Category Archives: OpenType

FF Chartwell Web Ready to Shake Up Online Infographics

Since FF Chartwell’s May release, the design world has been abuzz with accolades for its unique approach to infographic creation. With the recent FontFont release, web designers can now rejoice – FF Chartwell Web is here!

Get FF Chartwell Radar Web free!

FF Chartwell Rose Web

FF Chartwell Bars Vertical Web

FF Chartwell Lines Web

FF Chartwell Bars Web

FF Chartwell Pies Web

FF Chartwell Rings Web

Back in May we first introduced FF Chartwell’s nonconformist approach to creating charts and graphs: simply type in the numbers and let the font do the rest. Rings, rose, radar, pies, bars, lines, and vertical bar charts, all as easily styled as type, result automatically. Use FF Chartwell Web with static text or real-time data.

FontFont had to think creatively to work around the lack of OpenType support in most web browsers to keep FF Chartwell working to its users expectations. The end result is “more than just a font“:

All the chart drawing functions of FF Chartwell Web are provided as small JavaScript libraries. To create a chart you enter the values in a similar way to the desktop font and use HTML code to determine color and appearance.

Nobody likes bloated JavaScript libraries, so the JavaScript files are split into one base file and one file for each of the chart types. This way you never have to load more files than you really need. All FF Chartwell Web packages come with a demo page and example HTML code to help get you started. As with all Web FontFonts, you will also receive a WOFF and an EOT font called FF Chartwell Text Web Pro. Please note, that these only contain the alphabet part of FF Chartwell.

Web designers can test FF Chartwell Web on the FontFont How To site’s live demo. We can’t wait to see the beautiful infographic websites that FF Chartwell is bound to inspire. Please share your creations in the comments!

Buyer’s Tips: Choosing an OpenType Flavor.

Did you know that OpenType comes in two flavors? PostScript-flavored OpenType fonts have .otf endings and TrueType-flavored OpenType fonts have .ttf endings. Both flavors are cross-platform and can be installed on either a Mac or PC.

TrueType-flavored OpenType fonts will have an OT/TT badge and are optimal for programs— such as PowerPoint and Excel— that do not fully support all OpenType features.

While PostScript-flavored OpenType fonts will have an OT badge and works best in programs—like Adobe InDesign —that can support all OpenType features.

So if you are working with a client that uses MS Word and you recommend that they license an OpenType version of the font, please make sure that you let them know which flavor is best. We have a great post on FontFont’s OpenType formats you should read if you’re eager for an in-depth explanation that uses FF DIN as example.

The OpenType Features of Compendium

Most of our readers are probably well familiar with OpenType features. They allow you to set type using glyphs that are not necessarily available by default, giving you a much wider range of effect. This is especially helpful when working with a script font — a point that is often demonstrated in the work of Alejandro Paul and his foundry Sudtipos. Many of his scripts contain vast character sets with tons of alternative glyphs, among them Suave Script, Affair, and the recently featured Fiance. Another is the beautiful Compendium, which we’ll take a look at below.

Here’s Compendium in Adobe Illustrator, with only the default Standard Ligatures activated:

Now let’s activate Contextual Alternates:

… with Swash caps turned on at the same time:

Now we take a step back and try out the Stylistic Alternates:

… and now Stylistic and Contextual Alternates together:

Just by flipping a switch, you can see how much variation one can get from feature to feature. Of course for best effect, one should go through the entire glyph palette and insert individual glyphs that best fit your sample, layout, or intended aesthetic. If you don’t want colliding flourishes, for example, there is likely a combination of glyphs that will fit together perfectly. You may also find additional flourishes, such as what can be found in Compendium:

You can preview these OpenType features using our new and improved custom sample toolbar.

Complete Device Fonts Library now available in OpenType

Rian Hughes recently converted his entire Device Library to OpenType. Along with his update to the cross-platform compatible format, Hughes also added Central European language support (signified by “Pro”) to a number of Device families, including his popular neo-grotesque Paralucent.

Device is one of the largest libraries dedicated to usable display fonts. They range from grungy, distressed faces like Chase and Roadkill, to technofuturistic fonts like Outlander Nova and the Blade Runner-esque Interceptor, to quirky sans serifs like Regulator, Rogue Sans, and Register. Hughes also plays it straight to great effect, with typefaces like Ministry and English Grotesque.

Check out the entire library for some hidden gems.

Device Library OT

January ’11 Staff Picks

The first FontShop Staff Picks of 2011 are up. Now that we’ve got our new blog rolling, I thought we could show off a few of our picks in more detail.

First up is Henrietta Samuels from Samuelstype. Like the aforementioned FF Mister K, Henrietta Samuels is full of extra ligatures and stylistic alternatives to help avoid identical forms of a single character, or combination thereof. (Notice the differing ‘ra’ ligatures above.) There’s a certain quirky, imperfect decadence to the typeface that makes it unique. Exclusive to FontShop.

Download the PDF (229 KB).

Reservation Wide, designed by Silas Dilworth of the TypeTrust, is an extended neo-grotesque face intended for headlines. Dilworth originally designed Reservation Wide for the Food Network, which uses the typeface (originally named Majestos) on its website and in on-air promos. Its terminals have a slight angle, keeping it open and approachable—one might even say appetizing. As an avid Food Network watcher, it has a place near and dear to my stomach.


Download the PDF (279 KB).

Calluna from exljbris is a playful text face that comes fully loaded with all of your favorite OpenType features. Jos Buivenga happened upon the basic structure of Calluna while “fiddling around a bit with Museo“. A fortunate accident, which you can read about in the specimen PDF. Also fortunate (which may be an understatement): you can download the Regular weight of Calluna for free. Once you’re hooked, pick up the 8-style family pack.

Remember to check out the rest of our January 2011 Staff Picks.

Now at FontShop: Museo Italics

The wildly popular typeface Museo by exljbris recently welcomed a new member to its family: Museo Italics. The other upright members of the family, Museo Sans and Museo Slab, also have italic kin. This latest addition completes the family.

For those who’ve already gotten their hands on Museo, you can buy the italic bundle separately. If you’ve been holding out until now, buy the uprights and italics as a set.

FF Bau: Now available in OpenType and Web formats

Next in our series of cool font specimen PDF callouts comes FF Bau. Designed by Christian Schwartz in 2002, FF Bau is based on Schelter & Giesecke’s Grotesk, an early ancestor of Helvetica. In the most recent Fontfont update, FF Bau was rereleased in the following versions:

OpenType | Pro | Office | Office Pro | Web | Web Pro

FontFont has posted a very cool “Stylistic Set Pocket Guide”, detailing the new OpenType features in FF Bau OT. Among them are a number of alternate glyphs, figure variants, and Central European language support (in the Pro versions). You can also read more about FF Bau, and the rest of the FontFont 54 release, over at FontShop Benelux’s Unzipped.

Download the PDF (172 KB).

New: FF Fontesque Display

Included in FontFont Release #54 is the newly revised FF Fontesque Display. This new OpenType feature-laden version of FF Fontesque includes alternate glyphs for nearly every character in the typeface, including Central European characters (found in the Pro version). Designer Nick Shinn has also released a user guide/specimen PDF, detailing the family’s specifics.

Download the PDF (260 KB).

Embrace the Power of OpenType

Developed by Adobe® and Microsoft® to provide users with an accessible and advanced typographic toolset, OpenType improves upon PostScript and TrueType.

Multi-Platform Support

OpenType is a truly cross-platform format. Use the same font on Mac or Windows machines without converting the font — same typeface, same kerning, same line breaks.

Extended Character Sets

Based on Unicode, an OpenType file contains up to 65,535 characters or glyphs. This allows for extensive language support and makes room for advanced typographic features like ligatures, figure styles, fractions, stylistic alternates, swashes, small caps, ornaments, borders, and so on. The PostScript format is limited to 256 characters per file, with metrics information and extra characters often stored in separate, individual files.

One File, Not Many

A single OpenType file contains all the information required for a typeface style: metrics, kerning, outline, hints, and bitmaps.
Compare the multilingual PostScript version of FF Meta 1, a package of four type styles, with its OpenType successor. A folder of 360 files is reduced to 4 files. This reduces the possibility of missing files, corruption, and conflicts.

Easy Access To Advanced Features

Make the most of modern design applications, like Adobe Creative Suite and QuarkXPress.These applications, as well as Mac OS X native apps, take full advantage of the features that OpenType offers. Convert text to true Small Caps, swap Oldstyle Figures with Lining Figures, and substitute letter pairs with discretionary ligatures, all from within the same menu in each app.

Read more about using advanced OpenType features on The FontFeed.

OpenType And FontShop.com

Each OpenType font can include a variety of features. Different fonts, from different foundries, have more extras and language support than others.

Since there is no industry standard for defining these extra features across foundries or font packages, on FontShop.com we’ve made it easy to see what’s included in any OpenType font. First, look for the OT icon. Once you have clicked to a font detail page, select the Character Set view option. Here you’ll find every glyph available in the font, as well as a selectable list of OpenType features that the font offers. If you see an arrow next to a glyph, click on it to view the alternate glyphs available for that character — just like in the glyph palettes found in Adobe Creative Suite.

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