Category Archives: Events

FontShop Friday Five: Birthday Bash


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.


Even though Yanone’s Antithesis and accompanying video was released over a week ago, we still can’t get enough of it! Yves Peters gives a great summary of the 10 minute dance video and new typeface created by Yanone on the FontFeed. Check it out, we highly recommend it!

SF Design Week/Happy Birthday FontShop!

FontShop turns 25 this year and we are throwing a birthday bash during the San Francisco Design Week! On June 18th, we will open our doors during the free studio tours from 7-8pm where we will “talk type”, make some crafts, and enjoy some delicious cake!

New Fonts

We welcome new foundry lettersoup and announce several new designs from Facetype, Typolar and FONTYOU. Plus a new batch of promotions from Abdo fonts and FONTYOU.

Get Pinning!

If you’re like us, you’re always in search for new ideas and inspiration. That’s where Pinterest comes in! From character studies to huggable fonts, we continue to create boards for all your typography needs.

Gestalten Buyer’s Guide

Know the EULA rights and restrictions in this week’s Buyer’s Guide which focuses on foundry Gestalten.




Friday Five fonts: Adorn Serif Slab and Adorn Condensed Sans by Laura Worthington

San Francisco Design Week: Studio Tours & Birthday Celebration!


It’s our 25th birthday and we would like to invite you to celebrate with us during the San Francisco Design Week this June 13-20. We are proud to be the typography sponsor of this fantastic event and will be opening our doors to you during day 2 of the Studio Tours on June 18th from 7-8pm at our San Francisco office.

Come “talk type”, check out our work space and help us blow out the birthday candles. Plus we’ll have some fun crafts and you’ll be able to stuff your face with some delicious cake and beer! Just maybe not at the same time.

Make sure to sign up for the free registration to attend the studio tours.

Crafting Type passes through San Francisco

If this time last week you were to ask me how one goes about teaching the fundamentals of type design to beginners, (and do it in three days), I’d say it can’t be done. It’s too complex of a topic. There are too many prerequisites.


So when friend and type designer Eben Sorkin raised the question of FontShop hosting one of these weekend workshops at our San Francisco office, of course I said yes; if only to make time for the two of us to catch up. I should also admit that my curiosity as to how one of these events would play out was a big motivator.


Eben walks one of the Crafting Type attendees through some examples of how a typeface’s formal characteristics serve in giving it a particular personality.

Things got off to a good start Friday morning with a sketching exercise designed to let a few letters materialize together, starting very loose, progressing toward dark, carefully delineated forms. The multiple-pass process—lightly sketching out an idea with a pencil, no contours at first, stopping and observing, adding another layer of pencil, reevaluating and making changes as necessary, building up another layer, and finally drawing and filling the contours—allowed for major and then finer adjustments and corrections to take place gradually. We followed this process all the way through a few times, each time laying out our work, making observations as a class, and adding on a few more letters.


Throughout the workshop, Eben, and two additional teachers, Vernon Adams and later Dave Crossland punctuated supervised work time with short presentations on the subjects of letter theory, capitals, modularity in design, type personality, vector drawing, diacritics, etc.. They even invited me to give one on optical correction using material I had produced for an earlier student lecture. Near the end of Friday, everyone had prepared a brief they’d pursue over the next two days.

The first printouts came on Saturday morning after font composing software was finally finished installing on everyone’s machine, and each had their own first go of it. Saturday and Sunday were spent locking in the spacing of the control characters (the ones that determine the spacing for all the rest of the glyphs) and gradually adding more, testing and getting feedback along the way. It goes without saying that no one finished their project before time ran out on Sunday evening, but of course, finishing was never the point. In my estimation, the process of getting started alone has set these students miles ahead in their understanding of how type is used and produced.

One thing notably missing from this workshop was any real mention of open font licensing or libre software, (I guess I had expected it), the focus instead remaining fully on design principles and practical techniques. Before we all left for home, we familiarized the class with the best resources for getting help with their projects, whether through online discussion or in-person events, such as TypeCon or TYPO San Francisco. Thanks to everyone who came and contributed.

Typographic Scavenger Hunt for SF Design Week

Will you be San Francisco June 21-27? Join us at AIGA SF’s San Francisco Design Week both virtually and in person.

Those of you on Instagram can play along with our Typographic Scavenger Hunt:

  • Spell out Exploring the Creative Overlap (the more pictures to do this the better) using found type around San Francisco
  • Add to your photo map so we know you’re in the City by the Bay
  • Tag our Instagram account @FontShopSF in your posts
  • Use hashtags #SFDW and #FSTypeHunt
  • Post from June 21 to June 27

We’ll pick our favorite set and invite the winner to lunch at the FontShop offices with our Design Team.


You can also meet our staff in person at events throughout the week. We’re especially looking forward to Friday’s Opening Reception and next Monday’s Pixels of Fury event. We’ve teamed with Shutterstock on the latter to add the FontShop Plugin to the competitor’s toolkit. Can’t wait to see the great creations from this fun night!

TYPO London Livestreams

The second annual TYPO London kicks off Friday, October 19. Not in the UK? You can still get in on the action via livestreams on both Friday and Saturday.

On Friday, watch multimedia designer Anthony Burrill at 12 PM GMT discuss “Working Hard and Being Nice to People.” Too early for those in the Americas? Then tune back in at 8 PM GMT for Pentagram’s Paula Scher‘s talk on “Breakthroughs, Successes and Failures.”

Continue your weekend with more design inspiration by checking out legendary graphic designer Ken Garland speak to “Word and Image” at 10 AM GMT. Return later to view Irma Boom closing out the conference with “Manifesto for the Book.”

The theme this year is Social so make sure to follow the hashtag #typo12 in addition to @TYPOLDN to get in on all the action.

Bike Type

David’s Type Trends series has many of us (even those from a non-typographic background) in the San Francisco office of FontShop looking at type’s influence in our everyday lives and interest areas a little more acutely than usual. As a lover of bicycling, I geeked out at the recent addition of Latinotype‘s Ride My Bike to our catalog. So when I saw that PUBLIC Bikes had commissioned a bevy of international designers to interpret “public” for an exhibition at the nearby California College of the Arts, I hopped on my bike and headed over last night for the opening reception.

Above (L-R): PUBLIC Works Posters by Jason Munn, Paula Scher, and Sagmeister and Walsh

Cyclists, artists and design fans from around the Bay Area packed into the small gallery enjoying the range of posters varying from pure illustration to typographic treatment. The exhibition included a few type designers Erik Spiekermann, Milton Glaser, Henning Wagenbreth, amongst others, but the majority of the posters featured some element of lettering or type. It was also exciting to see the work of 2012 TYPO speakers, including Jason Munn (TYPO San Francisco) and Paula Scher (the upcoming TYPO London). 

I’m always passing interesting design and typography while riding my bike, but after visiting this exhibition, it’s fun to ponder how artists are interpreting the very phenomenon of cycling itself.

Above: Erik Spiekermann’s interpretation of “public.”

How does typography overlap with one of your other interests? Tell us below!

Plunderin’ for Typographic Treasure

Ahoy, designer mateys! Aboard the good ship FontShop today some of us arrrr fully celebratin’ Talk Like a Pirate Day. If yer out revelin’, here’s some type booty for ye to check out.

First, fer all ye fans of our Pinterest page, we’ve got a new board that should suit yer fancy.

If ye prefer fontlists, we’ve got an oldie but goodie buried on the site. Ye can pillage Pirate Fonts to yer heart’s content.

If yer lookin’ for bedtime tales of the sea for yer parrots or lil’ scalawags tonight, have ye heard the one about Jim Ford‘s Captain Quill? After losing his right hand to a spirited sea dog, Captain Quill settled down to focus on his first love, nautical treasure cartography. The ease of stroke in this swashy script face confirms what his boyhood calligraphy teacher stressed from the start: It’s all in the elbow.

If you’re not sure if ye are “hooked” on any of these, try ’em out first in the FontShop Plugin for Creative Suite. Stock up on sea type for your next adventure or on landlubber fonts too.


Office Gallery Opening Recap

Our gallery opening last Thursday was a hit. People enjoyed not only our renovated space, the art, and food, but a specially-curated music playlist based on the 100 best typefaces of all time. Check out the playlist on Spotify.

In addition to the photography and type samples on display, our space has two mannequins dressed with authentic replica costumes. One of our savvy engineers gave them life with special projected video and speech boxes. Scroll down to see what we mean.

Thanks again to all of you who were able to stop by. It was great to see our friends in the Bay Area design community, members of AIGA, and some of our TYPO speakers and volunteers.

If you live in or are visiting the Bay Area, you’re welcome to stop by see our office and the gallery. Just send us an email.

Office Gallery Opening

We’ve been up to more than usual here at FontShop.

Earlier this year our San Francisco office underwent renovation. We now have more space, a new kitchen, and new shades for our large windows.

Our expansion also gave us new, freshly painted walls, just waiting to be covered with something. What to do with all the blank wall space?

We created a gallery. It features photographs from our staff showcasing travel and hobbies. We also dug into our archives and selected a variety of typographic catalogs, posters, postcards to cover the walls. This gallery showcases both the personality of our team and the history of FontShop.

We’re so thrilled with the results, we’re having a party to celebrate. If you live in the Bay Area stop on by Thursday August 16 from 5–8pm. View full details and RSVP here.

Starting Monday, August 20, if you’d like to drop by to see the gallery send us an email.

Home from TypeCon

I’m back from Milwaukee. After spending five days and nights participating in lectures, critiques, and generally staying up late chatting about type design, the type industry as a whole, the webfont market in particular, religion, and politics, I re-embrace the steadier pace of home-and-work life. And while the model here is more sustainable for personal growth and getting things done, I miss already the chaotic and inviting atmosphere of TypeCon. I’m amazed each time at how many new friends I’ve made, and what great connections have happened, and what great direction and advice I’ve gotten both as a writer, and designer.

I’ll now step you through some of the more memorable moments I had during the program, beginning with Thursday night’s intro to the single track conference.

On a side stage, audiovisual production manager JP Porter dissolves to the first title slide of Christian Helms’s talk.

Not only do TypeCon presentations have an all-star cast, they also have an all-star audience. It’s hard to attend the event without literally bumping into an accomplished designer or industry leader like Kent Lew, Steve Matteson, or Daniel Rhatigan, only to name a few in the above shot.

Graphic designer and studio proprietor Christian Helms walks us through his typographically rich and personally invested approach to working.

Educator and type designer Craig Eliason steps through a series of pangrams he’s written, remarking that to him, the perfect pangram is not the one that’s most compact, but the one that most subtly includes all the letters of the alphabet. Number 1113 is my favorite in this regard.

Just outside the conference hall doors, Bill Moran and company from the Hamilton Wood Type & Printing Museum make and sell letterpress posters while you wait.

Mike Parker is recognized for his work advancing the type industry—separating the distribution of typefaces from the technologies that output them. He receives the Society of Typographic Aficionados’s SoTA Award Friday evening.

Saturday night, Alan Haley directs the infamous Type Quiz. If you’ve not seen it first hand, imagine all the front-row-sitting nerds you remember from college—the ones who corrected your art history professors on the obscurest details—packed tightly into the first six rows of the venue, licking their lips at the thought of testing their knowledge and taking home t-shirts and other prizes as a result. With both a crowd-response portion, and a written section, needless to say it could get out of hand.

The Type Quiz re-earns its reputation each year.

In one of the more fun talks of the conference, type designer Antonio Cavedoni points out the ubiquity of customized Stop, ending with this parting thought from its designer Aldo Novarese, “It’s better to be criticized than ignored.”

And Sunday afternoon’s Type Crit was a complete success, exposing young and enthusiastic type designers and their work, myself and my work included, to the wise comments and suggestions of Roger Black, John Downer, and Akira Kobayashi.

Designer Roger Black commented afterward that the past five years have been marked by a dramatic uptick in quality from new type designers.

In sum, there’s no business like the type business, where people whose work you’ve admired your whole life welcome you in, put an arm around you, and help you to become the designer you wish you were. Thanks to the organizers and TypeCon attendees for making another great one happen this year.

At TypeCon: Education Forum and Official Kickoff

TypeCon’s stellar lineup has made it hard for me to get a spare-moment blog post in edgewise. It’s been just fantastic meeting and talking with people who devote themselves to the type and letter-making disciplines—becoming friends with the people whose work you quite admire. At TypeCon, young and old talk shop and discuss how to solve the visual problems their projects present—over lunch, or a drink.

During yesterday’s TypeCon Education Forum, lecturers like Gerry Leonidas, Jay Rutherford, Craig Eliason, Sumner Stone, Dan Reynolds and more discussed what’s changing, what remains the same, where typography goes from here, and specifically, how to convey these concepts to eager minds in the classroom. A letterspacing exercise was conducted using black masking tape on white paper, led by sign painter and type designer John Downer. Note Nick Sherman’s enormous wood type leaned against the wall in the background of the photo above. He printed with it too.

Just outside the main hall, a gallery of type-related design work shows what we’ve all been up to over the course of the past year. I would refer to this as a conference highlight, but there are so many it kind of doesn’t make sense to present everything as a highlight. There have been many, including last night’s talk by Austin designer Christian Helms on doing great work through incorporating elements you love, and this morning’s lecture on the working parts of good typography by educator and type designer Cyrus Highsmith. Keep an eye on this blog for more from TypeCon.

Dispatches from TypeCon

David and Meghan from FontShop San Francisco are in Milwaukee this weekend to attend TypeCon2012: Milwaukee Shift. FontShop is pleased to sponsor this event (look for our Taste Guide inside attendee bags).

The keynote kicks off tonight, after a group of attendees returns from the Hamilton Wood Type Museum. David is helping with the Education Forum today and will report on that later. Meghan suggests you build a time machine and go back to Wednesday evening for The Heads of State special presentation, which beautifully (and hilariously) highlighted the relationship between illustration and typography using the Bob Ross model of design principles. End goal: end up at the happy cabin of creative satisfaction.

A former Milwaukee resident, Meghan was thrilled to see local young talent highlighted at the Just Our Type exhibit at the Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design.

Meet us in Milwaukee at TypeCon!

FontShop is pleased to be a sponsor of TypeCon2012. David and I (Meghan) from our San Francisco office will be there, so find us and say hello. As our resident type expert, David is excited about all the programs, but here’s his three “not to miss” for TypeCon newbies (and returnees):

  • Cyrus Highsmith’s talk on Friday morning. He’ll be discussing the concepts at work in great typography through focusing on the negative space. Word is Inside Paragraphs, Cyrus’s new book on the subject, will be available there too.
  • Saturday night’s Type Quiz separates the casually type-obsessed from the committed with questions like ‘Put the following five faces in order of their release.’
  • Sit down with John Downer, Akira Kobayashi and Roger Black Sunday afternoon while they review your latest design at the Type Crit. Stick around to see other type designers’ work and make some friends.

Tomorrow (July 7) is the last day of early bird registration…save some cash to splurge on the new designs you learn about at the conference!

FontShop SF Hits Up Pixels of Fury

Our San Francisco office has been having a blast popping into the various events this week for AIGA’s San Francisco Design Week, but as Typography Sponsor, last night was the one we were most excited about.

Shutterstock’s Pixels of Fury: A Live Creative Inspiration Tournament pitted eight designers against each other in speed rounds of 20 minutes. They were provided Adobe CS6, stock images from Shutterstock, and we threw in the FontFont Advertising & Packaging Skill Set to spice up their font palette. The designers were charged with making a poster to inspire others to learn a randomly assigned topic (i.e. “learn to speak Spanish,” “learn to code.”) As the audience cheered and jeered, judges Max Spector and Eric Heiman took note and provided commentary at the end of each round. Each judge had a vote and the attendees picked their favorite by chiming in via SMS.

Of course there was lots of time to mix and mingle as well. Thank you to everyone who stopped over to say “hi” at the FontShop table. It was lovely to meet you all! In case you missed us, make sure to take a look at our Design Assistant position just listed this week.

A big congrats to winning competitor Grayson Stebbins. Kudos to all the designers that participated: Anthony Bunyan, Andrew Le, Josh Long, Max Batt, Marc Zuazua, Michael Sun and Kristen Youngman. It definitely takes guts to be on stage and on the spot!

Look for FontShop at SF Design Week

FontShop is thrilled to be the  Typography Sponsor for San Francisco Design Week, which kicks off Monday and runs through June 17.

We’re especially pleased to support Shutterstock’s Pixels of Fury: A Live Creative Inspiration Tournament event at Adobe next Thursday. Designers will go head to head using stock images and selections from FontShop (we don’t want to give anything away yet, we’ll tell you which ones next week) to battle it out over three inspiring rounds.

Also look for our staff at the Opening and Closing parties and other events throughout the week. See you there?