Monday, 12 September 2011

Extensis Launches Free Web Fonts

Extensis Launches Free Web Fonts Photoshop Plugin

The new plugin makes it possible to choose from thousands of web-safe fonts when designing sites in Photoshop.

Extensis is a software developer known for its Universal Type Server for server-based font management, Suitcase for single-user font management and the Portfolio suite for digital asset management. Last year it launched the WebINK service, with the goal of providing designers with the ability to employ a wide variety of commercial-grade fonts on their sites without worrying about supported font formats or font licensing issues. It offers several ways for users to manage their webfont collections, from an online interface or through WebINK features integrated into Suitcase Fusion, Extensis' single-user font-management solution. Using a preview feature in Suitcase Fusion, any page can be previewed without changes to the website code, to show how it would look using WebINK fonts.

WebINK's W3C standards-compliant implementation of the @font-face tag is said to include support for a wide variety of web browsers, including Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari and Google Chrome. Font formats such as TTF, EOT, WOFF and SVG are served to the appropriate browsers, allowing designers to focus on the design, rather than the technical details of making things work. The WebINK site makes available thousands of fonts, with full localization and French and German support. Users select the number of glyphs to include on a website — from the full font character set that supports a wide variety of languages, or if preferred, a subset of the font glyphs that includes only Western European or English characters. 

Font Generator

Sunday, 4 September 2011

Confessions of a Type

Of all the truly calamitous afflictions of the modern world, typomania is one of the most alarming and least understood. It was first diagnosed by the German designer Erik Spiekermann as a condition peculiar to the font-obsessed, and it has one common symptom: an inability to walk past a sign (or pick up a book or a menu) without needing to identify the typeface. Sometimes font freaks find this task easy, and they move on; and sometimes their entire day is wrecked until they nail it.
This week saw a flare-up of fontroversies with the news that New York's street signs were getting a reprieve from a 2018 deadline requiring the replacement of their iconic all-capitals format with a combination of capitals and lowercase. There will now be a more relaxed approach, the change occurring merely when the signs wear out. But. the debate rages on: Are lowercase letters really safer in traffic (studies say they're easier to read at speed) than capitals?

Friday, 2 September 2011

Fond Of Fonts? Check Out

Simon Garfield's Just My Type, published in England by the same people who brought us Eats, Shoots & Leaves, hopes to do for type fonts what Lynne Truss' surprise best-seller did for commas. For those of us who normally concentrate on the sense of words without paying much attention to the typeface in which they appear, it's at once an eye-opening and eye-straining read.

For typomaniacs, on the other hand, who can't rest until they've identified a font, Garfield's engaging history of letter design will be eye candy. Helvetica? Frutiger? Univers? Is the bowl on that g elongated, and how wide is that o? Their passion helped fuel the cult success of Gary Hustwit's film, Helvetica, about the font created in Switzerland in 1957 that has become the face of Bloomingdale's, Gap, BMW, Verizon, American Airlines and countless other corporate logos. When Ikea changed its typeface from Futura to Verdana, it provoked a "fontroversy."