Questions about families of letter shapes. Use [typefaces] when you'd use "song" (e.g. "I love that song/typeface..."), and [fonts] when you'd use "MP3" ("...so I'm going to buy the MP3/font for it").

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173
votes
13answers
71k views

What is wrong with Comic Sans?

There's a great TEDxExeter talk by a colleague of mine, Simon Peyton-Jones, about the recent advances in the English lower school 'computer science' curriculum. Like all of his slide decks he uses ...
59
votes
8answers
13k views

What is so good about Helvetica?

For as long as I have known, a majority of designers have been beyond enamoured with Helvetica. While I can see that it's a nice typeface, I really don't understand the hype. Some research into the ...
54
votes
5answers
15k views

Why don't upper case numbers exist?

Capital letters add a lot to text in various ways, for names, brands, emphasis (although capitalisation for emphasis is frowned upon) Why then, are there no upper case numbers?
38
votes
8answers
10k views

“Serifs improve fast, easy readability for long text” - myth or truth?

It's an old question, but an important one. Let's see if we can get a good, nuanced, ideally evidence-based answer. So, old-school wisdom (certainly, how I was taught back in the day) says that serif ...
26
votes
5answers
6k views

What is the difference between a font and a typeface?

Originally, the typeface is a particular design of type, while a font is a type in a particular size and weight. In short, a typeface usually gathers many fonts. Nowadays, with the digital design of ...
24
votes
2answers
2k views

Is Marcellus a serif font?

I was searching for serif fonts on Google Fonts and happened across Marcellus. However, if I were shown it out of any context, I'd call it a sans-serif font. I can see small hits of what might be ...
20
votes
5answers
3k views

Where do professional designers “go” to look for typefaces?

I'm just reading The Non-Designer's Design Book by Robin Williams and am very impressed how on almost every page, Ms. Williams seems to "pull out" some beautiful typeface which I've never heard of. ...
19
votes
3answers
8k views

What are the differences between Helvetica and Arial?

I've heard there are a number of slight differences between these two similar fonts, is one better than the other for different contexts?
18
votes
8answers
16k views

How are Serif and Sans-serif fonts different, and when should one use one over the other?

What is the difference between these fonts, and what are some typical examples of why one might be used over another?
15
votes
6answers
4k views

What characters are good to start with when designing a typeface?

Given many characters in a typeface build on others and even just a couple of characters can reveal a lot of the features of a given typeface, what characters are good to start with when designing a ...
14
votes
6answers
2k views

Will typeface design ever “stop”?

This mainly refers to serif and sans serif typefaces used for everyday body text, not "wacky" display typefaces. I've been looking at a lot of typefaces today and it occurred to me that there are SO ...
11
votes
3answers
321 views

When are typefaces considered conflicting with each other?

I have been reading a lot about font pairing lately, but I’m still missing to identify when fonts don’t complement and contrast with each other, instead they clash. An example that I've read was ...
9
votes
3answers
490 views

What things should I consider when using my own custom fonts on a client's project?

When creating printed media for a corporation/legal entity, what exactly should I consider when using my own, personally created and designed, fonts?
9
votes
2answers
55k views

How can I change the default typeface in Indesign?

When I use InDesign the text box automaticly selects Times New roman as the typeface. can I change this so it automaticly selects my brands typeface.
9
votes
4answers
6k views

What makes a font a “gothic” font?

It’s easy to find lots of fonts with gothic in their names. But what makes a typeface a “gothic” typeface?
8
votes
4answers
424 views

Is there a typographical term for vertically-stacked characters?

I recently discovered this type technique in the July/August edition of Little White Lies Magazine. Here's an example of the typography: I wish to know, is there a term for the technique of ...
8
votes
3answers
346 views

The selection and use of typefaces for the non-designer

I am looking for a short, concise resource that will help me better choose and use typefaces. I think the ideal resource would have a thoughtfully chosen list of about a dozen of the most important ...
8
votes
2answers
743 views

What advantages/disadvantages do specific font formats have for print production?

Fonts can be purchased or downloaded in several formats: TrueType OpenType Postscript Type 1 Postscript Type 3 Multiple Masters I realize that OpenType and TrueType are universal formats which ...
7
votes
4answers
499 views

Double space acceptable after period before abbreviated title?

It seems accepted amongst typographers that the double space after a period is a dated artifact of monospace typewriters, but is it acceptable to use a double space in between sentences like: I ...
7
votes
3answers
415 views

Designing for a 6in x 9in book

I am putting a text heavy book together, 6in x 9in paper size. (Perhaps related are this and this link.) Now I look for good font pairings (nice examples are here) and margin settings and line ...
7
votes
3answers
526 views

What skills, techniques or methods can I use to help teach my child typography?

I'm teaching my child, who is 5, how to write and I wondered if it would be a bad idea to teach the foundations of typography and if any skills or techniques exist for children that can help show them ...
6
votes
5answers
12k views

Which of these font communicates “luxury products” better?

We are about to create a new luxury fashion brand. We researched many trademark logos, and saw they use different font types. We cannot decide between the two different fonts below. We target people ...
6
votes
5answers
1k views

Guidelines for logos using multiple typefaces

I was wondering there were any helpful guidelines and/or tips for designing logos with multiple fonts. It seems to be a dangerous area to enter into, but can lead to some great results. Often times ...
6
votes
2answers
314 views

visual typeface search tool

Fontshop.com used to have (at least I think it was them) a index of typefaces that you could use visual / structural specifics to search through their library of typefaces. It gave options for things ...
6
votes
2answers
593 views

Considerations when using multiple font faces (on webpage or CD cover)

I’m experimenting with fonts for learning purposes, and I noticed that using only one font type looks many times plain, but using more can easily make a mess out of my webpage and CD cover (these are ...
6
votes
2answers
460 views

How far back does the concept of a “bold” typeface variant go

What I'd like to know is where in history the idea of having a bold variant of a typeface came about. I suspect that back in Garamond/Caslon's time there would not have been any bold version of their ...
6
votes
3answers
540 views

Does this poster convey a “Frenchy” look?

In the brainstorming to give a visual identity to the French Language & Usage StackExchange, one of the proposals is to base the design on vintage posters such as this one: But I am afraid that ...
6
votes
3answers
169 views

Alternative to font “x” chart or service?

I have a number of typefaces for which I'd like to find free or open licence alternatives to. Rather than ask a series of "What is the best open license font to substitute for 'Goudy Catalogue'? ...
6
votes
1answer
113 views

Are there any benefits to using kerning pairs over kerning classes?

I've been learning how to use FontForge and am now getting my feet wet with kerning. I see that there are two options to do kerning: classes and pairs. To me, classes seem to have no downside. When ...
6
votes
3answers
373 views

How to determine a typeface's origin and whether I have a license?

I am currently working on the cover of a book. I'd really like to include the typeface Rockwell Extra Bold which is installed on my system. However Rockwell Extra Bold seems not to be installed ...
5
votes
3answers
981 views

What are the historical origins of Helvetica?

This issue of a typeface's heritage is of particular interest when attempting to pair faces. The nuances of related faces tend to harmonize well, whether that relation is grounded in history or the ...
5
votes
2answers
235 views

Strange type behaviours, some rounded letters seem larger

I have a weird thing happening with this font. It's Avenir. I've used it in the past with no issues, but this one seems to pop up once in awhile. The issue if not obvious is that some letters appear ...
5
votes
2answers
1k views

Is Optima Roman or Optima Medium the Optima.ttc found in Mac OS X?

I'm currently working with a relatively small event run by volunteers and we want to be consistent across our publications. Currently we use Optima for the body text in our publications, but it's ...
5
votes
1answer
115 views

Is there a name for digits/figures which fit in the x-height?

Is there a name for a set of figures which fit into the x-height (or thereabouts) in a typeface? Lining figures explicitly do not: While old-style figures have ascenders and descenders: In the ...
5
votes
1answer
187 views

Are there typographic methods of rendering a document traceable?

I seem to recall an anecdote on how one branch of the British government had designed a way to circulate seemingly identical for-your-eyes-only documents to a small circle of high-level collaborators, ...
5
votes
1answer
59 views

OpenType Features - Adaptable typefaces

I have a typeface I've developed that comes in two variations, one spans horizontally whilst the other vertically. At the moment they sit as two OTFs. What I would like to do is create an OpenType ...
5
votes
2answers
288 views

Are there “bi-form” fonts that don't have descenders?

Is there a font that displays the entire image of each and every one of the 52 English alphabet shapes ➝ and ➝ above (on) the baseline? Clarification: Examples of shapes that ...
5
votes
2answers
92 views

Typeface suggestions for both family programming and contemporary art

I work at a fairly large not-for-profit arts/cultural organization that hosts diverse activities from children's art camps to family cultural events and contemporary art/performance. We use Trade ...
5
votes
2answers
258 views

How can I create a font from my handwriting?

A quick Google search turns up many websites that claim to make a customized script font from a sample of your handwriting. How do they compare, and would you recommend any such service? Are there ...
4
votes
1answer
43 views

What the name of the part of the character that holds the counters and the eyes in a stencil typeface?

Is the a name to the shape that connects the outside of a stencil letter to its interior enabling the letter to be cut through and retain its counters.
4
votes
3answers
275 views

1 letter used - do I need to buy the entire font?

I am about to finish designing logo. I use two fonts. One I already bought, but the other... I need just one letter from this font but it is not free. Do I need to buy the entire font?
4
votes
3answers
295 views

Recognizing font differences

I’m making a flyer in Adobe InDesign. I’ve studied InDesign on my own, but I still need to learn about typography. I want to learn how to recognize fonts differences, e.g., in the following: Are ...
4
votes
5answers
5k views

What properties should a typeface or font for children's signage have while still being playful?

I am looking for a typeface for use with children's signage (don't say Comic sans). I'm looking for something playful yet legible. By children, I mean elementary school age (and younger). What a re ...
4
votes
1answer
155 views

where do you get your type inspiration or how do you decide for the right type?

I was wondering where do you guys get your inspiration for Type and How you decide the right Type Face for your projects. thanks!
4
votes
1answer
1k views

Help Identify the Japanese and Chinese Fonts as Pictured

I'm trying to identify the fonts used in the attached images. I suspect that the Japanese sample is a Dynacomware font, but I don't see a match on FontShop. I think it’s been discontinued by the ...
4
votes
2answers
387 views

Best practice to creating distorted text?

Trying to practice better on my typographic logos I wanted to challenge myself in creating a distorted text logo but I was unaware if any practices exist when considering pre-existing fonts in regards ...
4
votes
1answer
386 views

Term for upward slant of horizontals in a typeface

I've noticed that in a lot of typefaces simulating upright hand lettering, the horizontal strokes slant upward. In Comic Sans and Comic Neue, this slant is especially visible on the crossbars of ...
4
votes
1answer
20k views

Free Font similar in style to verlag [closed]

Was wondering if anyone could suggest a free font that is similar in style to Verlag. http://idsgn.org/posts/know-your-type-verlag/ Just looking for an experienced eye's opinion for something that ...
4
votes
2answers
51k views

Webfont alternatives to Gotham

The Brand Guidelines have specified the use of Gotham and Arial as the typeface, and I can see that in the past people have had various experiences with using Gotham on the web. Instead of using ...
3
votes
2answers
251 views

What is this table-like way of presenting fonts called?

I often find this kind of table to present a font, showing a sample of characters, the name of the font, a word (random?), and the alphabet. There's a lot of them in the Wikipedia page about the ...