Category Archives: Staff Picks

Staff Picks, April 2012

Hey, it’s Staff Picks time again; Our chance to pull out the new and dust off the old and tell you why we love all these clever, stately, familiar and unconventional faces. Here’s the whole list, and three in a bit more depth.

Anna picks Priori Acute Serif by Jonathan Barnbrook, Marcus Leis Allion, published by Emigre

“The impossibility of it makes my eyes happy and my brain itchy.”

Mayene picks Alda Bold Italic by Berton Hasebe, published by Emigre

“I love Alda’s Bold Italic, especially in large sizes, with its distinct flat edges. Strong and sturdy, but still elegant—a font that a football player could use in a note asking his high school sweetheart to prom.”

Meghan picks FF Clan by Lukasz Dziedzic, published by FontFont

“It’s the official typeface of TYPO.”

Staff Picks, March 2012

Final Final Final Final
82 FF Tisa 74 Minion 78 FF Unit Slab 81 PMN Caecilia
52 Miller 51 Farnham 51 FF Spinoza 44 Lexia

Our March Madness Faceoff continues Thursday at 1pm Pacific. Get your updated bracket with scheduled game times here. What’s March Madness?

On another note, March staff picks are in. Have a look at a few of them in detail or see the complete list; or both.

Jason picks Goth Chic by John Roshell of Comicraft

This one comes in three degrees of blackletter; the first dabbles and the last seems to fully commit.

Mayene picks Acta Poster Swashes by Dino dos Santos of DSType

“I could stare at the letterforms of Acta Poster Swashes all day; pretty dreamy, pretty bold, and just pretty.”

Theresa picks Lily Wang by Ryoichi Tsunekawa of Flat-it Type Foundry

“An affordable script with pen-like strokes that’s easy to work with in any program.”

Staff Picks, January 2012

January Staff Picks are in. As you may know, our staff here at FontShop regularly brings a few of its lesser-known offerings to the fore for a discussion on what makes great type great. Here are a few of the selections followed by their letters of recommendation.

Star picks Eastside from Elsner+Flake

“I dig the silhouettes it makes with short strings in larger sizes. In longer paragraphs in smaller sizes it acts almost like an optical illusion – jumbled until you make out the first word or two.”

Theresa picks Lemonade from Linotype

“Fun Script. Reminds me of practicing my letters in school and trying to make them perfect.”

Meghan picks Capri by Felix Braden, published by Fountain

“Just love the g in Capri.”

Best of 2011

In case you missed it, our last newsletter mailing of the year covered our picks for the best typefaces of 2011. If you’d prefer to just buy them all without the hassle of reading the clever categories and captions, I won’t stand in your way. Here’s a straight list of everything.

The ‘best of’ was a collaboration between myself and Yves Peters, along with the FontShop San Francisco staff. Anna Eshelman designed the piece including all the type samples, and the two of us collaborated on the masthead.

See picks like these, Mark van Bronkhorst’s Sweet Sans, Miguel Hernandez’s Fiance,  Ryoichi Tsunekawa’s Design System, and about twenty or so more that made the cut, plus your picks (People’s Choice) at the tail end.

Staff Picks, December 2011

December’s Staff Picks are in. As we at FontShop get ready to spend time with our friends and family for the holidays, we wish you all peace and prosperity, new clothes and fresh eyes. Now on with the picks.

Star picks FF Nuvo Mono from FontFont

“Good font for development and console. High contrast between numbers and uppercase characters, very distinct upper O, lower o and zero. Good contrast for comma, period, colon and semicolon. And it looks nice.”

Jason picks Cottingley from Device Fonts

“This slanted, aerodynamic, connected-script font reeks of retro spies, martinis, and hidden tape recorders.”

Mayene picks Fiance from Sudtipos

“The thick, comfy curves remind me of staying warm under tons of blankets during the holiday season and makes me crave marshmallows on top of some hot chocolate.”

FontShop Friday Five: New, Improved & Impressive

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.

Improved Dingbats

Erler Dingbats get a facelift and you get them for free!

New Newsletter

November’s second issue came out this week. Chock full of new font goodness.

Improved Explanations

David Sudweeks explores the question, What is a Foundry?, while Theresa’s Tips explains other sites in the FontShop family tree.

New Staff Picks

Check out what we’re liking in November.

Impressive Trailer

The FontFeed highlights an impressive feat in kinetic typography.

Friday Five Fonts: Sketchwriter OT by Baseline Fonts and Abril Complete OT by TypeTogether

Staff Picks, November 2011

Since November is known for getting away from you before you know it, we decided to get our picks out while we could. Staff Picks for November are up.

Jacob picks Cooter Deuce by Silas Dilworth of TypeTrust

“Because the name.”

Mayene picks Monroe by Daniel Hernandez, published by Sudtipos

“Makes me want cookies and cupcakes every time I look at it … though, I don’t know if that’s really a good thing.”

Meghan picks Megaflakes by Nathan Williams, published by Baseline Fonts

“Megaflakes, since a) It’s as close as I want to get to snow this year and b) sometimes I feel like a Meg-A-Flake. Ba-dum-bum.”

To be clear, Meghan reliably rates between ‘very dependable’ and ‘unfailing’  on the office’s accredited flakiness scale.

FontShop Friday Five: Reflecting

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.

TYPO Thrills

TYPO comes to SF in 2012 and we reflect on  London 2011.

October Staff Picks

Our San Francisco crew picks some of their favorites for the month.

Grab these Winners Before the Month Ends

Use promo code ISTD11 to save 10% off FF Dagny, FF Milo Serif and FF Spinoza, which recently received certificates of excellence from the International Society of Type Designers. Hurry! Discount ends October 31.

Theresa Explains it All

Theresa’s Tips covers licensing this week and how it varies based on platform.

Scariest Typeface?

Join the conversation on Facebook and Twitter and let us know if you’re dressing as a typeface for Halloween. 

Friday Five Fonts: Kozmetica Script by Sudtipos and Quatro Ultra Slab by psType

Remembering Steve Jobs

The design world lost a great visionary yesterday and many employees in our San Francisco office lost a personal hero. We wanted to share some of our personal memories with you today. We’ll take just a moment to look back briefly before we return, as Steve Jobs inspired us, to looking forward.

Anna Eshelman, Designer

I always opt for a window seat when I fly. I remember one flight I took when I was 13 the clouds were spectacular out my window during takeoff, but instead of watching them, I couldn’t take my eyes off a small device the gentleman in the seat next to me had in his hand. It was a newly-released 1st generation iPod Classic. I’ll never forget talking with him about it and thinking, “Wow… that is so, so cool. And not only that, it looks beautiful, too.” That was the start of my appreciation for Apple’s elegant, intuitive, (oftentimes invisible) design. From that point on Apple products began to slip into my life and into my work as a designer – and I’m thankful for it.

David Sudweeks, Type Expert

The Steve Jobs approach to design and manufacture not only brought us the great products that he and his atelier produced, but upped the standards generally, and in so doing, changed everyone’s expectations and their relationship to computers, and ultimately to each other.  Starting with the why, and then building the user experience—carefully planning from the end to the beginning and each step in between, and doing it consistently—is what separated Steve from everyone else in the industry.

Jacob Swartz, Front-End Developer, shared the video below of Jobs’ 2005 Stanford commencement speech. Around 3:23, Jobs touches upon typography and its way into computers.

Jason Vagner, CEO

My childhood coincided perfectly with the dawn of the personal computing era.

My first computer was an Osborne 1. My first modem ran at 300 baud. My first hard drive came in a Northstar Horizon, and my first social networks were BBSes, FidoNet and Usenet. I can remember riding my BMX bike to local computer stores to drool over and demo early Macintosh, Amiga and Atari ST models.

My first Steve Jobs machine was a NeXT cube, with the titanium case. Truth be told, it was neither more beautiful nor better than the Sun Microsystem and Silicon Graphics machines I also worked on.

I came to Apple products late in the game. I knew who Steve Jobs was, followed his story, but didn’t buy his products. My first Apple purchase was an iPhone 3G. It replaced the horrid Nokia E61, a machine I had wanted so badly that I wandered the electronic stalls of Singapore in hopes of scoring an early model.

The release of the iPhone coincided with the preschool years of my son. I’ve never given him any instructions on how to use an iPhone or an iPad, but his facility and command of its features are always surprising. As he’s grown older and developed an increasingly voracious brain, the iPhone has become an integral part of my parenting life. When he starts a conversation with, “I have a question!” he will surely test my knowledge until he’ll finally suggest, “Dad, let’s look it up on your iPhone.”

My son is growing up in a world where any question, asked at almost any moment, can be answered instantaneously. This is profoundly different than my childhood. This is very different than even 5 years ago.

Steve Jobs was there at the dawn of personal computing, and he became even more inventive and surprising as he grew older. He left our world at the peak of his powers, long after the other geniuses of his era stopped shaping our world. Without Steve Jobs and his vision of mobile computing, our present Internet life would have been in the hands of Nokia and RIM and Blackberry and the early Android initiative. Think back to what those last models looked like before the first iPhone was released. And even now, in death, Steve Jobs has probably delivered another first in my son’s life: the first computer he will speak to regularly. I can’t wait to see what questions he asks.

Mayene de Leon, Sales and Support

I remember being about 2 years old and my parents started allowing me on the Mac SE we had; I was so fascinated with MacDraw! Even if I could only use black and white, it was a much better (and neater) solution for my parents than letting me dip my hands in paint or draw on the walls in permanent marker (which I did anyway).

Meghan Arnold, Communications Manager

Not only did Steve Jobs innovate, but he encouraged and empowered us all to be innovators ourselves. Through intuitive products that even a kid in the pre-internet era could figure out, he’s shaped the communicator I am today.

One of my earliest childhood memories was writing a computer game on our Apple IIE with my dad. He’d been using a Macintosh Plus while back in school for engineering, but the IIE was our family machine. Little nerd that I was, I spotted a programming for kids book at the library and Dad and Idecided to make a go of it so both of us could learn. We both figured out that coding wasn’t for us, but the joy of using the computer to tell a story and communicate interactively stuck.

I soon figured out how to do this using Print Shop. I exhausted our dot matrix printer by creating cards and banners for everything. I demanded the companion for Christmas so I could have access to more fonts. I used the different type and graphic combos to craft stories and exercise my creativity. I’m so glad my parents encouraged this at home, as it helped me excel when I got to use the shiny new Apple and later Mac products at school.

Educational games so easily playable on the IIE and then the GS helped me absorb a ridiculous amount of trivia, as well as sparked curiosity about the world and learning. I rediscovered my love for Macs in the communications programs I enrolled in at college and spent a summer working with one of my professors teaching a new generation of kids how to tell stories via the first edition of iMovie. When I graduated my parents offered to gift me a downpayment on a car or an iBook. Guess which I chose?

As an adult, Apple products have dominated the story of my life. My dream of giving a soundtrack to my daily activities has been achieved through the iPod/iTunes. The app revolution helped me completely reshape my outlook on health and fitness, by making managing my activities fun and intuitive. My iPhone has allowed me to personally and professionally communicate from relaxing in my pajamas on a rainy morning, riding a bus in Milwaukee or huddling outside a Starbucks in Europe.

My parents and I no longer code together or print silly cards for one another, but we communicate daily on our MacBooks, iPhones or iPads. Our family is not so much one of techies, but storytellers. Empowered to easily tell tales both written and visual, our creativity continues to be stirred thanks to the vision set only just before my life began.

Michael Pieracci, First Officer (pictured right, in his Apple t-shirt)

Many things bring happiness to my life. Two of them are Apple and Star Trek. When I watch Star Trek, I wish I was there. Through the years as I’ve used so many Apple computers and devices, I’m always one step closer.

And with everything that Apple has achieved through the years, now everyone benefits more and more with the functional beauty they created and the innovation they inspire every day.

Theresa de la Cruz, Sales and Support

I started as an intern at FontShop in June 2007, the same time the first iPhone was release. A few FontShoppers bought the magical device when it came out and I remember gathering around their desk to watch them unwrap it. Everything was looked at, down to the packaging, and it was crazy wonderful.

Staff Picks, September 2011

September Staff Picks are in.

David picks FF Primary by Martin Wenzel; Published by FontFont

Three-dimensional types are tricky, but beautiful. This one caught my eye when flipping through an old FontShop catalog.” What you’re seeing is four fonts on four layers, each in its own color.

Theresa chooses Coquette by Mark Simonson; Published by Mark Simonson Studio

“The typeface has playful elements that keeps it from being too serious. It flirts with you with its swashes in the uppercase and cleverly ended ball terminals that occasionally peek out when setting type. It’s a cute font.”

Anna picks Satura by Peter Bruhn, Göran Söderström; Published by Fountain

“Browsing through our latest gallery submissions, I found myself attracted to a photo of Satura Parts used as a “guest typeface” in Form, a Nordic design and architecture magazine. Satura’s curious stroke contrast and clever use of white space (stencil-inspired) gives this family a beautifully unique presence. I’m especially fond of the lowercase f.”

See the rest of the September Staff Picks, or check our Staff Picks archive for more.

FontShop Friday Five: Picks & Parties

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.

August Staff Picks

As summer winds down, our SF staff shares their favorite fonts of the month.

Designers and Developers Unite

We were thrilled to host a bevy of both designers and developers at our meetup event this week. Check out the recap here.

Look Again at Canada Type

FontShop recently added Canada Type‘s collection and this week David Sudweeks takes a look at some more of their offerings.

On The FontFeed

Once again, Yves Peters points out two not-to-miss events in the type world: ISType and TYPO London.

Friday Fun

It’s Friday. Who doesn’t want a cocktail with their typography? Watching those empty calories? Here are some Extra Light options for you.

Friday Five Fonts: FF Tundra and FF Sero by FontFont

Staff Picks, August 2011

After passing some ideas around the office, we’ve come up with our August picks:

Michael chooses Blossomy by Nicole & Petra Kapitza

“There’s nothing ornate or extravagant about the glyphs in Blossomy. The outlines represent true forms of leaves, flowers, stems, branches, and whole plants, even the pots they’re in. Blossomy is beautiful.”

David picks Gnosis by Gábor Kóthay

“This one turned up while digging through the FontBook App on Thursday. I like how the restriction of the design to monolinear forms seems to get at the essence of the letter.”

Meghan picks Agenda by Greg Thompson, after Edward Johnston.

“I dig humanist sanses and this one just has a little extra je ne sais quoi.”

Because we deal with type mostly on a psychological level, the unknown element that tips the scales in favor of a specific design can be difficult to pin down. Quite commonly the answer is simple.

On familiarity: Edward Johnston’s work for the London Underground answered a 1913 commission for a clear, modern type for transport signage. The face’s classical roman proportions themselves played off the familiarity of a roman inscriptional lettering style seen on signage produced by the Ministry of Works. Johnston’s pupil and contemporary Eric Gill famously explored the introduction of humanism to the sans in his similar Gill Sans.

Staff Picks, July 2011

Summertime and the living may be easy, but we still have type on the brain. This month’s FontShop Staff Picks are here. We’ve highlighted three below so you can hear why our employees picked them.

Oxtail by Stefan Hattenbach

Michael, First Officer of our SF crew, likes Oxtail from PsyOps Type Foundry. “This is one of my favorites because it’s sophisticated, tasteful, and has a splash of sass,” he explains.

FF Polymorph by Stefanie Schwarz

Designer Anna picks FF Polymorph for its international flavor. “FF Polymorph intrigues me with its variety of forms inspired by characters from all over the globe,” she notes.

FF Mister K Informal by Julia Sysmäläinen

Our communications manager, Meghan, digs the newly released FF Mister K informal. “I’ve been a big fan of the whole family, but now I can have a font to express my more casual Kafkaesque situations,” she jokes. “In all seriousness though, there are so many unique and beautiful glyphs in this version – it’s a very fun font to explore.”

FontShop Friday Five: Staff Picks & New Fonts

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.

June Staff Picks Have Arrived

The FontShop staff readies for summer by compiling a fontlist for you.

Our “Type” Of Party

We were thrilled to host the book launch for Explorations in Typography this week. Check out our recap here.

Newsletter Full of New Fonts

Did you miss our latest newsletter on Wednesday? Read it here. Then check out the new fonts from DSType, Typolar, and Red Rooster.  You can subscribe to newsletters on this page to get this font deliciousness in your inbox twice a month.

Previews & Reviews on The FontFeed

A flurry of posts on The FontFeed this week, including a review of Typography for Lawyers and a preview of Type]Media11.

Webfont Wednesday Continues

Part Two of our new series takes a look at the Chicago Manual of Style.

Friday Five Fonts: Acta Poster by DSType and Guildford by Red Rooster

Staff Picks: June ’11

Summer is almost here and instead of hitting the books and taking exams, our staff  studied the gems in the FontShop archives to find this month’s Staff Picks. Here’s a sampling of our June selections:

Refrigerator Deluxe

Aaron’s June pick is Refrigerator Deluxe by Mark Simonson. The beginnings of this design date all the way back to 1988, inspired by vague memories of block-style lettering from Mark’s youth. As time went on, additional styles and alternate glyphs were added, leading to its Deluxe release in 2008. While the basic block-style lettering remains by default, Refrigerator Deluxe can transform into a stylized Art Deco face, both with squared and open shapes, with the flick of an OpenType feature. This User Guide gives a great overview of the available glyphs and features, and how to access them in various applications.

Download Refrigerator PDF Specimen (152 KB) and User Guide (41 KB).

FF Sanuk

One of my own picks for this month, Xavier Dupré‘s FF Sanuk is deceptively buoyant: its squared veneer gives way to a calligraphic flare. Take the lowercase ‘k’, for example — the foot tails off in a friendly way that you might not expect upon first glance. FF Sanuk has perfect form and character for the web, and was recently released as a Web FontFont.

Download FF Sanuk PDF Specimen (545 KB).

Blockhead Alphabet

Theresa chose a blast from the past: Blockhead Alphabet, a classic display face from John Hersey and Emigre. One of my earliest lettering memories as a child is the pride and sense of accomplishment I felt when I discovered how to make letters look three-dimensional. (Of course, this meant that every time a class project required a poster or some other visualization, I had an extra task.) Blockhead Alphabet is reminiscent of that childhood discovery, right down to the details of imperfection.