers explained

When licensing a webfont in EOT/WOFF formats, web licensing is based on the traffic the website it will be used for generates, or in other words, the website’s average pageviews per month. If you’re not sure whether or not you have a webfont in your cart, read our “Buyer’s Guide: Am I buying a webfont?” post to learn more about buying webfonts.


Once you have a webfont in your cart, you’ll notice that you won’t be entering the number of users you need to license (that’s generally for desktop licensing), but instead you’ll be choosing from three different pricing tiers: Personal, Business, or Professional.

A common question we get is: “My company’s website doesn’t generate more than 500,000 pageviews per month. Do I still have to purchase the Business tier or can I purchase the Personal tier?”

The answer is: choose the tier that best suits your needs based on the pageviews per month listed. These names — Personal, Business, and Professional — are just the tier names and do not refer to what type of website you will be using the fonts for. For example, if you’re a small business whose website traffic does not exceed 500,000 pageviews per month yet, choose the “Personal” tier.

If you need to license your webfonts for more than 50 million pageviews per month, please contact our Sales & Support team and we’ll get you set up with the licensing you need.

Pinterested: New pins this week


We don’t just pin cool things to one board every week. While our New & Noteworthy and Ideas & Inspiration pinboards are good places to start for eye candy, don’t forget about our other boards that might help you get through a case of the Mondays or an uneventful Friday night. Check out:

  • Lettering: Because handmade creations aren’t dead! Handcrafted words are still very much alive.
  • Character Studies: Find personalities in different individual glyphs!
  • Swashbuckers: Swoon over beautiful curves left and right.
  • Found Type: Seeing fonts in use might help you along in your next project!

But remember, we have almost 60 boards for you to peruse over and and over again!

A Sense for Typographic Scale

Before I can really get to hierarchy, which is the next subject of our study, there’s one thing that needs covering on its own. The typographer (that’s you) needs to develop a sense for typographic scale. Unlike the five senses, this is a learned sense, an elementary principle of typography and one that easily and commonly goes unmastered. Experienced designers and the typographically immature tend to differ here most noticeably. So in this brief piece I’ll do my best to give a specific definition of the question and share a few exercises that may open the eyes of the young typographer. It will be difficult however to properly demonstrate, since for many the principle can feel quite nebulous, and also since this is being conveyed over the web – where you’re viewing it at who knows what size or at what distance. (It’s not safe for me to assume you’re seeing it at 96ppi like I am.)


Or more like 114ppi on my notebook computer. If you’re looking at this site on a mid-2011 Macbook Pro or similar model, the image above should be about actual size.


Just checking.


Okay. To start, We’ll focus on body text, though the principle extends to all settings, all media. Though digital fonts (or any vector-based artwork) are size-independent, text type is pretty size-specific. Ever read a book where the text is set just a little too small? It’s a pain to look at it. Too large and it loses its firmness. It’s no fun to read. Somewhere in between there, provided the measure and line-height are cooperating, the natural rhythm of the text begins to resonate with the larger composition’s own physical properties.

To get there

A starting point is to reduce the type size until its stems take on a linear quality. This is admittedly a bit subjective of a criterion, but after testing a tight range of text sizes for a given piece, I think the more successful options will speak up quite clearly. Insofar as you can, the tests should be in as near the final medium and process as possible. For example, if it’s a print piece, print out your initial explorations and plan several trips to the printer for tests. Below are a couple of explorations of scale set in Nick Shinn’s Scotch Modern Regular, less and more successfully fitting the dimensions of the medium.



Note that Scotch Modern comes in a range of optical sizes from Micro to Display for setting type at specific sizes. Micro is designed to work below conventional text sizes. Display is for larger settings. One easy way to test whether these various cuts are being sized properly is to compare the hairline strokes. All should be close to equal in weight. And if you use any borders or rules in the composition, the stroke weight of each should be conscious of the weight of the hairlines. Below: three optical sizes of Scotch Modern.


Other faces, such as FF Clifford by Akira Kobayashi, specify exactly at what size each cut is intended to be reproduced. Below is FF Clifford Eighteen, Nine, and Six.

FF Clifford optical sizes

Because all media is different, I’d recommend even further testing to see if 8.75 pt or 9.125 pt or somewhere in between works any better. Use similar fractional-unit testing with your line-height/baseline grid settings to make sure the body is optimally holding together. Through all the tests, and through using your eyes, I’m pretty confident your sense for scale will develop.

Lastly, remember to keep in mind the distance from which your work will be viewed. Even though a display cut sounds like just what you might need for a billboard-sized piece, if it’s going to be viewed from the road, the same principles of scale for text apply. Use a text cut.

That’s it for now. Let me know if this came out clear or hazy, and what questions I left you with. Thanks for reading. Using Type picks back up on Thursday.

Richler and MVB Embarcadero



Nick Shinn’s Richler and Mark van Bronkhorst’s MVB Embarcadero make up today’s great pair. Let’s look at Richler on its own for a moment. See how its squarely-drawn curves, sharp bits and airy fit allow it to resonate on the page. Nick’s description of the face as a 21st century antiqua I find particularly worth noting. It achieves an old familiar look, similar to say, a Melior, but with a fit that’s crisp and contemporary.


Playing up Richler’s contemporary feel is a gentle piece of American vernacular-inspired type, MVB Embarcadero. Together the two create a compatible and versatile relationship that can be tuned between clean, staid polish and carelessly relaxed warmth.

Richler,-MVB-Embarcadero-4 Richler,-MVB-Embarcadero-5

Great Pairs continue here Wednesday.

New Fonts This Week

Today we bring you new fonts Heirloom Artcraft from Baseline Fonts, Program from Emigre, and Poster, Blok & Blak from Type-Ø-Tones. We also have a brand-new font vendor this week! FontShop welcomes Urtext Music Fonts and their latest designs, Abdelazer, Brumaire, Clementi, Goldilind, Kapellmeister & Kapellmeister II.

As always, subscribe to our newsletter and read this blog for tips on using type, Pinterest updates, and more.

Baseline Fonts

Heirloom Artcraft
 » Webfonts Available




Blok & Blak
» Webfonts Available


Urtext Music Fonts


Buyer’s Guide: Looking for something from an old newlsetter?


Do you remember seeing something you loved in one of our newsletters, but don’t remember what it was? If you didn’t bookmark or favorite the font or take a screenshot of something for us to identify for you, try checking our Newsletter Archive. After every newsletter is lovingly put together and sent out to those waiting for new fonts in their inboxes, we post a version online that you can share with others or go back to browse through. Our Newsletter Archive goes back almost a decade, so you can even have fun looking at the evolution of FontShop Newsletters!

Pinterested: Ideas & Inspiration


Today is the second and last day of TYPO SF. Our speakers are awesomely inspiring — if your brain begs for more inspiration over the weekend, find typographic projects and posts on our Ideas & Inspiration pinboard. Aside from this one board on Pinterest, we have almost 60 boards that may help get your creative juices flowing for your next or future projects including Found TypeLettering, and Swashbucklers.

Be sure to follow us on Pinterest to keep up with the new pinboards we create regularly for you!

What’s the Best Font for Resumes?

We’re designers, you and I. And when family or friends come to us with their awful resumes, we strip them down to their essentials, fit them to the allotted space, give them some decent margins and properly tension the page. They get the interview; they get the job. Why? Maybe it’s because they had the added confidence of a professionally composed resume. Or maybe their new employer just thought something felt right. Maybe their resume worked.


So what’s the best font for resumes?

When I’m asked this question by designers, my response is usually, “The best font for a resume that does what?” “Oh,” they say, “Well what I’ve got’s not working. I need one that looks better and represents who I am.” “And who are you?”

This often leads to a discussion about what the field and position is, who the applicant is, and of what whom needs convincing. Why so many questions? Can’t I just name a font? I could, but as it turns out, this is precisely the sort of question I get from people who are in no position to receive an answer. Imagine me entering a hardware store and asking where the best nuts for bicycles are kept. “A nut for what size bolt, sir?” the clerk responds. “Uh, one on my bike. I’m not sure.” The clerk tries to be helpful, “Do you know if it’s metric or customary? How about the thread?” Me: “Ooh. I could try something flashy; got anything chrome plated?” One would think that because I ride my bike everyday, I might take more interest in these little details. In my example however, the reverse is true. I don’t even own a set of wrenches—I’ve never picked one up in my life. I don’t know the difference between a crescent wrench and an allen wrench. Luckily for me, bicycle shops exist.

To the professionals now reading this who do not consider themselves designers (we get mostly designers here), hello. I presume you come with the same question. Let’s stop for a moment and answer it. The best font for resumes is Palatino. You can get it here but check your word processor’s font menu first. It’s likely already waiting for you. Moving on.

You see, fonts don’t fix your resume’s inability to accomplish its basic tasks. That’s the job of design. A designer can with a single text face create many successful compositions, pursuing varied and nuanced qualities or styles just by the way the type is arranged. It’s at this point, after a designer has developed a sense for and command of his or her type, that he or she is in a position to benefit from having the “best” font for the job. And the questions these designers ask me are much more descriptive. “Could you suggest a good warm sans with an American feel, but that doesn’t look too dated?” Yes. I can, in fact.

Hey non-designers, still with us? Forget that Palatino thing. That was just—well—when people phrase the question that way, “What’s the best font for …” they’re usually out for a simple and inexpensive answer. If I suggested that the best font for their resume would cost them $125, they’d probably rephrase the question in a hurry, “I meant the best one out of the options already on my computer.” This is generally what I read the initial question to mean. If however, you’re still willing to put money on this, let me suggest the best place to spend it: hire a designer. Your designer will be able to see the problems you can’t, and has the tools and experience to create for you what you need. Okay, but what if you’ve got no budget for design? It’s rare, but it happens. I would then look to my circle of friends to ask if there’s someone they know who could spare an hour.


Opening it back up to a general audience, let’s return to the question of who you are, because I think here’s where we’ll find the best clues on how to design this resume and which typefaces will work with the composition. Think descriptive thoughts, and write down descriptive words. Professionally speaking, who are you, and who do you want to become, and what kind of work will get you there? If that doesn’t give you enough to work with, consider your influences. Describe the music you listen to, the writing style of an author whose books you read, the city or country you live in, the way your parents or siblings talk, or walk, the sound of the musical instrument you play. Finding some descriptors that work? Now use type in an understated way that fits the description. Different faces will perform differently in this role, so I suggest using something fairly versatile starting out. Robert Slimbach’s Minion is a popular one. I’d also recommend Thomas Gabriel’s Premiéra which I’ve come to know well. As your ability to create and control context becomes more refined, you’ll be able to identify and incorporate the characteristics of different typefaces into your compositions.

A few last bits of advice: Work with the text in a single size. Use placement and typographic features such as italic or bold, as well as advanced features like small caps, to create a clear hierarchy. The colors used should offer sufficient contrast as well. I recommend black on white. And here are a number of other considerations from last week’s piece on the same subject. Good luck. This feels more like a homework assignment than a how-to, but maybe that’s best. Typography is a discipline that’s learned by some study, but mainly by practice. Using Type continues here Thursday.

ITC Mendoza and FF Good



This will be a super short great pair. I came across José Mendoza ITC Mendoza a few weeks back and felt like this was one that definitely deserved more attention. Its odd lettershapes and loose fit produces a kind of wild rhythm on the page. Playing the strong sans in this pairing is Lukasz Dziedzic’s wood type inspired FF Good. Itself possessing a similar unsettling quality, together the two strike a chord that’s utterly haunting in its subtlety.


Great Pairs are featured here each Wednesday.