Monthly Archives: July 2012

Closed for the Holiday

Happy July 4th! We’re out of the office all day today, but right back to work here on Thursday. See you then. ‘Closed’ sign set in Anchor with Liza.

New Fonts This Week

New fonts plus this new deal from ReType:

25% off selected ReType families

Lavigne Text / OT / Web
Lavigne Display / OT / Web

Winco Complete / OT / Web

Kade / OT / Web

Plus all new faces from these foundries:

Letters from Sweden

Trim Stencil / Web


Ashbury Also, Ashbury’s Light weight is free.


Stina / Web

and there’s more:


P22 Codependent


Homemade Apple
Walter Turncoat


P22 Ruffcut


Floriana Bold


Delicia Regular
Excelsia Regular

You’ll see more about these here on the blog, and in our newsletters, so subscribe and set your RSS readers to get our updates. Thanks for reading us.

Designer Spotlight: Giddy for Goudy

“A man who would letterspace lower case would steal sheep.” So said Frederic Goudy, according to rumor.  "Who is this passionate defender of legibility? (And inspiration for the title of Erik Spiekermann's typography guide)?” you may ask.

Meet the American type designer whose 100+ typefaces include Goudy Old Style, the graceful, easy-reading serif that Harper’s Magazine still uses for text, and Copperplate Gothic, a gothic/serif hybrid over a century old and still on your lawyer’s business card. Prolific and experimental, Goudy’s (b. 1865, d. 1947) life and career mirrors the period of U.S. history between the Civil War and World War II.

Known as one of the world’s greatest type designers in 1933, when The New Yorker profiled him as “Glorifier of the Alphabet,” Goudy advocated harmony and simplicity in design. He championed beauty and refinement − but not at the expense of personality. In fact, says FontShop Type Expert David Sudweeks, “You can tell it’s Goudy before you’re close enough to read it.”

If we had our way, Goudy would be on the list of all-American highlights we cheer about at Fourth of July picnics, right up there with baseball, apple pie, and backyard fireworks.

As fortune had it, however, European Modernism and Bauhaus design − with their assertively angular buildings and clean-edged letters − swept the Western world with enough force to cloud our collective memory of Goudy’s stature.

“Much of it was lost in the shuffle. When the Erbars and Futuras and Helveticas came in, the Goudy was tossed out, recast into slugs, leading, bullets and fishing weights,” explains Sudweeks.

Fortune wasn’t consistently good to Goudy during his lifetime either. He showed early promise but later found himself deep in a rut. A childhood encounter with an artist’s camera and winning a drawing prize at the county fair creatively inspired young Frederic. As a teen, he seemed destined for a career in the arts. That’s when he provided his Bloomington, Ill. Sunday school with a stenciled version of the Ten Commandments. Impressed, the church paid him for his work.

In his early 30s, Goudy married Bertha M. Sprinks, a stenographer and officemate about whom he later wrote, “her intelligent and ready counsel I welcomed and valued; her consummate craftsmanship made possible many difficult undertakings.”

A decade later, though his marriage may have been a match made in heaven, Goudy’s career was barely out of the gate. In a 1942 retrospect, Popular Mechanics reported, “At 40, this short, plump, pinkish, and puckish gentleman kept books for a Chicago realtor, and considered himself a failure.”

Eventually things started looking up. The Popular Mechanics article continues, “During the next 36 years, starting almost from scratch at an age when most men are permanently set in their chosen vocations, he cut 113 fonts of type, thereby creating more usable faces than did the seven greatest inventors of type and books, from Gutenberg to Garamond.”

He was among the founders of Camelot Press, where he sold his first typeface, Camelot, to a Boston printer for $10. He helped found Village Press and served as art director for the Lanston Monotype Machine Company from 1920 till 1940. He taught at the Art Students League and New York University. Goudy wrote several books, including The Alphabet (1918), Elements of Lettering (1922), Typologia (1940), and the autobiographical A Half-Century of Type Design and Typography, 1895-1945 (1946).

Upon Goudy’s death in 1947 the New York Herald Tribune‘s warm and reverent obituary read, “The entire reading public is in Mr. Goudy’s debt.” It also said, “Only time will tell how his type faces endure, but he gave a vast impetus to the art of printing.”

Endure they did. Designers still use Goudy Old Style for a classic, American feel, and should you come across it, Goudy Ornate still holds a contemporary appeal. The 1922 Goudy Sans has occasionally fooled a type expert or two into thinking it’s a more recent font. (Though the capital “A” is a dead giveaway; it sends us right back to the days Charlie Chaplin.) There’s even a free Goudy webfont, Sorts Mill Goudy, a 2011 revival of Goudy Old Style. (Use it in “light line jobs like poetry,” advises Macworld Magazine.)

So next time you get an attorney’s contact information or page through the print edition of America’s oldest general interest monthly, be sure to light a bottle rocket or dish up a slice of apple pie in memory of Frederic Goudy.


Article text by Kris Vagner

The Planets in FF Chartwell Rings

FF Chartwell Rings is useful for comparing percentages of completion of a task, particularly cyclical tasks like laps around a track. My inspiration for today’s look into FF Chartwell’s ring charts was similar—planetary revolutions around the sun. Looking ‘up’ at our solar system from along our sun’s polar axis, this chart shows the planets’ relationship to the sun and to one another as they are now.

Jupiter clearly appears to be in the lead, except of course that the gravitational pull on planets nearer the sun causes their revolutions to be ten or more times that of the more distant planets.

To create the chart, I started with eight values separated by plus signs. FF Chartwell Rings accepts integer values between 0 and 100. To make the text into rings, I just enabled ‘Set 1’ in the stylistic sets menu of the OpenType panel. I chose some colors and then overlaid the chart with a copy of itself using a slightly more muted palette. Last, I reduced the values of the overlaying chart by 1, so the brighter colors could show through, and I stuck on some labels.

And here’s another view as seen from (roughly) Polaris, looking ‘down’ on our solar system. The chart is perhaps a bit misleading, since from this vantage point the planets orbit counter-clockwise. ‘Where’s Pluto,’ you ask? Sorry. Stars and planets only. You should make your own.

Have you got a fever, and the only cure is more Chartwell? You’re in luck. Today’s post is the fourth of a seven-part series, so there’s plenty to go back and read, and a new one comes out here on Monday.

Buyer’s Guide: Am I buying a webfont?

Not all fonts on FontShop are available as webfonts. If you’re wondering whether you’re adding a webfont to your cart or not, here are a few things to look out for that will let you know you’re licensing the right kind of fonts:

1. Web Badges

When you do a general search for a font, several options may come up in the search results. Webfonts are easy to spot because they have Web Badges — a blue one in the upper right hand corner of a font listing and a gray one next to the price.

2. Font Name

Besides having badges to indicate if the font is a webfont, a webfont will have the word “Web” in its name.

3. Webfont Formats

Webfonts are usually available in two formats: WOFF and EOT. If you see anything else listed under Formats — like OT, TT, OT/TT, or PS — then you are not looking at a webfont!

4. Pricing By Pageviews

When you’re ready to checkout, there is one more way to ensure you’re licensing webfonts. Webfonts are priced based on pageviews per month, not the number of users who will be using the fonts. Instead of having to enter the number of users you need to license as you would with desktop fonts, you will need to choose a pricing tier based on the number of pageviews per month your website generates.

If you’re ready to get some webfonts, you can browse our selection of webfonts here!