Please, no more Open Sans for a while

If you are also tired of seeing the ever same fonts and style on the web, and the rich typefaces getting richer, here is a running shortlist of potential body copy typefaces for I once compiled. I did not test how they look in extended text yet, nor rendering across platforms/browsers. That would be the next step (and we’re also still quite happy with Elido although see that we could use more extensive language support). But maybe you are looking for a fresh, lesser seen typeface and want to check some out anyway. Trying on new clothes is luckily quite easy if you have a website up already, e. g. with tools/bookmarklets that swap out the fonts you currently use, like Webtype’s Font Swapper or FontShop’s Webfonter. Also, most of the typefaces below are available on Fontstand or as trial versions from the foundries, so you can test them locally or in mockups. Let us know if you end up using any at some point.

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Elido by Sibylle Hagmann

… and a bit about type on the web in general.

It’s long overdue that we introduce you to Elido more. I won’t even need that many specimen images because it’s the typeface you are reading right now. When we were discussing the fonts for the Alphabettes blog, we were after something that looks appropriate for very diverse content that we didn’t have yet — potentially long or maybe short, serious, delightful, angry or funny — and that is comfortable to read and rendering well on the web. All demands that many editorial sites share.


Elido specimen images by Sibylle Hagmann

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Our Favourite Typefaces of 1915

It’s been an exciting year in type; one that saw many technical innovations, company mergers and restructuring, as well as some delightful new font releases which we will surely encounter in printed matter around the world soon.

But let’s start with the biggest loss for our industry in 1915: Georges Peignot, type founder in Paris and one of our greatest type designers — of Grasset, Auriol, or Cochin to name a few — died in battle, only 43 years old. Curious to see how long the foundry will be able to remain independent without its head :/ Another substantial loss was the death of Wilhelm Woellmer’s CEO Siegmund Borchardt. His son Fritz (34) suceeded him at the Berlin foundry.

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Caslon Openface

Caslon Openface

It’s talked about everywhere — typefaces are expected to be available in large series these days, not just a handful of fonts. The good folks of ATF-division Barnhart Brothers & Spindlers listened and added an open/inline variant to their popular Caslon Series (as others are doing, too). According to BB & S’s marketing material, it’s “light, airy, dainty [blah…] and decidedly French”. This is a fun stretch as almost all of us would think of Caslon as decidedly English. Compared to Caslon’s Inline, Caslon Openface features many totally different letterforms and has a much smaller x-height.

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You know the problem: you set your mind on a typeface and then it’s not available in your size, format, or for the machine you have. 😞 In the case of Bodoni, this just got a little less likely to happen.


Yum. Fake Small Caps

Card Bodoni for one is the latest style in the expansive ATF Bodoni series. Like virtually everything at ATF, it was drawn by Morris Fuller Benton as an adaption of their standard smash hit to an all-caps titling face (meaning, cast on the full body without descenders). This is especially handy for the setting of forms, cards (duh) and other stationary. A few glyphs like J, Q and punctuation were changed so that they do not reach below the baseline.

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Indra Loves Buttermann

This is the first in a series of letter love Love Letters where we’re showing a piece of letter-related ephemera we love.

buttermann sw

I love Buttermann (butter man), the logo/mascot of the Dresden Brüder Butter type foundry (later Schriftguss A.-G.) from the 1920s. It is so joyful and affable like no other logo today, at least not in any type related business. Buttermann cheers to you from specimen books, merchandise coins, or hurries through poster type with a spoon of lead in his hand.

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Schriftguss AG vorm. Brüder Butter

The Brüder Butter / Schriftguss AG type foundry in Dresden, Germany was one of the most interesting and multifaceted ones in Europe in the 1920s — yet almost no one has ever heard of them.

Schriftguss AG 2186

The Dresden site of the Butters in Großenhainer Straße, where today, some of Eckehart SchumacherGebler’s extensive type collection is stored. Next door, in the former Typoart building, is now his Monotype typesetting and print shop. Photo by Romesh Naik. (Incidentally, I am right here for a week of workshops currently.)

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Academic Publishing on Typography

For the scholars among you who are looking for peer-reviewed places to publish their research papers, the following publications and journals may publish articles on type and typography related topics, visual communication, etc. (online forum, may not count as peer-reviewed)
British Journal of Educational Technology
Convergence — International Journal of Research into New Media Technologies
Communication Design — Interdisciplinary and Graphic Design Research
Design Issues
Design and Culture
Digital Creativity
Gutenberg Jahrbuch (DE, submission guidelines)
Information Design Journal
International Journal of Design
Journal of Artistic Research
Journal of Design History
Journal of the Printing Historical Society
Printing History
The Design Journal
The International Journal of the Book
Tools and Techniques for Computer Typesetting
Typography Papers
Visible Language (of which Amy just co-edited the latest issue!)

(The International Journal of Digital Typography seems to be discontinued.)

If you know of other relevant journals or publications, please let us know in the comments. I’ll update this list as I hear of more, too.

Student Discounts for Fonts

Yes, design students need access to good fonts. Working towards A Future Free Of Type Piracy, but on a student-friendly budget, I asked those among the Alphabettes who run type foundries if they’d be willing to offer their wonderful ware at an especially fair edu-fare. Here are the ones that replied:

Anatole Type
50% discount on single styles, 70% on family packs (OTF only). Email Elena Albertoni with proof of your current student status (photo/scan of student ID) and your full postal address for a receipt (VAT may apply).

Darden Studio
50% discount on the entire library for students, teachers, and schools. Individual students can purchase fonts through the store but have to register by filling out this form: “Applying for an academic discount”. Schools requiring licenses for more than 45 CPUs email Joyce Ketterer directly.

Huerta Tipografica
50% discount for students (several typefaces for free on Font Squirrel). Email a valid student ID to Sol Matas & Co and they will send you instructions.

50% academic discount for students with proof of enrollment and student ID. Email your info to Kontour / Sibylle Hagmann.

Letra Type
Get the entire Galea Display family (four styles) for only $50 by emailing Isabel Urbina.

Liebe Fonts
50% off of all typefaces. Email Ulrike Rausch your student ID for a discount code.

90% discount for students (full families only) if you email Andrea Tinnes a valid student ID, short description of the project the typeface is used for, and later a sample/image of the work. For her typefaces licensed through Primetype, contact Ole Schäfer and receive free trial fonts for academic / non-commercial use.

Type Together
25% discount on all typefaces for students and academic staff. Email from your uni-email-account or send a copy of your student ID. Institutions who wish to license fonts for a whole class, 10–20 single styles, or more can contact Veronika Burian & Co for an even larger discount. Typefaces can also be made available for free in certain cases if you provide a description of the project, sign a temporary license agreement, and later send images of the finished work.

15% discount on all typefaces for students and academic staff, also 10 free trial fonts and some free fonts. Contact them from your uni-email-account or send a copy of your student ID. Temporary license can be arranged under certain conditions, contact Véronique Porchez to explain your project. Institutions who wish to license fonts for a whole class or school (10+ users), please also contact Véronique directly.

Thanks Véronique, Veronika, Andrea, Ulrike, Isabel, Sibylle, Sol, Joyce, and Elena for your generous offers!

If you know of other worthwhile student type discounts please comment below or send us a note. I also put together this list a while back to which I’ll add these offers now. And keep us updated on what you did with the fonts. All type designers love seeing their work being used and will be happy if you send them some photos or links.