Category Archives: Wedding Month

Pinterested: I do, I do, I do!


June is rapidly approaching and that means it will be wedding season! We have compiled and updated a fantastic Pinterest board to inspire your perfect day. See all of the great examples of wedding design here!

Congrats Wedding Month Winners!

We had so much fun hearing your wedding stories and seeing your gorgeous designs throughout June’s Wedding Month! Today we’re pleased to announce the winners of our two contests.


Congratulations to Great Pair, Katie & Jerry, on winning help from type expert David Sudweeks to pick out $100 toward fonts for their wedding. Our blog readers voted Katie’s story their favorite. We love it too – and are sure David will find typefaces for them with that perfect “opposites attract” feel.

Jerry and I met in college while on a trip with mutual friends to an ice skating rink. By the end of our first night I knew that he was an accomplished figure skater (hot!), that he loved Bill Nye the Science Guy, and that I was completely smitten. It took me a while to convince him that we were perfect for each other…I had a head of bright pink hair, he definitely did not; he was a gamer, I was not; he was the pickiest eater I had ever met (the only fruit he ate was apples, his diet consisted of plain pasta, rice, chicken, and Goldfish crackers), I was kind of horrified that my usual method of wooing (lots, and lots of food) was just not going to work. But here we are, almost 5 years later. I’ve become a gamer, he eats like a human, and no one has pink hair. I cannot imagine my life without him. Somehow, together we equal more than the sum of our parts, and our differences balance us. We’re getting married 10/4/14 (10+4=14! nerds!) and would like to find typefaces that are as great together as we are.

“We’re so excited,” Katie says upon winning the contest. “We live in Boston, MA where Jerry is working towards a PhD in Chemistry and I am working as a fledgling museum exhibit developer. We’re getting married in the Hudson Valley near the college (and ice skating rink) where we met.”

With dozens of entries into our Design Contest, the competition remained close on our Pinterest board until the end. A big congratulations to Wes Lyman, whose stationery design for his 2012, garnered 63 likes by voting deadline. We echo Wes’ sentiments: “The board hosted a lot of great work!” “

Wes used SudtiposBurgues Script and Adobe Garamond Pro to create this gorgeous collateral letter pressed in PMS 325 and Black on natural white letter press paper.

A huge thanks to all of those who entered both contests! Let us know if in the comments if you’d like to see more in the future.

Pinterested: Wedding Boards


Wedding Month at FontShop is coming to a close, but our wedding boards will remain on Pinterest. We have a handful of lovely boards that you can browse and repin from all year long, whenever the time is right. If you’re in need for some wedding inspiration, check out these boards:

  • Wedding Month Design Contest: Don’t forget to Like your favorite design before July 1st!
  • I do, I do, I do: Find beautiful photographs from fStop Images and great examples of typography in wedding design.
  • Love At First Type: Some typefaces that will warm your heart.
  • Great Pairs: Here, you’ll find pairs of all kinds (not just script faces), some of which you might find could be a great pair for your wedding invitation!
  • Lovin’ U: A random collection of fonts — browse some faces that will make U look good!

Don’t forget to follow us on Pinterest for font updates!

Wedding Typography: Sending the Files off to the Printer


Getting everything to your printer so that he or she can create the invitations begins with checking your output. Last time we talked about saving to, exporting, or printing to PDF (from a number of non-design apps). If you’re a designer, you know this is the norm when working with printers. We’ll now take the PDF you produced, give it a quick review and note a couple of common problems to watch out for.


File size

If your PDF file contains just text on a white background, the resulting file should be relatively small, a few hundred KB maximum. (If it includes, say, a large photo, it should be ~a few MB.) But if it doesn’t have any photos, it should definitely be below a MB in size.

Verify resolution


Open up that PDF and zoom way in. Above, I’ve made a side-by-side comparison to show what it shouldn’t look like, and what it should. On the left, the type is rasterized—turned into pixels at a fixed level of zoom. On the right, the type is made of vector shapes—so now matter how far you zoom in, the contours remain crisp and solid. If you’re getting the problem on the left in your PDF, you’re probably using photo-editing software such as Photoshop to save your PDF. Instead, use either a professional layout program such as InDesign, or a non-design program that’s capable of delivering similar results.

One final check


Just to make sure the fonts were properly embedded into the final PDF, it’s helpful to view it on a computer that doesn’t have those fonts installed. If when you check, the type shows up in a default font, such as Times New Roman instead of the desired ones, it means the fonts you specified didn’t embed properly. What now? It may be easiest to try the process in a different program, or call in a graphic designer who can likely help you resolve the problem with minimal effort.

Nice to have

After sending off the PDF, if at all possible have the printer send you a physical proof before production begins. This used to be the norm but now it’s more rare due to distance between printers and their customers.

Thanks Ramiro Espinoza’s Medusa for illustrating today’s post. Using Type continues here Thursday.

Williams Caslon and Figgins Sans

Williams-Caslon-and-Figgins-Sans-1For the final great pair of Wedding Month, we look at the relationship between two faces developed from English printing types, William Berkson’s Williams Caslon, and Nick Shinn’s Figgins Sans. I’ve featured Williams Caslon through the course of Wedding Month, mentioning it in the Using Type piece on non-traditional invitations. (The swash alternates included in its italic are fantastic.) Williams Caslon’s strength is text, and it was designed to reproduce by digital means the effect given by an earlier, yet not archetypal Caslon, Linotype’s hot metal Caslon of the 1920s.

Williams-Caslon-and-Figgins-Sans-2Williams-Caslon-and-Figgins-Sans-7 Williams-Caslon-and-Figgins-Sans-5 Williams-Caslon-and-Figgins-Sans-4 Williams-Caslon-and-Figgins-Sans-3

Paired with Williams Caslon is a revival of an early sans from the man who first coined the term sans serif, Vincent Figgins. Its awkward forms might upon close inspection suggest a face devoid basic table manners, but I welcome its untamed energy as does the plain yet dignified Caslon family. Working together, each introduces just enough grit to keep the guests relaxed and comfortable, but not without losing its inherent stateliness. Figgins Sans is part of the larger Modern Suite. Great Pairs continue here Wednesday.

Pinterested: Wedding Design



Don’t forget to check out the submissions for our Wedding Design Contest on Pinterest. Our Wedding Month Design Contest pinboard features over 80 designs that were submitted — simply Like your favorite pinned design on Pinterest before midnight on July 1!


Wedding Typography: Designing in Non-design Programs


For most of these Wedding Month posts I’ve made the assumption that I’m talking to designers who are well outfitted to create layouts using the latest design software, but I realize that with this subject I’m sure to get a number of readers interested in typography who don’t necessarily know their way around or have access to common design programs such as Adobe Illustrator or InDesign. This one is for you.

Begin with the end in mind

If you’re outsourcing the printing, (instead of printing at home), your printer will need a high-quality file from which to produce the final piece. PDF is generally preferred. Let’s do a quick test. Open up your word processor of choice, write the word ‘test’ and save or export a PDF of the test file. Word/TextEdit/Publisher/Pages all do this, but depending on the operating system and version of your software, you may be required to install an additional piece of software that allows you to create PDF files by ‘printing to PDF.’

Having to come up with some workaround PDF creator is more likely for Windows users, since Mac has had native support for it for the last ten or so years. If you’ve tried to save to, export to, or print to PDF with no luck, search the web for a PDF printer such as CutePDF or BullZip PDF (just to name a couple popular ones). These install like normal software, but when you need to export a PDF, instead of finding it in your export settings, instead you go as you would to print the file to a locally connected printer, and select this service, CutePDF or whatever, instead. A dialog guides you through the process of where the PDF is to be saved. If Adobe Acrobat Pro has ever been installed on your system, you’ll find you already have a PDF printer (called Adobe PDF), and in fact, the ability to save to PDF from nearly all your programs. Adobe Acrobat Reader (the limited, read-only version) is not Adobe Acrobat Pro.

Microsoft Office users since Office 2007 have had the ability to export to PDF (I think). Microsoft’s page on how to do this covers Word, Publisher, and others.

Google Documents can be a nice option, since the ability to produce PDFs is built in. The one major hangup is that you’re limited to Google’s catalog of fonts, which may or may not coincide with what you’ve got installed on your own system. If the one you want to use is installed on your computer, but not in Google’s, you can’t use it. There are however a number of very good typefaces to choose from, like Juan Pablo del Peral’s Alegreya, along with plenty of so-sos.


Produce it

After you’ve successfully exported a PDF and opened it to make sure it works, you’re ready to start on the real invitation. The great thing about formal invitations is that most of the designing has already been done. Set the dimensions of the cards you’ll print on, follow the guidelines in my previous post on working with scripts, export your PDF, send it off to your printer, and you’re done. Just to reiterate, the guidelines in brief are these: Use a single size. Set the line height to a generous increment. Center all text. Make sure the fine lines in the type are of sufficient weight. Particularly designing in Windows, I recommend following Mayene’s recommendations on choosing script faces with limited character palettes. Or if you decide to go with an engravers face such as Sweet Sans, make sure to choose the simplified non-pro version for access to the small caps.

You’re not alone.

Give us a call or e-mail us if you have any questions about which of our fonts will work in which programs. It’s of course not our line of work to teach you how to use your computer or manage your relationship with a printer, but for anything font-support-related we’re here to help. Special thanks to Cyrus Highsmith’s Novia for setting the samples. Using Type continues here Thursday.

Sweet Sans and Business Penmanship


Having kept an eye out for a definitive standard on American wedding announcements or other physical social media, I was glad to finally come across Emily Post’s Etiquette in Society, which to my mind is the latest reference to introduce a principled set of norms to the medium. While thoroughly anachronistic, I prefer it to today’s anything goes, a standard so lax it becomes synonymous with no standard at all. It requires courage to pen a line such as “The wording and spacing [of the handwritten invitation] must follow the engraved models exactly.” It’s in Chapter 11 Invitations, Acceptances and Regrets, that I remember reading a couple years back,

“All other formal invitations are engraved (never printed) on cards of thin white matte Bristol board, either plain or plate-marked like those for wedding reception cards.”

“Printed” here means that the cards are not to be letterpress printed. We’ve since swung 180° on this point, with letterpress printing back in fashionable use, but the question made brings up a few interesting points. First, engraving is a refined medium, and beside handwriting, the only suitable one for these important matters. Second, engravers alphabets come from a completely different tradition than printing types. The process is different, and the limitations of each medium, real and imposed, are very different. Thus the function, feel, and look of the type in both instances diverge. Third, in order to create an invitation that looks like one produced through traditional means, one must either follow through with the original engraving process, or design with type that comes from that tradition, made specifically to work well in a different medium, such as offset lithography or digital printing.


The Sweet Collection, including one of the subjects of our pairing, Mark van Bronkhorst’s Sweet Sans, is an example of an entire catalogue of faces drawn to this specification. They’re made to look and work like traditional engravers alphabets in print. Others exist, such as the Sackers series, but none are done so well, nor expanded into such developed families. The other face is Alejandro Paul’s Business Penmanship, a stand-in for your own penmanship, or a fine (sadly period-specific) replacement, based on the handwriting styles taught by Spencer, Zaner, Palmer, and others. My mother’s hand is more or less this exactly.


Sweet Sans is shown here in all small caps, available via OpenType. If you’re not using an OpenType-savvy app and would still like access to the small caps, there’s a small cap version specifically for you.


Together, the two work flawlessly. Their stylistic contrast, and cohesive period feel serve to deliver their message with a simple unvarnished tone.



Great Pairs continue here Wednesday.

Vote for Your Favorite Wedding Month Design


At the beginning of June we cordially invited you to send us your wedding collateral designs. Dozens of you responded, submitting over 80 designs. Today we’re excited to open up the Wedding Month Design Contest Pinterest board for public voting. It’s simple, the design with the most likes by midnight on July 1 will win. The talented designer will receive a $100 credit at FontShop. And you all receive a load of eye candy by clicking over to the board!

Which of these couples is your favorite great pair?

Four couples were sweet enough to tell us their “great pairs” story for Wedding Month. Instead of whittling down our favorites we leave it up our readers to select who deserves $100 on FontShop toward a “font registry” selected by Type Expert David Sudweeks.

Read their stories and then vote below.

Jen & Chris

Some people say opposites attract, and I would dare to say that these differences are what make us fit… Chris & I met a long time ago when we were teenagers, running in the same circles… We didn’t like each other at all. He thought I was pretentious and I thought he was a loser… When our lines crossed years later, it was those differences that we found interesting, and that keep our relationship amazing. We listen to different music, like different movies – I like art movies, and he likes Die Hard, I like heavy metal, he prefers alt country. He’s 6’1″, and I’m 5’4″. I cook, he eats. I break things, he fixes them. We have different friends, and different hobbies.He is always trackside at all my roller derby matches, and I am always front row centre at every concert he plays, and when we meet in the middle, we always have something to say.

Angela’s Story

My fiance and I are a perfect fit because our opposites and similarities mesh perfectly like butter oozing into the crispy compartments of an Eggo waffle. He’s an analytic and straight-thinker, and I’m an abstract-thinking artist. He can crunch numbers in his sleep, and I’m still trying to figure out what numbers are. He likes the middle chewy brownies, and I prefer the crispy edge pieces. Our common loves of photography, traveling and cooking brought us together, but our complementary differences are what keep our relationship thriving. While we still have spirited debates over whether or not the ketchup should be kept in the refrigerator and whether the toilet paper should be situated end out or down, our differences keep things interesting and keep us on our toes.

Ruben’s Story

We would seldom pair two serifs together. And with good reason: when pairing, we want to get the most out of playing two different tones, and two seriffed typefaces can easily convey the same tone. We want harmony; a chord. We want rhythm, which cannot be had with just one continuous tone or with just pure silence. Good cop, bad cop (irrelevant cops). We want to say different things differently. And also, we want the equivalent of our parent of the opposite sex so we can play our parent of the same sex, which is what we learned while growing up.
So this is obviously not about me and my girlfriend, nor is it about music or typography: it’s clearly about the Universe.
You see, there is yin and yang. There is light and darkness. If everything was darkness, the Universe would be featureless. Likewise if everything was light. How could you point out something to me if there were no boundaries? Well, you and I wouldn’t exist, so there’s that.
My girlfriend and I would also certainly not exist. Because everything about us is really just about boundaries. Boundaries we create for ourselves whose limitations and faults we constantly see in the other. Boundaries which we would feel no need to cross, except if we wanted to touch and, in fact, become one with one another and thusly bring something new to the text.
We are two serifs. However, very different ones. We clash. We say two very different things using the same sentence.
Sometimes we might feel harmonious. Other times we are dissonant. Sometimes we synchronise frequencies for a brief second and amplify each other’s tone, resonating, only to then gradually grow further apart and make the difference become naturally self-evident. That’s because while my spacing is loose, my shapes are tight; my colour is uneven, but I pull her along with those deftly (or not) positioned and counter-balanced spots of lightness and darkness. And while her shapes are loose, she is tightly kerned; her colour is consistently composed, which does make for a better looking block of text and is a lot less distracting and more constant.
And when we least expect it, I am somehow her, and she is somehow me. We switch tones.
And that’s how you pair two serifs together: let them be very different; but just put them together long enough, with strong enough conviction (and some experimentation), and you will eventually find that the fact that they’re both serifs can only hold them together. It’s not that they have different serifs; it’s that they both have them that matters most.

Katie & Jerry

Jerry and I met in college while on a trip with mutual friends to an ice skating rink. By the end of our first night I knew that he was an accomplished figure skater (hot!), that he loved Bill Nye the Science Guy, and that I was completely smitten. It took me a while to convince him that we were perfect for each other…I had a head of bright pink hair, he definitely did not; he was a gamer, I was not; he was the pickiest eater I had ever met (the only fruit he ate was apples, his diet consisted of plain pasta, rice, chicken, and Goldfish crackers), I was kind of horrified that my usual method of wooing (lots, and lots of food) was just not going to work. But here we are, almost 5 years later. I’ve become a gamer, he eats like a human, and no one has pink hair. I cannot imagine my life without him. Somehow, together we equal more than the sum of our parts, and our differences balance us. We’re getting married 10/4/14 (10+4=14! nerds!) and would like to find typefaces that are as great together as we are.

Buyer’s Guide: Picking script fonts for non-design programs


A couple weeks ago, we talked about picking scripts for design programs. This week, we’ll discuss picking the right swashy font for those who will be using them in programs like Microsoft Office or iWorks applications.

Picking scripts for non-design programs gets a little bit tricky. Microsoft Office does not handle OpenType features well — these OpenType features include the beautiful stylistic or contextual alternates available in some script typefaces that you might want to use and are discussed in our Using Type: Contextual Alternates, Ligatures post. Don’t worry: there are script fonts that are made to work in Word or Pages, if that’s what you’ll be designing your invitations or printing your envelopes from.


For example, let’s take Feel Script and Mahogany Script. Feel Script is beautiful and a quite popular typeface for wedding collateral. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work well in Microsoft Office or Pages. If you take a look at the Character Set for Feel Script, you’ll see that this one font alone has over 1,000 glyphs:


On the product page for Feel Script, you can view all the glyphs in the character set as well as see how many glyphs total there are. If a script font has over 1,000 glyphs, it’s safe to say that it won’t work as well in Microsoft Office or Pages. Many of the basic glyphs (such as the default uppercase and lowercase letters and default numeral set) would work in non-design programs, but if you had your eye on a beautiful curve in the Stylistic or Contextual Alternates, you’re likely to be disappointed that you can’t use or access them. Pages may be able to access some Stylistic Alternates, but it’s not guaranteed. Instead, Mahogany Script is a good alternative solution.


Bickham Script Pro is another popular wedding typeface that does not work well in Microsoft Office programs. Fortunately, there are a lot of alternatives to use, like Helinda Rook. Let’s take a look at Helinda’s character set:


Compared to a more complex font like Feel Script, you’ll notice that there are no Stylistic or Contextual Alternates listed and the total number of glyphs is pretty small. It’s safe to assume that a script font that has about 200 to 300 total glyphs will work just fine in Word or Pages, especially if there are no Alternates listed. You might also find that some of these fonts with smaller character sets are listed as “PC TrueType” format fonts — do note that PC TrueType fonts do work on Macs!

Also, some fonts that are usable on Word or Pages do have Alternates, but the Alternates are treated differently:


For example, here’s Sloop. If you do want to use a font with Stylistic Alternates, some fonts are divided into separate font files. Here, you’ll see “Sloop Script One”, “Two”, and “Three”. At a glance, they all look similar, but you’ll notice that some letters have more swashes to them. Instead of treating these swashy alternates as OpenType features, they are offered as separate font files for those who use programs that can’t access OpenType features — you’ll need to install all three font files to access the alternates.

Stay tuned this week for our Using Type post on Thursday which will address accessing OpenType features in programs such as Pages or Word.

If you’re still having trouble choosing a font or something similar to a font you can’t use in Word or Pages, don’t hesitate to contact our Sales & Support team — we’ll help you find the right font for your needs!

Pinterested: We do!


Wedding Month continues at FontShop! Last week, we created the I do, I do, I do pinboard on Pinterest with some lovely wedding photography from fStop Images. This week, we pinned some great typographic wedding invitation designs and neat cake toppers that we found around the internet. We’ll keep on adding to this board as Wedding Month goes on. Stay tuned next week for a visual list of script faces you might like!

Nontraditional Invitations

Very briefly today, I’d like to draw a big distinction where some may see very little. That is in recognizing that type (specifically printed type) is a relative newcomer to the world of stationery, and therefore alien, nontraditional, unnatural, generally perceived as lowbrow, etc. when used in the medium of wedding announcements. One who was in the market for a set of wedding invitations in, say, 1913, would generally go to a stationer rather than a printer. Stationers are traditionally engravers or calligraphers. Contrast this with job printers, who occupy the lowest wrung of the graphic arts. (Letterpress printing did not carry the cachet it now enjoys.) Therefore, even though the below samples are typeset essentially identically in what I would consider a traditional composition, their use of types that depart from the engraving and calligraphic traditions make them nontraditional. That’s not to say that nontraditional invitations can’t be successful – to the contrary – here are a few that succeed and perhaps even outshine their more traditionally true counterparts.


Below, my favorite Caslon, Williams Caslon, sets the standard invitation text. Swashes are activated via OpenType.



Above, the tasty Avebury fills the traditional role of blackletter in the making of formal announcements. Below for contrast are two typefaces designed to represent the traditional medium. Poetica captures the steady hand of the calligrapher, and Mariage, the templated blackletter taken from samples of hand-engraved stationery.



I think my parents’ invitation was printed in a metal version of the above, a sensible, no frills blackletter, in gold ink. Using Type picks back up here on Thursday.

Parry and Parry Grotesque


At the risk of turning this blogging business into a commercial venture, I’d like to announce that today’s great pair was suggested by Rudy Geeraerts of OurType, and that its publishing corresponds to OurType’s set of Wedding Month Great Pairs, meaning that this specific pair, Parry and Parry Grotesque, is selling at 50% off right now; all packages and singles. And by the way, every package includes webfonts as part of the basic license. It’s a fine deal, to understate it.Parry-and-Parry-Grotesque-2


And what I love about Parry is its incredibly grounded, correspondence type feel. The kind you get looking at a page of text produced with a manual typewriter. In all weights its low contrast serves to lend candor and relatability to its message.


Parry-and-Parry-Grotesque-6The companion sans, Parry Grotesque translates the energy of the serifed face into its natural sans equivalent, a charming English grotesque, and to the extent it can, plays up the monolinear aspect of the design. This is really a smart move on the part of its designer, Artur Schmal, allowing each face to perform successfully in a broad range of sizes.


Putting these two together creates uninterrupted effervescence. To say that they were made for each other would be to state the obvious, which I happily do. This is a fun relationship that’s built to last. And to reiterate: these are on sale this week.

Pinterested: I do, I do, I do


To kick off Wedding Month on Pinterest, we created a board this week featuring beautiful wedding photos from fStop Images. This week, our I do, I do, I do pinboard features lovely bouquets and veiled brides. Follow our wedding board and stay tuned for next week’s additions: script fonts!