Blog Archives

All Archived Posts in fonts



The Foundation Collection Fonts from Monotype

The Foundation Collection of 75 Fonts from Monotype for £33

Fonts from Monotype: Are you a budding new graphic designer, or even a more seasoned designer? Looking for some solid and dependable fonts from which to build you typeface collection?

If yes, then this amazing limited time offer of fonts from Monotype ought not to be missed.

For just £33, instead of £330, you'll get a heap of 75 well known fonts to solidify your type library, including but not limited to: Avenir Next, Clarendon BT, Neue Haas Unica, DID Next Slab, Trade Gothic Next, Stemple Garamond and Unit Slab OT etc.

I really would recommend buying these fonts from Monotype if you're looking to some serious graphic designing, as a lot of these will certainly come in useful.

Good graphic design isn't just about using the latest new font; it's about using the font that is best for the job. In many cases: these established fonts are used to good effect, and they'll see you good for years to come.

 

The Foundation Typeface Collection from Monotype The Foundation Typeface Collection from Monotype The Foundation Typeface Collection from Monotype




Top Fonts on Font reach

Fontreach - FontReach scans the top million sites to show font usage across the web

FontReach: scans top million sites to show font usage across the web

Whilst trawling the web last night, I came across this amazing font related website, called: FontReach, which 'simply' scans the top million websites to show how fonts are used across the internet.

Website Design and developed by Jesse Chase and Jason Chen, who deserve epic Kudos for a fantastic idea well implemented.

I initially tweeted it, and quickly saw how many times it had been liked and RT'd, which is a good indicator of how popular it could be.

FontReach is a gorgeously designed website, not to mention really quite interesting, AND useful, to play around with. It actually does provide good insight into how popular and widespread, or not, certain fonts are.

As a web designer, looking to decide which fonts to use for a website design, FontReach could be a pretty useful tool. Being able to consider a more varied choice of web fonts, not to mention being provided with names of other fonts you might have known about before.

I did a few basic font searches, and the top results are not really all that surprising, with Arial (below) coming in ranked number 1. What I like is seeing how the many variations of a certain font are also used, so you get the whole picture based on a certain type family, rather than just the main 'parent' name.

I also did a quick search for Helvetica (ranked 3rd), Times (ranked 23rd), and Gotham (ranked 55th) and Comic Sans (ranked 84th). Shouldn't be surprised, or shocked, to see how often Comic Sans has been used as a font in a website design, but I still am.
Arial Font on Fontreach Times Font on Font reach Comic Sans Font on Fontreach Gotham Font on Fontreach Helvetica Font on Font reach




A-Brief-Summary-on-Font-Licensing

When I saw that Tweet in my Twitter timeline I rattled off half-a-dozen or so replies, and realised it would probably be somewhat more practical, and useful, to summarise them in a post. Here is that post: a quick run through of the main do's and don'ts with the subject of Font Licensing, commercial use, legal and moral right's and wrong's.

It's not a comprehensive list, but should certainly deal with the main legal issues to stop you inadvertently breaking a font licensing agreement. Feel free to ask me any questions, or general follow-up on Font Licensing, over on my Google+ thread for this post: https://plus.google.com/u/0/+GrahamSmith/posts/hrJty1PALAW

For the most part, the main gist of font licensing pretty straightforward, but I think a number of people assume that font licensing is somewhat of a minefield. I'll start with a summarised conclusion first, which ought to set you the right course.

The Quick Explain

Simply put: it is safer to consider any font, any typeface family, that you purchase, will have licensing restrictions when it comes to commercial applications. That is to say, if you buy a commercial font, and use it in a logo design for a client, you have taken the 1st step to moral and legal safe ground.

However, if you borrow a font/typeface, and use it in a commercial sense, for you or for a client, then you are almost certainly breaking the law. That the former is bad, and the latter is good. Buy is good, borrow is bad. OK?

Now please do remember: Each font foundry, each typeface designer, will have their own unique licensing arrangements that come with their fonts and typeface families (form hereon-in, I'll refer to both fonts and typefaces as fonts), and so nothing should be presumed/assumed about it's use. When it comes to small-print, reading a commercial font licence ought to be a priority, and certainly not passed over.

What is a Licence?

The purchase of a commercial font/typeface basically gives you, the buyer, a certain right/freedom to use it as you see fit, for both commercial and non-commercial works.

Again with the variety: some fonts come with 1 licence, some come with 1-5 Licences. A font that comes with 1 Licence basically means you can only install the font on one of your own computers.

A font that comes with a 1-5 licence means you can safely install the font on up to 5 of your own computers, but no more. If you have 7 computers, and you need the font on all 7, then you ought to buy another instance of the font, giving you freedom to install the font on up to 10 computers.

Using Myfonts to buy fonts

Font Licensing from Myfonts

As the image shows above, my recent purchase of Alright, by K-Type, allows me to install the font on 'up to 5 computers/users'. Here is their official, but brief, Font Licence text:

K-Type Standard License: Purchasing a K-Type font grants you non-exclusive rights to use the font commercially on paper, on film, online and embedded in documents. The software may be stored on up to five workstations and output devices. You cannot legally give the font to others or install it on their machines (with the exception of co-workers and your service bureau).

Myfonts makes font purchasing, licensing and to whom it should be licensed to, very easy and clear to understand.

Font Usage in a Logo Design

Myfonts also addressed the specific topic of font licensing and usage within a logo in a post: [Font] Usage in a logo which is definitely worth a read.

Font Licence and Registration

During the checkout process for Alright, you can see in Step 2 (above), one has the opportunity to specify to whom the font will actually be licensed to. So even someone else might have kindly purchased the font for me, they have registered the licence of the font also to me, thus removing them from any legal implications arising out of me copying and distributing the font! Very bad.

Contrary to what some people would like to believe, the licence is unique to you, and does not then mean you can give that font to up to 4 of your mates, or clients. This is quite a common misconception, and I think this is where confusion over font licensing exists.

Font Licensing for Designer and Client

This is where font licensing can get a little tricker to get, so here are a few typical scenarios to get your head around.

Scenario One: Designer and Client

Let's suppose you are designing a logo for a client who will be using the logo for commercial gain. As the designer, you have no intention to ever use that font again, and basically will forget it ever existed.

— In this example the font licence is needed by just one person, ideally registering the client as the owner of the font. You the designer can buy the font, but ideally need to register the licence to the client. But remember, this effectively means as the designer you would be breaking the licensing agreement if you decided to use the font again for another client, and could in all likely hood actually get your first client in trouble, as they are now responsible for that particular font's licensing. This is a good scenario to avoid.

This means the client who purchased and registered the font licence in their name, can use the font for internal and external use, and is useful/required if they decide to use the font as a key part of their brand identity.

*The previously mentioned limitations on how many computers the font can be installed on holds true for whoever buys and licences the font. So, if you, the designer, buy and register a font for your client as part of your project/client service, you must ensure the client understand they can only install that font on however many computers the licence is valid for.

*If the client subsequently lends the font to other people, who also lend it further down the line to be used commercially, then pretty much everyone associated with the font is doing bad, and are all equally liable.

Scenario Two: Designer and Client

Again you are designing a logo for a client who will be using it in a commercial way. As the designer, you love this font so much, that you anticipate wanting to use the font for further projects down the line for other commercial applications.

— This example basically means you need to buy at least two individual instances of the font, and it's licence. This will allow both the client and designer to install the font on their respective computers, and safely use the font as per the licence description. 

*The same warnings with the asterisk above hold true, but also some more below.

*However, and additionally, if sometime down the line you end up using this same font for another client, then you'll need to ensure this new client also buys the font, and understands the licence restrictions in it's use, etc etc.

Buying the font once, does not give you free reign to use the font for any number of other people for ever and ever. Each time you use a commercial font in a design for a client, and that design will be used in some commercial sense by someone other than you, you need to assess how the licence might come into question.

Who Should Buy/Licence a Font for a Client?

There are risks with buying a font for someone else, as you are the one ultimately responsible for any wrong doing accidentally/purposefully made by your client.

This isn't to say you shouldn't arrange the purchase of the font for your client, but do then ensure that the font purchase, and it's licence, are correctly registered to your client (assuming you have no plans to use the font yourself as above). I have purchased a number of commercial fonts on my clients behalf, and also suggested in some cases that the client actually buys and registers the licence themselves.

If you just want an easy life, then simply ask the client to buy and licence the font themselves. Easy.

If you have purchased a font licence for your client, then it's crucially important that your client understands the limitations, and it's accepted use, when it comes to their new font.

Free Fonts & Restrictive Font Licensing

Somewhat confusingly, free fonts for download can come with quite restrictive font licence, and other free fonts are complete with zero-free restrictions.

Do not assume just because a designer has generously made the font for free, that it's also then permissible for you to use the font in a commercial sense.

Oftentimes, if you read the licence, you'll notice that this particular free font CAN be freely used in private works, but CANNOT be used in commercial works, except with express permission from the designer.

So for peace of mind, it's certainly worth reading a free fonts licence, and if you like it so much that it needs to be used for a client logo design, then do the decent thing and ask the fonts designer for permission first.

Conclusion

As you can see, the subject of font licensing can get a little murkey if you are not simply fully aware of how font licensing works on it's simplest level. It's just safer to assume that font licensing needs to be acknowledged, and that it needs to be checked each time you use a commercial font for commercial use. If you do that then you ought not go wrong.

Remember to share the font licensing information and limitations with any client, friend, work colleague who might also be using the font, regardless if the end use is private work, or some form of commercial use.

Font and typeface design is a highly skilled, and very technically creative art. These mastercraftspeople toil for months and months, on glyph after glyph, really do deserve recognition and respect.

Buying the font is just one part of your commitment to their work you are buying. Using the font as per their licence is just as important, if not more so, then buying it.

Et Cetera

Worth mentioning is this often discussed question, "If a client has purchased the font that I'll be using to create the logo, but I myself [the designer] will not be using that font past this project, am I able to use/install that font for the creation of the logo without a licence? Or do I still need to buy the font, and it's licence, even though I have absolutely no plans to use it past this current job?"

I have heard, by various font foundries, type designers etc, that they understand the somewhat unpractical expectation of forcing a designer to buy a font for a short period of time needed to create their masterpiece. The problem with this sort of 'leniency' is that once you install a font, given/lent to you by someone else, is how often then that font is removed, and never used again. Herein lies the bigger problem with font piracy/using without a valid licence… and probably needs a much longer post/discussion to get to the bottom of. Although I doubt there is such a bottom.

In all these cases, the unwritten rule/understanding is that it's sort of OK to use/install a font that doesn't belong to you: as long as it's for a legitimate temporary period. *I'm absolutely not saying that this holds true for evert type designer and foundry, but I think it's certainly reasonable to assume that this is a reasonable exception to the font licensing rule. But as with a lot of things, don't count on that being a commercial default.




Helvetica Wine Bottle designed by Wild Wild Web Studio-3

Helvetica Wine Bottle designed by Wild Wild Web Studio-3

Helvetica Wine Bottle: A Sans-Serif Wine

This has just made my Friday! Thanks to Kris Kolvin for letting me know about this beauty. We've had a whole variety of Helvetica themed goodies in the past, from the Helvetica BikeHelvetica The Perfume: "The Scent of Nothing", the gorgeous Helvetica Moleskines and a crap load of other Helvetica themed items.

Now we have Helvetica Wine, designed by WildWildWeb based in Spain. This is a thing of beautify with carefully designed details down to the stamped 'Helvetica Wine' wax sealed cork with the Helvetica alphabet printed around the corks side. The typography on the bottle is gorgeous, but that wax sealed cork sealed it for me…

Buy Your Own Bottle of Vintage Helvetica Bold 75

The Helvetica Wine bottle is not just a concept, oh no no no.

You can buy a bottle of this fine sans-serif wine from Vinorama, for a refreshing €9.25. It's a limited edition run, with 1300 bottles being filled and silkscreened.

Bodegas Barreda: Led by Vinorama, Torre de Barreda (one of the best wineries in Castilla La Mancha) and the design studio wildwildweb born this tribute to the queen of fonts: Helvetica ®, developed by Max Miedinger and Edouard Hoffmann in 1957.

Helvetica ® Wine has been careful preparation, the process from grape to bottle design, which makes it a premium wine along with an undisputed design element.

Tasting Notes
Garnet color with some violet tones, aroma leaves touches of red and black fruits almost equal parts. Its flavor is mild at the same vigorous, with an agile on the palate, leaving a pleasant and relaxing end feel. Very complete.

Varieties: 100% Tempranillo
Aging: 6 months in casks
Serving temperature: Between 14ºC and 15ºC.
Alcohol: 14.5% Vintage: 2012
Producer: Bodegas Barreda

Helvetica Wine Bottle designed by Wild Wild Web Studio-3

Helvetica Wine Bottle designed by Wild Wild Web Studio-3

Helvetica Wine Bottle designed by Wild Wild Web Studio-3




Glober font by Font Fabric

 

Glober font by Font Fabric

Glober font by Font Fabric

Glober font by Font Fabric

Some of the offers on Myfonts are simply ludicrous. When you consider HOW much effort, skill, passion goes into the research and development of just one font, let alone a complete typeface family, it does make me wonder how on earth they can sell the complete Glober Sans-Serif Type System: 18 weights, for (currently) £11.60 which is 90% off their recommended pricing.

This is a great type family to get your hands on: a beautiful selection of fonts—I'm particularly drawn to the thin/light and heavier weights—for such a stupid amount of money.

Font Fabric: "The Glober font family includes 18 weights – nine uprights with nine italics. It is characterized by excellent legibility in both – web & print design areas, well-finished geometric designs, optimized kerning, excellent web-font performance and legibility etc.

Inspired by the classic grotesque typefaces – Glober has his own unique style in expressed perfect softened geometric forms.

The font family is most suitable for headlines of all sizes, as well as for text blocks that come in both maximum and minimum variations. Glober font styles are applicable for any type of graphic design in web, print, motion graphics etc and perfect for t-shirts and other items like posters, logos."

Glober font by Font Fabric

Type Hero for Logo Designers

Type Hero is where I pick out certain fonts and typefaces that I find particularly cool, useful, charming, endearing, value for money etc. For the most part the font choices will be geared towards styles that I feel would work well in a logo and brand identity design scenario.

MyFonts has become a steady source of font inspiration, so many will be sourced from there, but I will also highlight fonts direct from font foundries when possible.

Worth noting, I think, that all Type Hero suggestions are based on fonts I have myself purchased. I am indeed: talking the walk, and walking the talk.




Skiplex logo deconstruction and guidelines

Skiplex Logo Design Deconstructed

The Skiplex logo (logotype: just the logo wording) was customised from two commercial fonts, with emphasis on creating a contrast between ski & plex, but not so much to create a distraction.

The construction and foundations of each part of each letter was looked at in detail, to create continuity with the whole notion of the downhill/slope movement which is fundamental to the Skiplex experience. Where possible, the ends of letters were angled, parts of the tops of letters like the k, i, p then the bottoms of the e and x align perfectly on this downward slope (indicated by the green guides), with intersections of elements (indicated by the pink circles).

The key design feature was the use of Negative Space (indicated by the grey shading) that flows through the logomark and carries on into the bottom of the S. This creates a gentle downwards slope, and leads nicely into the S.

This design feature is also applied to the ‘dot’ on the i, when the top of the k acts as the ‘ramp’ and flows into the negative space under the light blue dot (which mimics the light blue portion of the logomark) of the i.




public gothic font

Here's some tasty visual inspiration for a Sunday afternoon for you. In terms of nailing the marking and promotion of their vintage style font, Antrepo sort of hit it smack bang middle of the head.

Awesome graphic design work, not to mention superb vintage style typography to really drive home the visual message of their font: Public Gothic.

Those vintage style cans are so perfect: the colours, the layout, the distress, everything about the graphic design is spot-on. If you don't have your own copy of the Public Gothic Typeface family, then seriously think about getting it at the following link: http://www.antreposhop.com/product/public-gothic-font-family

It's certainly a worthwhile addition to your vintage typeface collection. Here are some of the details:

Public Gothic
Font Family (5 fonts)

It is little industrial, little vintage, little condensed, little bold.
Public Gothic is our new retro typeface! PB family members are PG Square, PG Vintage, PG Circular, PG Federal, PG Little and Italic variation of PG Square, PG Circular, PG Little. It's compatible with any OS system.

public gothic font

pbce02 pbce03

 

public gothic font

T04 T02-1

public gothic font

public gothic font

public gothic font

public gothic font

public gothic font




Another fab sale offer, on MyFonts, for Korpo Serif, designed by Mateusz Machalski. You can currently pick up this serif type family, consisting of 10 weights, for just $30 instead of $150:

MyFonts on Korpo SerifKorpo Serif, designed by Mateusz Machalski, is a serif type family with a friendly feel. Serif style brings to mind egyptian or slab styles. This type contains 10 variants with two different “a” ang “g” glyph per style. Korpo contain Small CAPS in two styles. Broken details were made intentionally for better readability. The low contrast and high x height is perfect for longer text and Headlines.

Tend to find that finding a serif font that I like is usually quite tricky.

There are plenty to choose from, but I have quite a specific idea of what a good, useable and versatile serif, especially for logo designs, is thus it's great when one surfaces like Korpo Serif.

It has some presence, not too spindly or narrow, feels welcoming as well as having strength. Ticks all the boxes for me, and I've just downloaded it for a new logo project I'm currently working on.

Buy Korpo Serif, by Mateusz Machalski, for $30.

Korpo Serif, designed by Mateusz Machalski 1 Korpo Serif, designed by Mateusz Machalski 2 Korpo Serif, designed by Mateusz Machalski 4

Type Hero for Logo Designers

Type Hero is where I pick out certain fonts and typefaces that I find particularly cool. For the most part the font choices will be geared towards styles that I feel could work well in a logo design.

MyFonts has become a steady source of font inspiration, so many will be sourced from there, but I will also highlight fonts direct from font foundries when possible.

I also have or have recently purchased all Type Hero fonts, so I am talking the walk and walking the talk.

 





I certainly understand that choosing the right font for a logo design can seem to some clients to be a complete mystery that will get them so worked up that they refuse to want anything to do with it.

I guess with some clients that might be a good idea, but there are certainly some clients that might be better at selecting a font than they themselves realise.

I'm not necessarily talking about giving a client a 'blank sheet' and expect them to do your job for you, neither am I suggesting you SHOULD always give your client a choice, but there is place and time during the course a logo design where a clients input might make the client feel more part of the design process.

I know it might seem obvious to some of you, but I do know some designers who refuse to allow their clients any where near making a font choice because said designer has already got the final design signed-off in their head, even if the client doesn't know it yet.

So I thought I would just scribble a few words about this important part of the logo design process.

I often find myself asking the client to choose from a selection of fonts that I have carefully and thoughtfully sifted though, often after days of searching and scanning 100's and 100's of options.

Yet when I present this carefully curated list of font options the client can often remark, "I don't know what I'm looking at because I know very little about fonts." This is a honest response, but I also then feel that a client can make the idea of choosing a font to be so hideously difficult that they simply shut-down at the very idea of being asked to make a choice.

Font Choices

It's important to explain to the client that you would not allow them to make a drastically bad decision, or choose a font that technically or aesthetically is totally inappropriate, but at the same time giving them some confidence to take part in the evolution of their logo.

If you don't make it clear that you are the font 'gate' keeper, then they might reasonable presume they could choose completely the wrong font which is where the anxiety usually comes from.

Often at this point in a logo projects evolution, the logo mark has been signed off, the general style of the font has also been approved: say a strong serif font (see above for Viva Chocolat: I used this selection as the final selection for the client to choose from, but I did thrown in a wild card).

You've found a selection of approximately 12 serif fonts that you feel would work, but now would like the client to see if there is one from this 'final' selection that they like.

It's not them choosing life or death here, it's giving them the opportunity to make a style choice that's not going to break a logo into a million pieces.

I might say to them that it''s more about looking at a font style as a form of dress or suit: does it fit the body shape well, is it styled in a manor that is pleasing to you, and overall does it look appropriate to represent your brand.

One will know if a suit or dress is inappropriate for a certain event, we even know what's acceptable for just going down the pub on a Friday. That decision would be much much easier then if you had your partner pick out 6 suits/dresses for you, and asked you to choose one knowing that all 6 would be suitable.

All you need to do now is not worry about picking a suit that is going to be a disaster because you trust your partner to know exactly what is appropriate, so you can now breathe a little easier knowing that you can now choose one that best reflects the look you want to give.

The client needs to know that you have carefully selected a range of fonts that any one of would work, but one will, or could be, more preferable to the client even for a reason they might not understand.

Simply might just be a gut feeling, or something else as to what font they choose.

Asking a client to choose a font doesn't need to be a massively anxiety filled decision, or even one that is technically or right or wrong.

You can also encourage them to try and give 'simple' reasons for any choice they make as they might surprise themselves, and you for that matter, by actually coming up with something that is valid and appropriate.

"Ultimately I wouldn't let you choose a font that was totally wrong, inappropriate in any way!"*

*Although there are cases where a client will insist of a font choice that is a complete disaster even after your passionate pleas to listen to reason. Sometimes you simply can't get through and have experienced reason taken seriously.

Graham Smith

Ask Graham a Question on Logo & Brand Identity [AQFG]

If you have a question or issue that you need a hand with then please take a look at this post: http://imjustcreative.com/ask-graham-a-question-on-logo-brand-identity and feel free to whip me a line.

I'll try my best to address it in a unique blog post so that you and others can hopefully get some use from it.