Questions tagged [typefaces]

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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219
votes
13answers
99k 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 ...
94
votes
5answers
70k 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?
81
votes
6answers
30k 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 ...
66
votes
7answers
80k 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 ...
52
votes
8answers
17k 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 ...
44
votes
8answers
16k views

How to explain to a client the font in their logo is not to be used for anything else

I have delivered an identity for a client. We are using one font in the logo and another complete family (Axiforma) for the actual body text, headlines, etc. The one in the logo is specifically ...
30
votes
7answers
12k views

Where do professional designers go to look for typefaces?

I was reading The Non-Designer's Design Book by Robin Williams and was very impressed how on almost every page, Ms. Williams seems to "pull out" some beautiful typeface which I've never heard of. I'm ...
28
votes
2answers
3k 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 ...
25
votes
3answers
11k 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?
25
votes
8answers
40k views

What is the actual problem with Calibri?

Recently I've been seeing many pages and blogs with some sour distaste for Microsoft's Calibri typeface, mashing it as if it was the new Comic Sans or something. At first I tought the problem was ...
24
votes
3answers
7k views

Is that a good kerning?

What do you think of this kerning? What adjustments should I make?
24
votes
8answers
13k 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 ...
21
votes
8answers
20k 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?
18
votes
7answers
3k 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 ...
15
votes
1answer
2k views

Helvetica: trailing leg in lowercase “a”

Why sometimes I find Helvetica with the letter "a" with the right leg straight and other times I find it with the right leg turned to the right: Letter "a" with right leg straight: Letter "a" with ...
14
votes
5answers
27k 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?
13
votes
2answers
10k views

Is all-caps blackletter no longer taboo?

Received typographic wisdom holds that blackletter (“Old English”, “Gothic”) text only looks good in lower case or with initial capitalization — never with capital letters in series. However, in the ...
13
votes
2answers
3k views

Why are there so many variations on the ampersand design?

Most characters have a single shape or form - for instance the letter C always looks like a C. The end caps may be different, it may have serifs, the terminals may end at a different angle, but the ...
12
votes
5answers
15k views

Is there a font that has the same height for every character?

It occured to me that in all fonts I know of, different characters have a different height. Why is this so? Are there fonts where all characters have the same height? If so, is there a name for this ...
12
votes
3answers
2k 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 ...
11
votes
5answers
2k views

Printing: will a font always give exactly the same result, regardless of how it's printed?

Will a font always print exactly the same, regardless of the print technology? Example: printing at the local print shop on a laser printer versus the commercial printing of a book. Here is Linotype's ...
11
votes
2answers
3k views

How do I protect a typeface I have designed from being pirated? [closed]

I have professional experience at designing typefaces dating back forty years, and I recently designed a new kind of typeface for which I wrote a small user's guide which essentially describes the ...
11
votes
3answers
3k views

What are the different stroke widths (e.g. in a W) in serif fonts called, and why do they have a particular orientation?

Certain serif fonts have distinctly different stroke widths for parts of certain letters (see WMVAU below) and there is a "correct" and an "incorrect" orientation. An example with Google Fonts Prata: ...
11
votes
2answers
83k 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.
10
votes
4answers
1k views

Typeface like Times New Roman but with “tied” percent sign

I wish to identify the below typeface, which is similar or identical to Times New Roman, except for a "tied" percent sign. I need it for MS Word so welcome suggestions of similar typefaces available ...
10
votes
3answers
693 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?
10
votes
3answers
1k 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 ...
10
votes
2answers
723 views

How should I approach designing special characters I am unfamiliar with when designing a typeface?

When designing a typeface there are a number of characters that I, as an English speaker, have never used, rarely seen and simply don't understand. These characters fall in to a number of different ...
10
votes
3answers
458 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 ...
10
votes
2answers
3k 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 work ...
10
votes
2answers
3k views

How to design the letter ß (eszett or sharp S)

When designing a typeface, how should I design the letter ß? Looking at existing typefaces there seems to be a some variations of how the character is designed. It seems that the letter (called an ...
10
votes
2answers
587 views

Why was capital N temporarily inverted in 1468?

An answer for "Why does the small h letter in Garamond italic bend inward?" shows the following image: The middle row of this image (marked Han 86R, Rome 1468) has the capital N inverted compared to ...
9
votes
4answers
652 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 stacking ...
9
votes
2answers
606 views

Why does the lower case 'r' in Google Sans font change size depending on the next letter?

I recently switched to the GMail redesign where Google Sans is used for the subject text when displaying emails. I noticed that where a lower case 'r' is followed by a 't' - as in 'Start' - the 'r' ...
9
votes
1answer
759 views

In a typeface, what does the abbreviation PE mean?

I have seen some typefaces with their names ending in PE behind. I know PICA is a measure unit, but what about PE?
8
votes
4answers
758 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 ...
8
votes
5answers
3k 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 ...
8
votes
3answers
1k 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 ...
8
votes
3answers
666 views

How do typefaces become taboo?

I'm watching a live Adobe UX design webinar right now and they're taking community submissions. One of the submissions used Lobster for their title typeface and the presenters froze, zoomed in on it ...
8
votes
3answers
134k 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
344 views

Is this Dutch IJ ligature suitable and readable to native speakers?

I'm designing a display typeface and have designed, for the Dutch capital IJ digraph, a ligature that combines the "I" and "J" to form what looks like a broken "U". Here is a comparison of my "IJ" ...
8
votes
4answers
422 views

Design issues concerning header and body fonts with a different x-height

I've heard it's harmonious to have the header and body text have similar x-heights. What if your headers have a lower x-height than the body text? Are there any design principles or other issues going ...
7
votes
5answers
24k 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 ...
7
votes
3answers
742 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 ...
7
votes
2answers
276 views

Type Design: Background and guidelines for designing the Umlaute (ä Ä, ü Ü, ö Ö) of a serif typeface

I am working on the editorial design of a book and Lucas Bihan of Bretagne Type Foundry was kind enough to give me access to a trial version of his serif typeface »Self Modern«, which I am now using ...
7
votes
3answers
236 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'? '...
7
votes
2answers
2k 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 are ...
7
votes
1answer
211 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
6answers
3k views

What are these kinds of typography called?

While talking about typography, we are often presented with beautiful graphics made with types and all. Although I find them very creative, I personally don't have a knack for those. I rather prefer ...
6
votes
3answers
890 views

What is an expert set in the fonts field?

I have read it is a font with additional characters and ligature. The expert set was introduced it in the beginning of the 90s, see http://www.typophile.com/node/40309. from fontshop.com: Exp | ...

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